In a small saucepan bring water to boiling. Remove from heat. Add dried cherries or cranberries and let stand for 10 minutes or until softened. Drain and set aside.
For crust, in a large mixing bowl combine oats, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and baking soda. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Reserve 1 cup of the crumb mixture. Stir the almonds into the reserved crumb mixture; set aside.
Press remaining crumb mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 12 minutes.
Meanwhile, for filling, stir together the drained cherries, cherry preserves, and lemon peel. Spread the filling evenly over baked crust; sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes more or until top is golden brown. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. In a small saucepan combine the chocolate pieces and shortening; heat over medium-low heat until chocolate is melted. Drizzle melted chocolate mixture over baked bars. Cut into bars. Makes 48 bars.