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British Columbia Ancient Forests News
Lichen auction closes Dec. 15
BCLocalNews.com, December 7, 2011The new species of Bryoria or horsehair lichen forms elegant black tresses on the branches of trees in old-growth forests.
Two "name that lichen" auctions organized by Upper Clearwater naturalist Trevor Goward will end on Thursday, Dec. 15.
As of press-time late last week, the highest bid on an auction to name a new species of crottle lichen was $7,000 from an individual named Robert Pirooz.
The highest bid to name a new species of horsehair lichen was $3,500 from a Don McKay of Ontario.
"This is as Canadian as it gets," said Goward. "With Christmas coming, here's a perfect opportunity to give something back to Canada and at the same time honor a loved one - or a favorite hockey team - by naming a Canadian lichen after them."
"Without lichens, caribou and reindeer would soon disappear; and where would Santa Claus be then?" he asked.
The crottle lichen auction is being done through the Land Conservancy of BC. The money raised will be used for the organization's campaign to establish a wetlands and wildlife corridor in Upper Clearwater.
The corridor would create a connection between two lobes of Wells Gray Park. It also would protect over 130 acres, including 67 acres of wetlands and a 10-acre meadow that is home to Canada's most diverse population of moonwort ferns (Botrychium spp.).
The crottle lichen or Parmeli whose name is being auctioned consists of strap-like lobes, pale grayish above and black below. It inhabits the branches of trees in B.C.'s inland rainforests such as the Clearwater Valley
The second lichen name auction is being done through the Ancient Rainforest Alliance.
The money raised in the second auction would be used to help protect B.C.'s rainforests, especially on public land.
The new species of Bryoria or horsehair lichen forms elegant black tresses on the branches of trees in old-growth forests.
An online auction in 2005 for the naming of a new species of monkey in Bolivia netted $650,000. Money raised by that auction went to protecting the monkey's habitat.
"It's been almost three centuries since Carolus Linnaeus invented the modern biological classification system; and even now the names of the people he honored in the name of various plants and animals are still with us," said Goward. "With any luck, your name will last at least as long as Canada does."
Further information and a chance to bid are at Land Conservancy (TLC) of British Columbia (http://blog.conservancy.bc.ca/) and the Ancient Forest Alliance (AFA) (www.ancientforestalliance.org/) websites.
Lichens are small organisms that are cooperative (symbiotic) unions of fungi and algae: fungi that have discovered agriculture. Check out Goward's website at www.waysofenlichenment.net/ for more lichen information.