N A TIVE   NOTES

     Kate’s   Mountain   Clover

 BILL   GR A FTON     EDITOR

WEST   VIRGINI N A TIVE   PL A NT   SOCIETY   NEWSLETTER

Volume  15:2                                                                   AUGUST , 2007

September  22 & 23   A NNU A L   MEETING  

Saturday Sept . 22

   10 A M   Forked   Run   State   Park Botanical   Foray meet   at   parking   lot : 63300 

    State   Route  124,  Reedsville Ohio

    4:30  PM   Dinner   in   Pomeroy Ohio   at   Bob   Evans

    PM   Membership   Meeting   at   Ohio   State   Univ Extension   Ofc in   Pomeroy

Information   about   and   directions   to   Forked   Run   SP :

     www . dnr . state . oh . us / parks / forkedrn . html

     http :// www . stateparks . com / forked_run . html


Sunday Sept . 23

8  A M   Porterbrook   Native   Plant   Nursery a   tour   of   Dr Frank   Porter’s nursery landscaping and   a   workshop   on   native   plant   propagation .


Lodging   options :

1 .   Meigs   Motel    740 992-5531.   It   is   located   right   behind   Pomeroy   on   Oh Rt . 7

2 .   Super  8,  Ripley WV   1-800-403-4176   or  1-304-372-8880

3 .   Best   Western     McCoys Ripley WV   1-304-372-9122

4 .   Holiday   Inn   Express Ripley WV   1-304-372-5000

5 .   There   is   also   camping   available   at   Forked   Run   State   Park .


WEST   VIRGINI 2007  BOT A NIC A L   HOTSPOT   OF   THE   YE A R


Three   nationally   known   botanical   organizations   held   meetings   in   West   Virginia   this   year .

1 .   North  A merican   Rock   Garden   Society  -  June  14-17  at   Canaan   Valley .

2 .   Joint   Field   Meeting   of   the   Botanical   Society   of  A merica   –   Northeastern   Section ,  Torrey   Botanical   Society ,  and   Philadelphia   Botanical   Club   –   June  17-21  at   Davis   and   Elkins   College .

3 .   Delaware   Valley   Fern   Society   –   July  8-11  at   Canaan   Valley   State   Park .

The   North  A merican   Rock   Garden   Society  ( N A RGS )  had   about  170  participants   from   the   US   and   Canada .   Martha   Oliver  ( Scottdale ,  P A)  who   is   one    of   our   WVNPS   members   was   the   primary   coordinator   of   the   event   and   did   a   fantastic   job .   Charles   Oliver  ( Martha ’s   husband )  was   always   present   and   helping   organize   trips ,  setting   up  A V   equipment ,  and   troubleshooting   where   needed .   They   along   with   Bill   Grafton   were   leaders   on   most   of   the   tours   along   with   another  10  or   so   leaders .  Martha   presented   the   opening   talk   about   the   exploitation   of   Dolly   Sods   and   Canaan   Valley   in   the   opening   address   titled ,  “ A  Series   of   Unfortunate   Events” .   Bill   Grafton   presented   information   on   flora   of   Dolly   Sods   and   the   WV   Shale   Barrens   in   a   talk   titled   “Dolly   Sods  &  Shale   Barrens :  One   degree   below   tree   line   and   one   step   above   desert” .  Fields   trips   were   taken   to   Blackwater   Falls   State   Park ,  Dolly   Sods   and   Larenim   Shale   barren .

Bonnie   Isaac   from   the   Carnegie   Museum   of   Natural   History   talked   about   the   ecology   and   phytogeography   of    Canaan   Valley   plants .   Bill   Cullina   from   the   New   England   Wildflower   Garden   presented   two   talks   on   rare   plant   introductions   and   woodland   plant   propagation ,  that   were   excellent .

Note   from   your   Editor :  This   was   one   of   the   best   organized   conferences   I   have   ever   attended .   It   was   very   exciting   to   be   around   people   with   such   a   love   for   our   native   plants .


The   “Joint   Meeting”   at    Elkins   must   have   been   fabulous .   Hopefully   we   can   get   a   report   from   one   of   our   attendees .

Elizabeth   Byers   presented   “High   elevation   wetlands   of   the  A llegheny   Mountain   region” .

Elizabeth   and   Jim   Vanderhorst   led   an   all   day   field   trip   to   Cheat   Mountain .

