The North American Mycological Association and the Arizona Mushroom Society, Inc., are pleased to announce their 2017 Arizona Regional Foray. Our chief mycologist will be Purdue's Dr. Scott Bates, director of the Arizona Mycota Project, and perhaps the leading active expert on the mycoflora of Arizona. Also attending will be Agaricus expert Dr. Rick Kerrigan.
We will be based at 9,000 feet amidst the mixed conifer forests of the White Mountains, but thanks to Arizona's remarkably varied terrain elevation, we will be within an easy drive of an amazing diversity of fungal habitat. Elevations in the vicinity range from 3,000 feet up to 11,000 feet. Biomes span from high desert riparian zones, to the arid mid-elevation piñon/juniper/manzanita forest, to vast stands of Ponderosa/oak/aspen growth, to the mixed-conifer forest composed mostly of firs and spruces, to subalpine habitat where bristlecone pines and lichens may be found.
These are the homelands of the Apache people, who call themselves Dzil Łigai Si'án Ndee, or "People of the White Mountains." From the days when their ancestors depended on foraging in these lush forests, to today's large scale tourism, hunting, fishing, and timber enterprises, these forests have sustained the tribe since time immemorial.
Adjoining the Apache reservation, there are many thousands of square miles of public land administered by the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, Bureau of Land Management, and Arizona State Land Department.
Fungal growth in this area is diverse and exuberant in the monsoon season from late July to early September, when it is common for 20 inches or more of rain to fall, and typically is at its peak in early August. There is also a spring morel season that peaks in May.
Arizona and New Mexico have a mycoflora that differs in many respects from the rest of the Western U.S., having much in common with the fungi of Mexico and Eastern North America. Our "Sun Caesar," Amanita "cochiseana" nom. prov., is a conspicuous, common, and delicious local variety of the Caesar's amanita. The Barrows' bolete or white king bolete, Boletus barrowsii, is highly sought for the table and relatively common under Ponderosa pine in this area. Eastern species such as Gyroporus cyanescens, Sparassis americana f. arizonica, and Harrya chromapes are found here in their most southerly and westerly distributions. Arizona has a number of undescribed Amanita, Agaricus, Boletus and many other species that may interest the more scientifically minded among us.
The program and fees for this event are still being worked out, but you should bookmark this page and check back frequently. Registrations should open before the beginning of April. Spaces are limited to 75 attendees, so don't procrastinate. Our dates of August 10-13 are just a week before the famous Telluride Mushroom Festival, a half day's drive to the north of our meeting location, which may appeal to those who wish to make a long trip out West.
If you wish to look for a roommate or someone to ride-share with, or want to discuss anything else about the meeting with others who are thinking of attending, please go to the 2017 NAMA/AMS Foray Forum and leave a comment.
We look forward to welcoming you to our little-known but interesting corner of the mycosphere. If you have any questions, you may contact Chris May, the President of the AMS, at 480-326-6863 or via email.