In late August, 2017, AMC took its first trip to the recently established Rocky Fork State Park in E. Tennessee. The park is 2,037 acres of scenic backcountry designated in October 2012. Acquisition of the park was made possible with the cooperation and dedication of several government and non-profit groups, including the U.S. Forest Service, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation; the Heritage Conservation Fund; The Conservation Fund and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.
The park is surrounded on three sides by the Cherokee National Forest. The steep, rugged terrain is drained by numerous cool mountain streams including its namesake, Rocky Fork Creek, which flows through the park. The park is predominately Appalachian cove forest, one of the most biologically diverse habitats in North America diversity. Mycologically rich as well!
The 21 members who attended found 89 species including 6 species new to the club. The Park Ranger, Jesse Germeraad, was very helpful and enjoyed joining us for part of the foray. Our species list will add to the growing knowledge about this new park.
Thanks to Renate Rohmann for rejoining the club after several months away and stepping up to serve as foray mycologist. Thanks also to Jackie Scheib and several others for helping with this task. It is notable how many future mycologists the Asheville Mushroom Club is nurturing when you see so many members assisting with species identification. Alice Cohen was foray lead assisted by Sue Brown, Ed Mayer and Jackie Scheib who also led hikes during the day. Thanks also to Dan Manning, Foray Committee Chair, for guidance on leading a foray and coordinating with the Park on proper permitting.