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May 11, 1998
(Forest Resources and Agrifoods)

Status of Erioderma Pedicellatum Lichen

Kevin Aylward, Minister of Forest Resources and Agrifoods, is pleased to announce the progress that has been made to develop a protection strategy for the Erioderma Pedicellatum Lichen, currently under review by COSWEIC, the Committee on the Status of Endangered Species in Canada.

"Since the Erioderma was brought to our attention during the ecosystem planning process for the Avalon Forest Management area, officials in my department have undertaken inventories of the lichen and developed measures to incorporate in their harvesting practices to protect this species as much as possible," said Minster Aylward. "Also, we are working with the Department of Tourism, Cultrue and Recreation toward the establishment of a protected area."

Inventory results indicate that a number of significant lichen sites have been found in the Bay d'Espoir area, the Burgeo Road, the Great Northern Peninsula as well as the Avalon and Burin Peninsulas. "There are now over 150 known sites of Erioderma located in insular Newfoundland with over 3,000 Erioderma identified, " the minister said. "This is encouraging news for the species."

At the same time, the department initiated scientific research on the dynamics of the forest where Erioderma and other rare lichens are found. Based on these results, measures were developed and are now in place to guide forest operations to help ensure the lichen's future.

"We can now enter this year's harvesting season on the Avalon with confidence that both the forest ecosystem and forest industry can co-exist." said the minister. "We have a commitment to ensure sustainability in our resources and natural resource based industries. I believe that this strategy achieves that balance."

Contact: David Wells, Communications, (709) 729-6183.

1998 05 11 4:10 p.m.

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