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Proposing Official State Lichens

  • 06 Mar 2024 5:36 PM
    Message # 13325979

    I'd love to get a thread going about lichens that you think would make good official state (or provincial) lichens. I'm submitting a little writeup about my thoughts to the newsletter, and want to get other people involved!

    Just some thoughts on potential species to suggest:

    Oregon -

    • Letharia columbiana? Iconic, name recalls the Columbia river, striking color, very noticeable, everywhere.
    • Sulcaria badia? Rare, only a few populations, really interesting color and habitat.
    • Lobaria oregana? Huge and weird, everyone knows the "giant lettuce leaves", named after Oregon.

    Washington -

    • Usnea longissima? Amazing, beautiful, everyone knows it, threatened.
    • Bryoria fremontii/(tortuosa)? Important indigenous and wildlife food (not the tortuosa variant), everywhere.
    • Pseudocyphellaria rainierensis? Rare, old-growth associated, can help bring knowledge to diminishing populations, named after Mt. Rainier!

    British Columbia -

    • Cladonia borealis? Cladonias are adorable, and this one is named for the Boreal forest.
    • Alectoria vancouverensis? Alectoria have a great common name (Witches Hair) and it's named for Vancouver!
    • Hypogymnia canadensis? Hypogymnia are ubiquitous and it's named for Canada.

    Idaho -

    I honestly don't know much about Idaho lichens so just went with ones with idahoensis as the species epithet ;)

    • Esslingeriana idahoensis?
    • Rhizoplaca idahoensis? Narrow endemic, endangered
    • Xanthoparmelia idahoensis? Endangered

    I don't have enough knowledge to suggest other states or provinces in the PNW

    Last modified: 06 Mar 2024 5:48 PM | Tiffany Theden
  • 07 Mar 2024 8:48 AM
    Reply # 13326228 on 13325979

    For BC: the red jewels of terricolous shrub steppe inhabitant, Enchylium bachmannianum, serve to highlight the public's attention to its most valued (and underreported) ecosystem in the world for stability in carbon sequestration...we are fortunate to have vast shrub steppe in BC but it is being irreversibly damaged by human development and improper grazing so education is key; if it were about luxuriant beauty, Pseudocyphellaria sp. and others in highly endangered Old Growth Forest would be fine; hey, even Diploschistes or Macrospora is compelling in macro, but the rare Gypsoplaca macrophylla...not so much

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  • 07 Mar 2024 8:58 AM
    Reply # 13326240 on 13325979

    For Oregon I suggest Umbilicaria phaea var. coccinea. It’s bright red color and limited area along the Klamath River. 

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  • 07 Mar 2024 10:21 AM
    Reply # 13326273 on 13325979

    This is a great idea, Tiff! Let's collect names for a while, then vote. THEN someone needs to talk to CALS and see what it took to make it happen in California. At least a good writeup and probably someone in the state legislature to sponsor it.

    Let's try one state at a time!

    All good ideas from everyone!

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