SEMINAR – Russula Roulette

Russula Roulette

Every mushroomer knows the danger of not being able to differentiate an edible mushroom from toxic lookalike species. In Switzerland, the Pilzkontrolleure, or mushroom inspectors have been saving lives for over a century by plucking poisonous mushrooms from people’s baskets and sending them home with the edible fare. Only a sixth of the size of Oregon, Switzerland has 409 mushroom inspection offices staffed by 1500 inspectors.

Furthermore, a publicly accessible online atlas of fungus distribution (including 937 endangered species) helps foragers find their target mushrooms. The Swiss are well versed in fungi and foraging and this has also stimulated mycological research and resources.

Yet in Alison’s birth country of Australia, all biodiversity – including fungi – is protected on public land at all three levels of government and hence foraging is illegal.

Over the last couple of decades Alison has divided her time between hemispheres working both with fungi and their followers. In this talk and open conversation Alison will explore the tensions between foraging and conservation and the different approaches of various nations to both protect species and keep hunters happy.

This event is supported by the Southwest Washington Mycological Society and The Stuntz Foundation.

The full program of talks and events can be viewed at this link.



LOCATION: Lewis Fire District 6 Station 61 at 2123 Jackson Hwy in Chehalis, WA