Bio Sensitivity

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    Alana McGee

    Lois Martin: I’ve seen YouTube videos of people hunting for truffles in the PNW and one thing that’s surprised me is in a few videos they will pan the area and describe the vegetation, sunlight etc. The few foragers I know are extremely sensitive about the environments in which they hunt.

    This question is probably more appropriate for the 3rd class, but will you cover biosensitivity for wild foraging versus commercial orchard in these classes or is that in the PhD program?

    No rush on a reply, just curious.

    Alana McGee

    hahaha PhD program. Should make one of those.

    We can address whatever topics folks are interested in. And frankly, this is the forum (as in the time & space to do that) You all have our rapt attention (aside from playing with our own dogs and cooking dinner etc 🙂 ) to ask just about anything during these classes. As long as we are not legally bound by non disclosure agreements or ethical concerns, we are open books on the subject of truffles in general and anything in the industry. We want to teach people to be ethically and environmentally responsible and conscious for their actions in this regard. There is a lot of misinformation out there, and not a lot of sources clearing it up for the public, so ask away. It is just a VAST topic, and can be hotly debated.

    For that reason, I may break up this post and keep adding to if there are questions, and as I have time.

    In FE530 we do cover safety, ethics, regulations, environmental concerns etc, but it is never too early to talk about. We do have planned in general at TDC to cover wilderness medicine/ safety, ethical & environmental concerns etc– everything relating to truffle hunting in a variety of environments, but those programs/ documents aren’t up and running yet.

    We don’t necessarily (or have planned yet) to cover the difference in Orchard location/management biosensitivity in that regard as that really is a beast unto itself. But I can offer tidbits and you are more than welcome to purpose things, comment, or ask questions.

    When we present at seminars and festivals (shameless plug, you should all go to seminars & festivals if you can, they are great learning events, everywhere in the world) we DO address areas of concern that may be more specific to orchard management, or to wild forests, which was one of your questions— We don’t necessarily have plans to do that in this class in written form because it is a HUGE topic. For example at the Napa festival last year we gave a talk on practical implementation of dogs on orchards (which did cover biosensitivity for the orchard), which IS different than wild harvesting, and many, even orchard owners don’t realize some of the key differences which can make a large impact on your dog being successful and on your crop and how to actually harvest with biosensitivity, and commercial productivity in mind.

    HOWEVER in regards to biosensitivity:

    It is an important topic in all realms. Different in each, but equally important. For those of you who have orchards or will be operating for recreation purposes or commercially on them, there are specific biosecurity issues you need to be aware of as well. You (and certainly the orchard owner wouldn’t love it) do not want to be responsible for bringing in a more aggressive, less commercially viable mycelium to an orchard site. It has happened in places around the world. We take Biosecurity VERY seriously. It ties to biosensitivity as well in how you manage and harvest a site.

    Big Topic.

    I have typed a BUNCH on this topic for the last 1/2 hr (copied it elsewhere), but I’m trying to organize it so it isn’t all over the place. I will try to consolidate and re-address, and address the youtube Environment panning of habitat first. If you have other things you would like to bring up please do. I can go on for AGES. There are SO many things. Like I said, BIG topic.

    Alana McGee

    Let me say this so we are all crystal clear:

    We strongly encourage everyone to be environmentally friendly, conscious, and to be gentle on the environment (leave no trace), ethically responsible, and to operate within the law. We do not condone harvesting of truffles without permission or via trespassing. You are responsible for knowing the laws and regulations of your specific area prior to going out and looking for wild truffles.

    (While we do not know the specific regulations for everywhere in the world where our students operate and harvest, if you have questions, please ask. We likely know a lot, or know where to refer you for more information. 🙂 )

    Alana McGee

    Thanks Alana.

    Biosecurity is an excellent point. New Zealand, Antartica, Hawaii come to mind as places that I make a vague connection to ‘biosecurity’.

    I’ll have to figure out TN/NC regs. Ginseng hunting is regulated so I can probably find info via searches for ginseng hunting.

    Alana McGee

    I have lots on this, just haven’t had much more time yet to respond.

    This isn’t quite what I would classify as under biosensitivity and we should create a regulations forum, BUT As for your harvesting of truffles/mushrooms in Tennessee. (I’m actually currently at a NAMA foray with some folks from Tenn. and I will ask them for resources) Generally, truffles apply and fall under mushrooms in terms of harvesting. Whatever your mushroom allowances are, truffles will be too. If you get gallons of truffles ( a standard allowance for nation forests) lucky you!!!!

    The exceptions to this (that I know of off the top of my head- this is limited and needs updating*) are in:
    Oregon–specific legislation regarding truffle harvesting
    the UK–The magna carta covers above ground fruiting as being able to be harvested anywhere, but not below ground- and truffles are below ground, so it is a little bit of a grey area- but technically you need direct permission of land owner if it doesn’t classify under the Magna Carta
    Austria– Specific rules on which forests for mushrooms at all
    Italy– Harvesting is incredibly regulated (by species) to permits and dates and times for each precinct/ town/ municipality. And I think there are also limits. You also have to use a dog.

    There are more, but i’ll save it for that forum!

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