Not even mushrooms are safe

Regarding the article "Pacific Mushroom Business Attracts Tax Evasion, Competitive Violence," June 1: We might do well to pause briefly before we again exploit the forests of the Northwest. Disturbing the mycelium that puts forth the fruiting bodies we call mushrooms not only impairs future mushroom "blooms," it also damages the forest matrix itself.

Webs of mycelia connect, in interdependent relationships, all things that grow in the forest. To upset them with rakes and leaf blowers searching for mushrooms is akin to trying to pick apples by breaking branches off the apple tree.

Exporting mushrooms from public lands will generate the same kind of unwanted pressure that exporting unprocessed logs did. Our forests are proffering untold riches for our wise enjoyment. Can we marshal the wisdom? Kurt E. Volckmar, Garberville, Calif.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please fax letters to (617) 450-2317 or address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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