Forestry and Mycology: A journey into their scientific, managerial, commercial, culinary and creative synergies
PilzWald is my sole proprietorship enterprise for offering consulting services, selling products and sharing information. It evolved from a career and avocations that encompassed both forestry and mycology. This page provides a synopsis of that journey.
A love of nature that developed during childhood led me to forest fire fighting and reforestation on four National Forests in Oregon in the 1970’s, followed by a M.S. in Forest Ecology at Oregon State University in the early 1980’s. During this period, picking chanterelles with friends lured me into fascination with all things fungal in the forest. Hence my thesis naturally involved ectomycorrhizae on planted tree seedlings.
Subsequently, I helped grow millions of tree seedlings as Seed and Sowing Coordinator for the Oregon D.L. Phipps State Forest Nursery. As a personal hobby, I also grew thousands of rare and unusual trees from seed I collected on outings. After leaving the state nursery, I advocated for alternatives to the unsustainable cutting of ancient yews to obtain their bark for trials of the anti-cancer drug taxol. Starting in 1990, I operated a business called “Special Trees” through which I collected seeds of native Pacific yews and sold them for research on taxol production. I also grew several thousand yew saplings that have been commemoratively planted in various locations.
The core of my forest mycology career ensued when I worked for nine years as a research botanist for the Mycology Team of the Pacific Northwest Research Station (USDA Forest Service) and four more years as a researcher for Oregon State University. During this time I studied whether extensive commercial harvesting of edible forest mushrooms was sustainable and how to manage forests to ensure perpetual mushroom harvesting opportunities for everyone. These research foci naturally broadened to encompass nontimber forest products and collaborative resource management. In the mid-2000’s, I started a new business “PilzWald – Forestry Applications of Mycology” to continue this work through consulting, contracts and publications.
Rather than expound further, most of the publications from my eclectic career are freely available for download from my Publications page.
I retired from working for government agencies in 2013 and now enjoy the liberty to pursue any interests I choose through the auspices of PilzWald. See my Consulting page for some of the services I can provide. On my Buy page you will find my first mushroom fiction novel (of a planned series), a new printing of the MycoBandanna, and a color version of the bandanna artwork that is suitable for framing. My Archives section includes information on yews, the original printing of the MycoBandanna, on-line mushroom research posters and other items as they accrue. The Links page lists other sites and pages of potential interest. The Contact page allows us to become acquainted while I avoid the spam email and robo-phone calls that resulted from listing my email and phone number on my last web site.
See you in the mushroom forest!