Lichen legacy

Victorian wins provincial lichen-naming bid to honour late husband

The first time they met, Anne Hansen and Henry Kock both showed up for a canoe trip wearing mismatched canvas sneakers.

“We like to be different, in a fun, whimsical kind of way,” said Hansen, an artist based in James Bay, who wears two long braids and colourful knits. Their shared love of the outdoors also helped bring the couple together, more than two decades ago.

The pair lived in Ontario, where Kock earned a reputation as a horticulturalist at the University of Guelph. In 2005, he died of brain cancer.

Last week, Hansen found a fitting way to memorialize her late husband. For $4,000, she bought  the scientific naming rights to a newly-discovered lichen.

The horsehair lichen – which Hansen says resembles Kock’s beard – will be known as Bryoria kockiana.

“He would be thrilled,” said Hansen, of how Kock would feel about his lichen legacy.

After more than a decade of exposure to pesticides during his young working life, Kock dedicated himself to organic gardening. Hansen believes his cancer was a result of these pesticides, many of which are now banned.

Lichenologist Trevor Goward recently discovered the species of lichen in the southern Interior. In fact, he discovered two new species and he donated one to the Ancient Forest Alliance and one to The Land Conservancy to be put toward a Name-that-Lichen auction, which closed Dec. 15.

The naming auctions are the first example of “taxonomic tithing,” meaning they raise money for their own conservation, according to Goward.

“I believe that future auctions of this kind will garner even more support as Canadians awaken to the honour of being linked, if only in name, to other living species that share this planet with us,” he said, in a release.

The Sulyma family purchased naming rights from The Land Conservancy for $17,900. Parmelia sulymae has been named in honour of Randy Sulyma, a biologist at the University of British Columbia who died tragically in January. The money will got toward a $350,000 campaign to purchase a land corridor between two pieces of Wells Grey Park in the southern Interior of B.C.

The Ancient Forest Alliance will use the money from Hansen’s winning bid to map and report on old-growth forest on Vancouver Island.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Black Press Media file photo)
One man injured, Victoria police seek more suspects afer Centennial Square brawl

Police were called around 4:30 p.m. for reports of multiple people fighting

Saanich firefighters were called out to Hartland Road on Oct. 21 to help transport a mountain biker with neck and back injuries out of the woods. (Black Press Media file photo)
Patient with neck, back injuries rescued from Saanich bike trails

Saanich firefighters called in to help paramedics with transportation off Mount Work

Saanich South Liberal candidate Rishi Sharma commits to addressing issues at the five-way intersection of Interurban and Wilkinson roads in partnership with the municipality if elected. (Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich South Liberal candidate commits to improving Interurban/Wilkinson intersection

‘Confusing five-way intersection,’ needs attention, Rishi Sharma says

Oulette the Great Horned owl was spotted alive just days after her mate, Ollie, was found dead from suspected rat poisoning on Oct. 17. (Photo by Cheryl Redhead)
Great Horned owl mate found alive in Cuthbert Holmes Park

Oulette spotted in tree above where male Ollie died of suspected poisoning

Saanich Police are investigating a broken window at the Greater Victoria School District office. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Saanich police suspect slingshot used to break window at SD61 office

Police find ball- bearing, or pellet, below broken window at school board

Advance polls are open from Oct. 15 to 21 with election day on Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)
Jordan Jay Ward is wanted on a Canada-wide warrant for two counts of manslaughter. Photo supplied
Wanted man from Calgary may be on Vancouver Island

Jordan Jay Ward is wanted on a Canada-wide warrant for two counts of manslaughter

FILE – A voting package for the 2018 electoral reform referendum. Vote-by-mail packages for the 2020 provincial election will look similar, according to information provided by Elections BC. (Katya Slepian - Black Press Media)
POLL: Have you voted yet?

As election day quickly approaches, hundreds of thousands of British Columbians have… Continue reading

More and more electric cars are on the road, but one Chevy Bolt owner was shocked to see how much his BC Hydro bill skyrocketed once he started charging the vehicle. (Black Press file photo)
Lower Mainland man sees significant spike in BC Hydro bill after buying electrical vehicle

An increase should be expected, but Brian Chwiendacz experienced a 200-plus per cent hike

Environment Canada has issued a snowfall advisory for parts of Vancouver Island for Thursday and Friday.(File photo)
Snowfall expected in parts of Vancouver Island this week

Environment Canada has issued a snowfall advisory for north, east and inland Vancouver Island

The Cowichan Steelheads’ Jesus Martinez (left) and the Cowichan 49ers’ Daryl Rodgers chase down the ball during Saturday night’s all-Cowichan clash at the Sherman Road turf. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Cowichan masters derby takes unexpected turn with broken leg

Soccer community comes together in midst of battle

Larry Whetstone is concerned about the condition of Jeffries Road, where he has lived for 30 years. (Robert Barron/Citizen)
Poor condition of rural road in Cowichan has resident fed up

Transportation Ministry says repair plan under development

Vancouver police reactivated the search for Jordan Naterer Thursday Oct. 22. Photo courtesy of VPD.
Mom of missing Manning Park hiker believes her son is waiting to come home

‘He’s going to come out of a helicopter and say ‘what took you so long?”

Most Read