Great Alberta Mushroom Foray 2024

Cold Lake Alberta

August 30 to September 2, 2024


The 2024 Great Alberta Mushroom Foray (GAMF) will take place in the beautiful boreal forest in Cold Lake, Alberta.  Areas of the boreal forest are protected in Cold Lake Provincial Park.  Foraying for fungi for scientific purposes is allowed with a permit.  The GAMF is taking place on the September long weekend, starting on Friday, August 30 and ending at noon on September 2, 2024.

A view of Kinosoo Beach on Cold Lake from the Water Treatment Plant, located in Cold Lake, Alberta, Canada. By Wolfmum – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=78832188


The Energy Centre at Cold Lake

The Energy Centre fieldhouse, sports room and main hallways will serve as our meeting place starting with a hosted wine and cheese potluck, with drinks provided on Friday evening.  Meet and mingle to meet the scientists and the foray leaders and other participants.  Saturday and Sunday we will meet to set out on forays, dine together and listen to our speakers to learn more about identifying fungi and biochemical aspects of fungi. Our finale on Monday will be an exposition of both identified and yet to be identified macrofungi of the region.  Meeting, dining, identifying, and listening to presentations all to happen at the Energy Centre.

Energy Centre front entrance, Cold Lake Alberta


Forays: 

During the weekend there will be 12 forays offered which explore the region. Some of which will occur in the Cold Lake Provincial Park; others will take place in Natural or Grazing areas or on private land with permission.  Each participant will have the opportunity to take part in four different forays.

Permitted forays (aka Forays requiring a permit) in the boreal forest of Cold Lake Provincial Park

Cold Lake Provincial Park By Chaplain143 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=60390499


Accommodation:

The Cold Lake Provincial Campsite has been booked for tenters and campers at the affordable rate of $150/UNIT for the weekend.  If this type of accommodation suits you, please choose this option when registering for GAMF.  If you prefer a roof over your head, there are several affordable motels and hotels in Cold Lake such as the Cold Lake, Alberta Bed and Breakfast | Lakeshore Inn (lakeshore-inn.com), the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Cold Lake, an IHG Hotel – ReservationDesk.com, and the  Hotel Dene & Conference Centre – Guest Reservations .  If this type of accommodation suits you, please make your own reservations.


Expert fungal identification and presentations by:

Paul Kroeger, Michael Schulz and Martin Osis

Paul Kroeger is an AMS favourite for his vast taxonomic and biochemical knowledge of fungi.  His expertise lies in his understanding of the myriad of ways mushrooms can poison you and hence he will be sharing with you a summary of mushroom poisoning cases from the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control/ Poison Control for 2023-2024.  Yes, mushroom poisoning is very real.

Paul Kroeger has also established himself as an expert on psilocybin-containing mushrooms by tracking the ancient use of these mushrooms first named Teonanácatl, Nahuatl for divine mushrooms, to the present-day research of psilocybin-containing mushrooms for medical treatment.  He fondly calls this his “talk on magic mushrooms.”

As well, Paul will be circulating throughout the day either at the Energy Centre or joining a foray leader on a foray assisting with identifying the hundreds of macrofungi we are likely to collect.


Michael Schulz was a long time Board Member, having served as Vice President in the recent past from 2018 to 2023 and earlier in other positions for about a decade in the early 2000s.  For his service on the Board and to the Society, at the 2023 AGM, he was named as a Lifetime Member of the Alberta Mycological Society.

Over the years, Michael’s contribution to the Society has varied but at most Great Alberta Mushroom Forays, Michael can be found close to his reference library, his microscope and his reagents.  Michael is a key identifier of our foraged finds at the GAMF.  He looks at the fungal spore shapes and sizes and he tests their tissue with KOH, and Melzer’s Reagent. His work contributes to the microscopic identification of macrofungi.  Most of the participants use the macroscopic morphology of the fungus for identification.

In addition to this work this year, Michael will share with us an update on his work that contributes to the study of 60,000+ species to be featured in the Wild Species 2025 Report for Canada. This past year Michael performed the 2025 update of conservation ranks for the macrofungi of Alberta and Saskatchewan. For this, he compiled over 34,000 records of 2332 species of larger fungi in Alberta, and 851 in Saskatchewan, including updating names and taxonomy. Mike will present some of the most interesting findings, such as “Your Hebolomas are Wrong”, “The Hyperdiversity of (Not-so) Boring Crusts”, “The Pain of Pine Mushrooms” and much more!

Pictured below is a very large cedar and a selfie of Mike:


Martin Osis is another mainstay at the Great Alberta Mushroom Forays annually as he was on the organizing committee of the very first GAMF in 2006 and he has either been the lead, on the committee, or a presenter/identifier at every subsequent GAMF.  Where have we foraged Greatly in Alberta? Just ask Martin.  Where will we forage Greatly in Alberta? Just ask Martin.  Don’t know if you’ve collected something special in Alberta? Just ask Martin.

Martin has also had an equally long association with the AMS Board of Directors and with the Alberta Mycological Society.  In 1987, he was one of the first 45 members of the AMS way back when it was called the Edmonton Mycological Club.

As this GAMF, Martin will be found in the fieldhouse verifying identifications of hundreds of macrofungi based on his prior experience and the morphological characteristics of the specimens. Additionally, he will be providing his annual Introduction to Mushroom Identification.

For more information on Martin Osis and his photographs see his website Martin On Mushrooms

Martin on Mushrooms in a beautiful stand of birch and Aspen.
Photograph by Melanie Fjoser.


This webpage on the 2024 Great Alberta Mushroom Foray will be updated as we know more.  More speakers, more programming, just more to come.

Hope to see you at the 2024 Great Alberta Mushroom Foray.

Karen Slevinsky

President, AMS


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