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Fungus Conservation Trust Formerly The Association of British Fungus Groups • View topic - What is the best way forward?
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What is the best way forward?

PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 3:49 pm
by admin
This new forum has been opened because the debate over issues relating to the ABFG, the BMS and their at times roller-coaster relationship is likely to increase, so such a forum seems worthy of its own space. As David Edington has noted in the General Discussion pages, the BMS recently issued a questionnaire to all its members and ex-members about the way it should go forward. More or less at the same time Pete Stevens of Natural England kindly made an offer here to host a meeting between the BMS and ABFG with the purpose of establishing where common ground exists and whether it can be built on.

By way of a considered response on the ABFG's future course and a possible solution to the desirability of cooperation, an article that is due to be published in the June issue of the Forayer magazine has now been inserted, ahead of publication, in the News section of the ABFG online website. The article may be of interest to forum readers. It takes up too much space to copy here but you can access it by clicking the link: http://www.abfg.org/news.php

MJ

Re: What is the best way forward?

PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 11:31 am
by admin
The article on the ABFG website news page has now been replaced by the second of two fairly candid examinations of the present situation. This second article, also published in The Forayer examines the history of, and reasons for, the collapse of the Red Data project. The fiasco that has dogged this vital conservation exercise, supposedly intended to give landowners, conservation agencies and the field community guidance on which UK fungal species are most vulnerable and in need of our protection is something that we should learn from so that it is less likely to happen again. It begins, as someone put it to me recently in terse fashion, to make us look like 'nutters in anoraks'. http://www.abfg.org/news.php

MJ

Re: What is the best way forward?

PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 10:37 pm
by tomkirby
Having recently become "concerned" by the depth of feeling held by respected members of my own group, the NEFSG, over the BMS/ABFG positioning (a diplomatic term) I was tempted to fire off a few ill-chosen words on the subject whilst I was still "hot"..so to speak.
I found that I cooled down surprisingly quickly and this caused me to question my own interest in the whole issue....i.e. did I really care and if so how much and would it last forever and should we marry.

I had, fortunately, a prepared tome which I was tempted to post immediately following Michael's post on the subject way back in June '09. I feel the the time time is right, or more right, right now. See below.

[b]Coming down firmly on the fence….and why not?

It is all too easy to distance oneself from a discordant situation and take the pragmatic high ground. Polemical strategy often uses this ploy as a means to an end….stand back from the fray and take a view. Let the battle rage without and then when peace breaks out, one can always claim to have been on the winning side; but this BMS/ABFG contretemps is bringing about such polarisation that unless we declare allegiances and support right now we will loose one or both of these immensely valuable resources.
To be frank, the previous paragraph is more than a little tongue-in-cheek. I am sorry to say that I for one am becoming immune to the cris de coeur of BOTH protagonists. To make oneself clear it is always best to speak with a single voice and so I cannot speak for anyone but myself. I am an enthusiastic amateur field mycologist not a war correspondent. My “hobby” is deep-seated and long-standing. It is born in woodland peace and silence and walks in grassy places and mossy denes. It takes me to sand dunes and swamps, windswept moors and dark pine forests. It cheers me with the presence of like-minded people and stimulates me by the wealth of knowledge proffered up to me.
So what on earth is going on? This beautiful world of wonder and safe intrigue is somehow becoming tainted by a dissent that has NOTHING whatsoever to do with fungi…the conservation of…the recording of…the appreciation of…the IMPORTANCE of:but more to do with the faintly obscene rhetoric of almost doctrinaire factions.
Its no good standing in the wings….one must just take some time to decide what one personally wants from what may easily become a lifetime interest: and from that determined perspective one can take as much or as little from BOTH camps (wrong word but forced upon me) as one wishes.
I am a fully paid up member of the Darwinian Believer’s Cult and expect that because both the BMS and the ABFG have advantageous characteristics they will survive into perpetuity as separate bodies, unscathed and perhaps enhanced by natural selection. It will be such a great pity if unnatural forces come in to play which detract from commonalities and take us into evolution by politics; politics which, incidentally, has long since become debased by politicians but which originally was a process of arriving at decisions by debate and reason.
Please, let us move away from this battlefield whilst honour is still not totally lost by either side, and if we must have an ongoing process involving policy and direction, and we do, then let such issues be determined by evolution….we have enough excellence in the BMS and the ABFG permit this diversification.
I just don’t want to hear about rancour, bitterness and blue funk. Frankly, I am at the point where stratospheric point scoring is going right over my head. I shan’t look up…I am looking at fungi, thank you very much.

Re: What is the best way forward?

PostPosted: Sat Aug 14, 2010 9:36 pm
by GeoffDann
I'm an outsider to the ABFG/BMS political situation, but I'm keenly aware of the "political" situation between both groups and the "fungi-eating public". I'm only still posting here because the liberal wing of the fungi establishment convinced me to stay even though the conservative wing tried to chase me away. I've also now drawn comments like "who are you, the mushroom police?" when advising wannabe foragers from picking single specimens in an inedible state for hope of ID on a foragers site (I told them that I wasn't, but that I knew them. ;) ) There is lots of politics to go around.

What I want to say is this....reading this thread and the article it links to gave me a deja vu of when I joined the green party slightly over 20 years ago. I sat in a room for 2 hours listening to a bunch of people arguing about mind-numblingly boring internal politics, centred on the question of whether or not the green party could ideologically survive having only one leader. I never went back, and the green party as a whole nearly ceased to exist in the years which followed precisely because they appeared to outsiders to be "nerds in anoraks". In the real world a political party has one leader. It's a no-brainer.

Re: What is the best way forward?

PostPosted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 10:03 am
by admin

Re: What is the best way forward?

PostPosted: Sat Sep 04, 2010 9:09 am
by GeoffDann
Can somebody please explain to me, briefly, what the core of the disagreement is?

Re: What is the best way forward?

PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 10:55 pm
by david dell
The BMS can't stand anyone straying on to their grass.They run two forms of membership.Members are Important people in either the Fungi business or academics.The associate members are those to be found grubbing round looking for fungi in the field.They have no votes in the society.
But the seniors hope that rare items may be sent to Kew to add to the collection.The database fed by the local groups and others is run by a commercial company and not the BMS,even though they (BMS)gave it to the NBN. I will avoid commenting on the Red Data List!
I am an ex-associate member who gave up when they sent the subscription system for "Field Mycology" to the continent.

Re: What is the best way forward?

PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 8:44 am
by admin