It is sort of about me…at least that is the connection here.  If you have not had a chance to meet me in the “All About Kady in Just 15 Questions” on this blog then what I am about to tell you will seem unrelated to Talkin’ Trash with UHN.  But if you have read the “All About Kady in Just 15 Questions” then the name Henry Kock will ring a bell.  He was a mentor in my life who influenced my interest in sustainability and the environment.  He passed away on Christmas Day 2005 from brain cancer and left a huge gap in many lives – including mine.

I just learned today that Henry’s name will be immortalized in the form of a newly discovered B.C. lichen – Bryoria kockiana – I can’t imagine a better honour for Henry.  His wife, artist Anne Hansen won the naming rights at an auction to raise funds for a small not-for-profit group in B.C. helping to protect old growth forest and forestry jobs.

Horsehair Lichen - Bryoria kockiana

The world is a better place with a lichen named after Henry, who in Anne’s words “was a tireless champion of biodiversity and inconspicuous species like toads, lichens and sedges”. 

Conservationists are hoping that this first trial run of “taxonomic tithing” in Canada will inspire similar taxonomic tithing initiatives for conservation organizations working to protect diverse ecosystems and endangered species. “Taxonomic tithing” is a term coined by Trevor Goward whereby a biological researcher who describes a new species donates its naming rights for conservation purposes. (Source: Ancient Forest News)

Really, who doesn’t get giddy about a creative and effective way to protect the planet and honour our loved ones at the same time – Lichens, Henry’s and all?