February 25, 2008

The Gears of Ecological Bureaucracy Turn Slowly

I've just gotten off of a phone conversation that gave me an answer I've been waiting to hear for better than two months now. I will be getting a special permit to collect fungi in the Wachusett State Reserve. When the weather warms up, I'll be able to hold my head up high and gather specimens for my research without fear of legal penalties.

I'm glad that I started this process when I did. I had no idea it would take as long as it has, nor did I know how many people would ultimately get involved. In the end, the approval had to be granted by the chief forester for the region. If I had waited until spring, I probably would have missed much of the season. As things stand, though, I should have the permit by the time Spring Break ends. I'll be able to start gathering as soon as the weather has warmed up and the polyporoids begin fruiting again.

In the past week, then, I've put together my committee and gotten the permit I've needed. Not bad; I get to go off for a birthday trip to NYC with a sense that I've actually gotten something done.

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