Kathy   Gregg  ( WV   Wesleyan   College )  presented   “Do   orchids   hedge   their   bets ? ”

Kathy   and   Brian   Streets   led   an   all   day   field   trip   to   Dolly   Sods .

Bill   Roody   presented   “Mushrooms :  a   world   of   wonder” .

Elizabeth   Byers   and   Leah   Ceperley   led   an   all   day   field   trip   to   Canaan   Valley .

Rodney   Bartgis  ( WV   TNC )  presented   “Dry   limestone   communities   of   the   upper   South   Branch” .


The   Delaware   Valley   Fern   Society   explored   for   ferns   and   wildflowers   in   Tucker ,  Grant   and   Mineral   Counties .   Most   of   the   field   trips   were   led   by   Bill   Grafton   and   Mike   Breiding .  A  field   trip   between   Parsons   and   Hendricks   resulted   in   seeing   Goldies    shield   fern , 3  Cystopteris   species  ( protrusa ,  tenuis ,  and   bulbifera ,  royal   fern ,  interrupted   fern ,  walking   fern ,  glade   fern ,  Polypody   Fern  ( Polypodium   appalachianum ),  and   maidenhair   spleenwort .   We   also   found   Maianthemum   stellatum  ( Star - flowered   Solomon’s   Seal ).

The   next   stop   was   Big   Run  ( Olson )  Bog   on   top   of   Backbone   Mountain .   Our   goal   was   to   see   the   Bog   clubmoss ,  and   the   larger  A ppressed   Bog   Clubmoss ,  which   we   did .   We   also   saw   about  200  Pogonia   ophioglossoides  ( Rose   Pogonia )  in   bloom .   Pitcher   plants   and  

Round - leaved   Sundew   were   everywhere .   The   Pitcher   Plant   population   has   literally   exploded   during   the   past   few   years .   Where   there   were   several   hundred   there   are   now   thousands   of   plants .

And   then   we   hit   a   bonanza !!!   Tom   Weiboldt  ( Curator   at   Virginia   Tech Chip   Morgan Mo   Stevens and   Mike   Breiding   found   a   small   patch   of   Bog   rosemary .   This   is   only   the   second   population   known   from   WV  ( the   other   is   in   Cranberry   Glades ).

I  ( Bill   Grafton had   to   see   this   rarity .   Fortunately Tom   W had   taken   a   GPS   reading   of   the   location .   We   walked   around   a   large   clump   of   Winterberry   where   we   expected   to   find   the   Bog   Rosemary but     instead   I   saw   a   large   clump   of   a   shrub   I   had   never   seen   before .   Tom   was   familiar   with   it   and   named   it   Leather - leaf   (Chamaedaphne   calyculata ).  A  second   smaller   clump   of   Leather - leaf   was   a   bout   2 feet   away .  A s   I   started   toward   it I   saw   another   evergreen   shrub   that   I   have   seen   in   Canada   and   New   England .   It   was   Pale   or   Swamp   Laurel  ( Kalmia   polifolia ).   I   was   so   happy   that   it   took   me   several   minutes   to   see   the   Bog   Rosemary   that   was   literally   mixed   in   with   the   Pale   Laurel .

The   last   native   shrub   I   can   recall   being   found   in   WV   was   Prairie   Redroot  ( Ceanothus   herbaceus )  found   by   Rodney   Bartgis   well   over   a   decade   ago .

To   find   two   new   native   shrubs   in   an   area   that   has   been   heavily   botanized   and   located   within  20  feet   of   each   other   and   mixed   with   the   very   rare   Bog   Rosemary   was   a   once   in   a   lifetime   experience   for   the   five   of   us .

Our   next   field   trip   was   along   the   Dobbin   House   Trail   in   Blackwater   Falls   SP   and   on   US   Forest   Service   lands .   The   objective   was   to   locate   and   make   a   definite   identification   of    Lycopodium   lagopus  ( One - cone   Clubmoss )  which   was   found   here   about  3  years   ago .   We   accomplished   our   goal   and   then   spent   considerable   time   discussing   the   hybrids   and   varieties   of   Lycopodium   clavatum ,  L .  lagopus ,  L .  annotinum ,  L .  digitatum ,  L . obscurum   and   L .  hickeyii   that   were   all   growing   in   close   proximity   to   each   other .

