Aerial bombardment of Morchella sclerotia into burned forestlan

BrianMc brianmc at
Tue Sep 20 01:36:01 EST 1994

Aerial Innoculation of a Burn Site with Morchella angusticeps

By way of introduction, I am a dedicated amateur mycologist.  I
dislike the term "pot-hunter" as it grossly misrepresents my
wide-ranging interests.  I have been collecting, studying, and
yes even eating wild mushrooms since a very early age.  My
parents and grandparents all hunted mushrooms, so it's safe to
say that it's become the family calling. For the past year I've
been quietly publishing a biweekly newsletter, "MycoInfo" via the

A close reading of some recent literature on the cultivation of
gourmet mushrooms (Stamets, Paul "Growing Gourmet & Medicinal
Mushroom" 10 Speed Press 1993) revealed this interesting tidbit:

   "I have always envisioned, being a mad scientist at heart,
   aerially bombarding prospective habitats with Morel
   sclerotia. Every time I see a television report of
   airplanes using a fireretardent to quelch a forest fire, I
   imagine their returning a week or two later and bombing the
   same site with a sclerotial slurry of Morel spawn.  I
   happily volunteer to be the spawn maker and the bombadier!"

Never one to let an outrageous statment go unchallenged, I
contacted Paul Stamets, and asked if he were serious about
undertaking such an endevour.  In short, he is, and after several
weeks of background work, pouring over maps of recent fires,
drumming up support from aquaintances on my mailing list, the
project has reached the following point:

Stamets has begun the spawn run which will result in 1000lbs of
sclerotial spawn of Morchella angusticeps.  In addition, he has
enlisted the aid of Ken Russell, the cheif forest pathologist at
the Washington State DNR, who in turn is making calls for
approval of bombing the site of the Rat Creek fire near
Leavenworth, WA.  The site will be approximately four acres, half
of which will serve as a control patch, and half which will be
innoculated with the morel spawn.

I have written to several individuals in regards to locating a
pilot, and a suitable plane. To date we have at least one, and at
most three possible pilots, but no clear offer of a plane.  
According to Stamets, we might be able to get a seeder for
broadcasting the mycelium.  Any reasonable offers of a suitable
aircraft for this one-time project are welcome.

We are also in need of individuals willing to volunteer time to
act as spotters from the ground, and to survey the site at
regular intervals after the innoculation. Any who wish to
participate in this portion of the project should contact me via

At this point, the project is being run ad hoc, as a volunteer
effort.  We have not sought, nor are we yet seeking financial

I would like to encourage an open an freewheeling debate.  Please
respond to me via e-mail and I will summarize in a follow-up

|Brian McNett                  e-mail: <brianmc at> 
|Editor: MycoInfo         Submissions: <mycoinfo at>
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