We recently launched a study evaluating native Turkey Tail mushroom spores as an alternative to herbicides for inhibiting brush growth in tanoak following logging operations. Thanks to grants from the Community Foundation of Mendocino County and the George & Ruth Bradford Foundation, we have commenced a preliminary evaluation of the potential efficacy of Turkey Tail mushrooms for brush control purposes. The grant project is for at least two years, and we are maximizing use of volunteers, including the pro bono services of one of our Board of Directors who is a registered professional forester working in Mendocino County.
The Turkey Tail fungus is a very common mushroom native to Mendocino County woods, generally found on fallen logs or tree stumps year round, although the fungi can also be found on living trees. The Turkey Tail fungus breaks down the dead wood of a tree, using it as nutrients for itself while helping clear the forest for new growth. This evaluation will develop information on whether the turkey tail and/or similar saprophytic native fungi could eliminate or retard tanoak sprouting, obviating the need for chemical treatment and creating an ecosystem approach to brush control. In addition, Turkey Tail is considered a medicinal mushroom with proponents citing benefits in boosting immune systems and fighting cancer. This evaluation will also be useful in determining whether Turkey Tail could be grown to create a secondary economic benefit of medicinal mushroom cultivation in our local forests.
We are currently seeking to hire an Intern Program Assistant-- preferred application deadline is August 30, 2019, but applications will be accepted until position is filled. Click here for more information.