The   next   field   trip   was   to  A bes   Run   in   Canaan   Valley   SP   to   look   at   unusual    wildflowers   such   as   Showy   Ladies’   Slipper ,  Swamp   Saxifrage ,  Purple  A vens ,  Purple   Fringed   Orchid ,  Kidney - leaf   Twayblade ,  glade   spurge ,  and   Jacob’s   Ladder .   We   also   saw   the   rare   Cranberry   Bush  ( Viburnum   trilobum )  and  A lder - leaved   Buckthorn .  

Before   we   even   got   our   feet   wet ,  Mike   Breiding   spotted   a   nice   stand   of   Meadow   Horsetail  ( Equisetum   pratense ).   This   was   also   a   new   state   record .

Later   field   trips   took   us   to   see   Oak   Fern  ( Gymnocarpium   dryopteris ),  Long   Beech   Fern   (Phegopteris   connectilis ),  Wood   Horsetail  ( Equisetum   sylvaticum ),  and   Ostrich   Fern   (Matteuccia   struthiopteris ).


Note :   The   next   weekend   Emily   and   I   were   back   in   Canaan   Valley   teaching   classes   to   the   CV   Master   Naturalists   group .   While   on   a   short   fern   hike   near   the   Canaan   Valley   National   Wildlife   Refuge   headquarters ,  I   found   a   very   weird   Brackern   fern .   It   has   long   black   sori   on   the   underside   of   the   leaves   that   are   vaguely   similar   to   the   sori   of    Lady   Ferns .

FUTURE   FIELD   TRIPS  &  EVENTS

September  22 & 23 ( Sat . &  Sun .)   WVNPS  A nnual   Membership   Meeting   at   Pomeroy ,  Ohio .   Field   trips ,  workshop ,  and   business   meeting .

September  8 th  –   Margaret   Dennison   Fall   Nature   Walk   at   Kanawha   State   Forest .   Contact :  Shirley   Schweizer  304  925-2771   Registration   starts   at  9 A M   at   the   swimming   pool   area .   Hikes   start   at  9:30 A M .  A dult   fee  - $5   &  Under  16  fee  - $2

Check   these   websites :

WV   Native   Plant   Society :  www . wvnps . org

Wayne   Nation al   Forest :  www . fs . fed . us / r 9/ wayne / events

Ohio   Wildflower   Pilgrimage :  www . highlandsanctuary . org / CalendarOfEvents

Kentucky   Native   Plant   Society :  www . knps . org / knps %20 events

G A S   WELL   CONTROVERSY   IN   K A N A WH ST A TE   FOREST

Senate   Bill  460  was   passed   by   the   Legislature   and   signed   by   Governor   Manchin   to   protect   the   forests   and   vegetation   of   Kanawha   State   Forest   and   all   of   our  9  state   forests   from   poorly   located   and   maintained   gas   well   roads .    Unfortunately ,  during   the   negotiations   efforts   to   reclaim   all   roads   and   well   sites   with   native   plants   was   deleted .   Public   input   recently   ended   and   DNR   will   now   write   the   “rules”   to   implement   the   law .   It   is   hoped   that   reclamation   with   native   plants   can   be   reinstated   in   the   rules .   Considerable   input   has   been   provided   by   a   number   of   our   WVNPS   members ,  such   as ,  Bill   Hall ,  Julian   Martin ,  and   Mae   Ellen   Wilson .   Helen   Gibbins   wrote   the   following   letter   to   represent   views   of   WVNPS .

WEST   VIRGINI N A TIVE   PL A NT   SOCIETY

6 128  Gideon   Rd .

Huntington WV  25705

3 04-736-3287

gibbins @ verizon . net

July  25, 2007

        

Kenneth   Caplinger , A cting   Chief

Parks   and   Recreation   Section  

Division   of   Natural   Resources

Building  3,  Room  714,  Capitol   Complex

1 900  Kanawha   Boulevard   East

 Charleston WV  25305-0662

Dear   Mr Caplinger :     

 

               I   am   writing   on   behalf   of   the   West   Virginia   Native   Plant   Society   membership   to   support   the   proposed   regulations   for   oil   and   gas   well   drilling   and   road   construction / maintenance   in   West   Virginia’s   state   forests .   We   believe   the   new   rules   represent   a   major   step   forward   in   protecting   the   special   ecological   and   recreational   environments   of   our   state   forests .   We   commend   you   and   the   DNR   for   this    effort   and   welcome   the   opportunity   to   provide   input   into   the   development   of   the   final   document .

