It was pleasure spending this morning with staff and volunteers at Muir Woods National Monument. During this Park Academy class hosted by the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, we talked about things above our heads, literally – what lives high in the tree crowns of the coast redwood forest at Muir Woods. I shared photos and natural history stories about the diversity of lichen living as residents on the trunk and branches of both redwood Douglas fir in the woods.
I think all of us took a deep breath of relief that trees are supporting such a healthy assemblage of lichen, an indication that air and water quality is high since lichen deteriorates in the presence of pollution. We talked about how the lichen “gets around” in the forest and now will keep a watchful out for birds and squirrels moving lichens around to build their nests.
Oh, we also all agreed and lace lichen, Ramalina menziesii, should be adopted as the state lichen as proposed!