|BOTANICAL ELECTRONIC NEWS|
|No. 446 December 21, email@example.com||Victoria, B.C.|
Answer: $17,900.00 + $4,000
Public auctions for the naming rights to two undescribed lichens came to close on December 15. The lichens were discovered in British Columbia's rainforests by Trevor Goward, curator of lichens at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum. Earlier this year Trevor decided to "loan" his new species as fundraisers for the Ancient Forest Alliance (AFA) and The Land Conservancy (TLC), both based in Victoria. The AFA's lichen, a Bryoria, festoons the branches of trees in elegant black tresses. Wildlife artist Anne Hansen bid $4,000 for the right to name this species Bryoria kockiana in memory of her husband, University of Guelph horticulturist Henry Kock, who passed away in 2005. The money will be used by AFA in their efforts to halt the liquidation of B.C.'s remaining oldgrowth forests. The other lichen, a Parmelia, also a branch-dweller, sparked a bidding war that raised $17,900 for TLC and resulted in the name Parmelia sulymae, in memory of B.C. biologist Randy Sulyma who died tragically in early 2011. The money will help TLC create a wildlife corridor for southern Wells Gray Provincial Park. Trevor notes that approximately 18,000 species are described as new to science every year. He hopes the success of these auctions will encourage taxonomists around the world to put new species to work on behalf of the ecosystems that support them - an initiative he refers to as "taxonomic tithing" (http://waysofenlichenment.net/tithe/introduction).
Botany BC was held this year at Tatlayoko Lake in the West Chilcotin region. Tatlayoko is a long, narrow lake running north-south along the eastern edge of the Coast Mountains. Mount Waddington, the highest mountain entirely within B.C., is just to the west of the lake. At the south end, the Homathko River flows out and cuts through the mountains to the Pacific Ocean.
On Thursday evening, July 14th, people started to gather at Bracewell's Ranch which is located at the south end of Tatlayoko Lake. Most people were either staying in the lodge at the ranch, or pitching their tents in the field nearby.
That evening Carla Mellott gave us a talk on her master's thesis, which was based on the ethnobotany of the local native people. Her talk was entitled The Potato Mountain Area and Ethno-ecology of Mountain Potato (Claytonia lanceolata Pall. ex Pursh).
Potato Mountain looms over the north side of Bracewell's Ranch. It was very important in the life of the native people in the entire Chilcotin region. They would come from far away for annual festivities. Several days would be spent harvesting the mountain potato and participating in games and social gatherings.
At nine a.m. the next morning several groups left to hike up Potato Mountain. The hike was nothing short of spectacular. On the way up and down were extraordinarily rich displays of wild flowers. A late, wet spring had made it even better than normal. Local people said it was the best they had ever seen. What made it even better was the different ecological regimes we went through.
On the way up, on the south side of the mountain, we went through meadows dominated by balsamroot (Balsamorhiza sagittata (Pursh) Nutt.). At the top we were in the alpine with small, beautiful flowers clinging to the rock face. On the way down, on the east side of the mountain, the balsamroot disappeared, and mountain potato (Claytonia lanceolata Pall. ex Pursh) and western anemone (Pulsatilla occidentalis (S. Wats.) Freyn) predominated.
When we reached the top of the mountain, we were treated to stunning views. To the west the long narrow ribbon of Tatlayoko Lake stretched beneath us, and beyond that the high mountains of the Coast Range ran completely along the horizon. To the east stretched meadows all along the east side of the mountain, rich areas for wild life and grazing. In the distance were the Chilcotin grasslands, and a glimpse of Chilco Lake.
After the day spent hiking, we arrived back at the lodge just after five p.m. We had a barbecue supper at Bracewell's, and listened to a talk by Gerry Bracewell, the matriarch of the Bracewell clan. She has had an extraordinary life. She told us about one exceptional incident which happened in 1953. At this time the "Freedom Highway", linking Williams Lake and Bella Coola, was in its final stage of construction. The last link being worked on was the famous "Hill", where the highway, in a relatively short distance, plunges from the Chilcotin Plateau to the Bella Coola valley. She saw that history was being made with nobody to record it. So she rode out there with two small children and a movie camera. She managed to get dramatic footage of the final completion of the highway. After talking to us about it, she showed us a CBC film which incorporated this footage.
The next day we met at the Lincoln Ranch which is at the north end of the lake. This is the headquarters for the work of the Nature Conservancy of Canada in the region. They own several properties in this area. We attempted to go out to one property, Skinner Meadows, but the roads were too wet and muddy to get there. So instead, we headed east to grasslands just north of Chelquoit Lake, and browsed the native flora in an enclosure study area set aside for just this purpose. Later we drove over to the lake, and on rises by the lake found a cactus.
That evening we gathered at Tatla Lake Community Centre. We had a delicious dinner catered by a local group, and heard three presentations.
The first was by Peter Shaughnessy, the head of Nature Conservancy's operations in the region. He gave us excellent descriptions of the properties they own and what they are attempting to do. Next we had Kristi Iverson, who is doing research on the ecological implications of fire in the region. Her talk was entitled Botanical implications of altered fire regimes in the Chilcotin. Finally, Jim Pojar gave a talk on the extensive changes that are being made to official botanical names. He acknowledged that many people might disagree or even be upset by these changes, but they are established and we will have to live with them.
On Sunday there was a further hike to a place called Skinner Mountain. Unfortunately we could not stay. But we had already had a truly extraordinary weekend, one I will never forget.
The University of Washington Herbarium (WTU) at the Burke Museum has published an identification guide to the alpine flowers of Mt. Rainier, the result of a year-long collaboration between Donovan Tracy, a University of Washington alum, and Collections Manager David Giblin. Donovan shot all of the images for the guide, many of which can be found at his outstanding Flowers of Rainier Web site (http://www.flowersofrainier.com/.
The guide folds out like a hiking map, has photos and brief descriptions for 90 common alpine species, is organized by flower color, and provides both scientific and common names. The guide is printed on waterproof, tear- resistant EcoStone paper. Maria Yousoufian and Gar-Yun Ho handled the layout, Taylor Branday and Daniel Ra did the graphic design, and Carol Nygren provided us with the inspiration for the project.
The guide retails for $8.95 and is available at gifts shops on Mt. Rainier, and is available online through Discover Your Northwest (http://www.discovernw.org/store_alpine-flowers-of-mt-rainier_19246.html). In Seattle you can find it at the Burke Museum, Seattle Audubon, Metsker Maps, and Third Place Books. Proceeds will support the Herbarium's field research and educational outreach activities.
Images of the guide and more information about it can be found here:
The convenient, light-weight, pocket-sized, laminated field guide contains 43 edible and 8 poisonous mushrooms common in the Pacific Northwest [and many common beyond the PNW]. All mushrooms are depicted with sharp, full-color photos and descriptions. Furthermore, habitat, fruiting season, edibility and difficulty of identification are indicated (see samples below).
Field Guide to Edible Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest by Daniel Winkler, Cost: $7.95 Washington State residents please add $0.76 sales tax (total $11.66). Canadians please use WA tax charge for higher mailing cost.
Handling & Shipping $2.95
Available from: http://www.danielwinkler.com/id185.htm Check also Daniel Winkler's MushRoaming page: www.MushRoaming.com
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