Editor, The Times:
A note of thanks for the kind words in your recent editorial (7 August 2014) regarding my work with lichens.
As you correctly point out, lichens are two-part organisms consisting of a fungus and an alga. The lichen thallus exists only insofar as both partners work together for the benefit of the whole.
If lichens teach us anything, it’s that healthy economies depend on an on-going balance between the seemingly conflicting interests of the partners.
I agree with you that our local community in some way resembles a lichen – with forestry standing in for the fungus and tourism for the alga.
Like everybody else who opposes industrial-scale logging in Upper Clearwater, I believe that our local economy will thrive only insofar as we enforce a regional balance between our two major economic drivers.
In this view, Upper Clearwater is what the lichenologist would call the ‘algal layer’. As such, it is best left intact to perform its tourism function.
Indiscriminate logging is just as destructive to our long-term interests as universal protection from resource extraction. Lichens teach us that it’s all a question of proportion.
Upper Clearwater, B.C.