Chatham Conservation Partnership Meeting Focuses on Wild Mushrooms

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The Chatham Conservation Partnership (CCP) is a collaboration of local, state and federal government agencies, non-profit organizations, businesses, universities, and individuals who work together on natural resource conservation programs and issues in Chatham County. The CCP holds quarterly meetings in January, April, July, and October and the general public is welcome to attend. Meetings feature speakers and sometimes field trips. Past topics have included forest conservation, land use planning, climate change, wildlife (bats, birds, reptiles and amphibians, pollinators), biodiversity and wildlife habitat, geology, water quality, farmland conservation, citizen science, and much more.
CCP’s October 2019 meeting focused on wild mushrooms. The meeting was held at the Stanford Adams Training Facility at the Jordan Lake Educational State Forest. Speakers Susannah Goldston (Chatham Soil & Water Conservation District) and Laura Stewart (Haw River Mushrooms) talked about the role of mushrooms in our forest ecosystem, mushroom ID, uses, foraging (including legalities and ethics), and mushroom cultivation. After the presentations, Susannah and Laura led a walking tour at the Jordan Lake Educational State Forest to look for mushrooms. We found a surprising number of mushrooms given the preceding two month spell of dry weather (although it did rain the week prior to the meeting). Everyone had a great time!
Susannah Goldston talked about how to ID mushrooms and their various roles in the ecosystem.

Susannah Goldston talked about how to ID mushrooms and their various roles in the ecosystem. Photo by Debbie Roos.

Laura Stewart talked about some of the common mushrooms found in the woods and also a little bit about mushroom cultivation.

Laura Stewart talked about some of the common mushrooms found in the woods and also a little bit about mushroom cultivation. Photo by Debbie Roos.

Susannah Goldston helps identify mushrooms on the walk. Photo by Debbie Roos.

Susannah Goldston helps identify mushrooms on the walk. Photo by Debbie Roos.

Susannah Goldston helps identify mushrooms on the walk.

Susannah Goldston helps identify mushrooms on the walk. Photo by Debbie Roos.

Susannah Goldston helps identify mushrooms on the walk.

Susannah Goldston helps identify mushrooms on the walk. Photo by Debbie Roos.

Susannah Goldston helps identify mushrooms on the walk.

Susannah Goldston helps identify mushrooms on the walk. Photo by Debbie Roos.

Susannah Goldston helps identify mushrooms on the walk.

Susannah Goldston helps identify mushrooms on the walk. Photo by Debbie Roos.

Laura Stewart helps identify mushrooms on the walk.

Laura Stewart helps identify mushrooms on the walk. Photo by Debbie Roos.

Laura Stewart helps identify mushrooms on the walk.

Laura Stewart helps identify mushrooms on the walk. Photo by Debbie Roos.

Laura Stewart helps identify mushrooms on the walk.

Laura Stewart helps identify mushrooms on the walk. Photo by Debbie Roos.

Laura Stewart helps identify mushrooms on the walk.

Laura Stewart helps identify mushrooms on the walk. Photo by Debbie Roos.

Laura Stewart helps identify mushrooms on the walk.

Laura Stewart helps identify mushrooms on the walk. Photo by Debbie Roos.

Laura Stewart helps identify mushrooms on the walk.

Laura Stewart helps identify mushrooms on the walk. Photo by Debbie Roos.

Laura Stewart helps identify mushrooms on the walk.

Laura Stewart helps identify mushrooms on the walk. Photo by Debbie Roos.

We brought some of the mushrooms we found back to the classroom and continued to practice identifying them with our mushroom books.

We brought some of the mushrooms we found back to the classroom and continued to practice identifying them with our mushroom books. Photo by Debbie Roos.

We brought some of the mushrooms we found back to the classroom and continued to practice identifying them with our mushroom books.

We brought some of the mushrooms we found back to the classroom and continued to practice identifying them with our mushroom books. Photo by Debbie Roos.

We brought some of the mushrooms we found back to the classroom and continued to practice identifying them with our mushroom books.

We brought some of the mushrooms we found back to the classroom and continued to practice identifying them with our mushroom books. Photo by Debbie Roos.

We brought some of the mushrooms we found back to the classroom and continued to practice identifying them with our mushroom books.

We brought some of the mushrooms we found back to the classroom and continued to practice identifying them with our mushroom books. Photo by Debbie Roos.

Some of the mushrooms we found.

Some of the mushrooms we found. Top row from left to right: bitter oyster with crowded parchment fungus; multicolor gilled polypore and turkey tail; crowded parchment fungus; violet-toothed polypore; mazegill polypore. Bottom row from left to right: violet-toothed polypore; crowded parchment fungus with false turkey tail; violet-toothed polypore; multicolor gilled polypore; witch’s butter. Photos by Debbie Roos.