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Posted July 22, 2011

Likiní a lichen? Why not put your name on it forever?

Fundraiser to protect important habitat for mountain caribou, other B.C. species

The Province, July 22, 2011

Likiní a lichen? Why not put your name on it forever?
Click for larger image

The lichens being auctioned off for namining rights are a key part of the diet of BC's mountain caribou.
Photo from The Province

Land conservationists hoping to preserve a critical wildlife corridor in central B.C. have come up with a unique fundraising method.

Barry Booth, a manager with The Land Conservancy of B.C., said naming rights for two newly discovered species of forest lichen will be auctioned off.

“It’s a wonderful way to raise millions of dollars for conservation as new species are discovered,” he said in a press release on Friday.

The lichens are small, stationary organisms often mistaken for plants, but are actually co-operative unions of fungi and algae.

Some lichens provide critical winter food for animals like B.C.’s mountain caribou.

Highest bidders will earn the right to name the lichens after loved ones, themselves or someone else.

The auction has already attracted bids from two prominent B.C. botanists.

National Geographic explorer Wade Davis, who lives in the Stikine Valley in northern B.C., has made a $3,000 bid.

And Andy MacKinnon, a noted author who works as a forest ecologist for the B.C. government, has offered $3,200.

“We’re lucky to have B.C.’s rock star botanists support this groundbreaking conservation fundraiser,” said Ken Wu, co-founder of the Ancient Forest Alliance.

Botanical researcher Trevor Goward, who discovered the lichens, said having your name linked to a living species is “a legacy that lasts.”

“With any luck, your name will endure as long as civilization lasts. Not even Shakespeare could hope for more than that,” Goward said.

The funds will be used to purchase private lands in the Clearwater Valley adjacent to Wells Gray Provincial Park.

Conservationists say the corridor is needed to connect two separate portions of southern Wells Gray.

The bidding is being held at an online auction running at www.conservancy.bc.ca and www.ancientforestalliance.org until Oct. 2.


Read more: http://www.theprovince.com/technology/Likin+lichen+your+name+forever/5145079/story.html#ixzz1TAwSYtIW

 


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