Ep. 43: Lorelle Morel - Forest Biology, Fire Ecology and an Obsession with Wild Foods (feat. Lorelle Sherman)

Today on Mushroom Hour we have the amazing opportunity to interview Lorelle Sherman. Lorelle is an accomplished field naturalist who has studied flora, fauna and funga of diverse ecosystems across the US. She received her BS in Forest and Wildlife Biology from the University of Vermont and received her Masters Degree in Forest Ecology at Oregon State University. 

In the wilds near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, we find a young Lorelle bounding across neighbors' yards to sneak away to the nearest woodland. She found a calling at the University of Vermont to explore nature and its wildlife more deeply and to share her passion with others. She would return after her college years to work with the Western PA Conservancy and become an environmental educator. What are some effective methods she has learned to communicate environmental information and inspire others to learn more about the natural world? 

Pursuing a Masters degree in forest ecology, Lorelle made her way to Oregon in the Pacific Northwest. Along with studying flora, fauna and funga interconnections in the forest, Lorelle has researched the tremendous importance of forest fires. Forests like the Cascade forests she has researched in the Pacific Northwest introduce us to the concept of fire-dependent ecosystems. There are plants and fungi that have evolved to rely on forest fires to reproduce and there are even birds that rely on fires to thrive! Applying this knowledge, we ask hard questions like, is human management necessary in forest ecosystems or is it best to leave it alone? Are prescribed fires a neglected tool that can help prevent more disastrous forest fires? 

Lorelle's deep passion for nature has always involved wild foods. Foraging has evolved from a teenage hobby, to leading groups at college, to now teaching others about wild food at the Wildcraft Studio in Portland Oregon. She believes everyone should be empowered to supplement their diet with wild foods from nature, so long as we remember the importance of sustainability. We'll learn about her new wild food business and how she is blending her passions to forge her own path into the forest. 

Directed, Recorded, Produced by: Mushroom Hour

Music by: Ancient Baby (https://peckthetowncrier.bandcamp.com/
Art by: Wyn Di Stefano (http://www.wyndistefano.com/

Episode Resources   
Lorelle Morel (Website): http://www.lorellemorel.com/ 
Lorelle Morel (IG): https://www.instagram.com/lorellemorel/ 
Western Pennsylvania Conservancy: https://waterlandlife.org/ 
"Edible Wild Plants" by John Kallas (Book): https://www.amazon.com/Edible-Wild-Plants-Foods-Adventure/dp/1423601505 
"Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast" by Jim Pojar (Book): https://www.amazon.com/Plants-Pacific-Northwest-Coast-Pojar/dp/1772130087 
WildCraft Studio: https://wildcraftstudioschool.com/ 
Rhizopogon (Fungi): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhizopogon 
Shaggy Mane (Mushroom): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coprinus_comatus

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