        We   recommend   adding   requirements   to   ensure   the   seeding   of   plant   species   native   to   West   Virginia   in   the   reclamation   of   areas   disturbed   or   damaged   by   well   sites   or   access   roads .   This   is   vital   to   prevent   the   introduction   and   spread   of   invasive   species   which   are   destructive   to   West   Virginia’s   long    term   biodiversity   and   health   of   wildlife   populations .   There   are   several   sources   in   adjacent   states   of   native   seed   mixes   that   would   be   effective   in   erosion   control   as   well   as   promoting   the   sustainability   of   the   forest   ecosystem .

        We   also   urge   a   requirement   for   an   inventory   of   plant   species   and   wildlife   habitats especially   with   respect   to   rare   species   that   might   be   found   in   proposed   well   sites .   While   consulting   a   list   of   previously   identified   threatened   or   endangered   species   is   also   highly   recommended a   current   survey   further   assures   no   adverse   impacts   to   rare   plant   and   animal   species   would   occur

           A  thorough   survey   conducted   by   field   botanists   and / or   biologists   would   allow   environmentally sound   decisions   regarding   location   of   new   drilling   projects   and   potential   mitigation   by   the   developer   for   damages   to   the   natural   forest   community .

              Once   again   we   are   grateful   for   the   advances   in   preserving   the   integrity   of   our   state   forests   delineated   in   the   proposed   rules .   Please   consider   our   comments   in   formulating   the   final   draft   and   advise   us    if   further   consultation   would   be   helpful   in   this   process .

Sincerely ,

Helen   Gibbins Recording   Secretary

West   Virginia   Native   Plant   Society   


CR A NBERRY   GL A DES   FIELD   TRIP by   KEVIN   C A MPBELL

     During   the   weekend   of   June  22-24, 2007,  the   WV   Native   Plant   Society Kanawha   Valley   Chapter   had   an   outing   to   the   Cranberry   Glades   region   of   Pocahontas   County In   attendance   were Elizabeth   Byers Chris   Gatens Bill   Hall and   Kevin   Campbell We   stayed   at   the   Handley   Wildlife   Management  A rea   near   Edray WV The   weather   was   fantastic   and   during   Saturday   we   observed   and   identified   sixteen   sedges”   and   ten   orchids I   should   clarify   that   “we   identified”   for   the   sedges   means   Elizabeth   Byers . A mong   the   discoveries   were   Heart - Leaved   Twayblade   in   Cranberry   glades   and   Early   Coralroot   in   a   small   bog   in   Handley   WM A.

Orchids

Cypripedium   acaule    Pink   Ladies   Slipper

Listera   cordata    Heart - Leaved   Twayblade

Goodyera   pubescens    Downy   Rattlesnake   Plantain

Habenaria   clavellata    Green   Wood   Orchid

Habenaria   orbiculata    Round - Leaved   Orchid

Habenaria   psycodes    Purple   Fringed   Orchid

Pogonia   ophioglossoides   Rose   Pogonia

Calopogon   tuberosus    Grass   Pink

Liparis   loeselii    Loesel’s   Twayblade

Corallorhiza   trifida    Early   Coralroot


“Sedges”

Scirpus   cyperinus    Woolgrass

Eriophorum   virginicum    Cottongrass

Rynchospora   recognita    Beaked   Rush

Dulchium   arundinaceum    Three - Way   Sedge

Carex   atlantica    Prickly   Bog   Sedge

Carex   echinata    Star   Sedge

Carex   plantaginea    Plantain   Sedge

Carex   prasina    Drooping   Sedge

Carex   torta    Twisted   Sedge

Carex   crinita    Fringed   Sedge

Carex   gynandra    Nodding   Sedge

Carex   utriculata    Beaked   Sedge

Carex   lurida    Sallow   Sedge

Carex   baileyi    Bailey’s   Sedge

Carex   intumescens    Greater   Bladder   Sedge

Cymophyllus   fraserianus    Fraser’s   Sedge


HIGHLIGHTS   OF   BO A RD   MEETING   ON   M A Y  5, 2007

Meeting   held   in   Canaan   Valley .   Present   were :  Chad   Kirschbaum ,  Lawrence   Beckerle ,  Kevin   Campbell ,  Donna   Ford - Werntz ,  Bill   Grafton ,  Chris   Gatens ,  Bill   Hall ,  Steve   Mace ,  Jeff   Patton   and   Helen   Gibbins .

TRE A SURER ’ S   REPORT :

    Income  $1,107

    Expenses   $577.40

    Balance   $2,933.60

T - shirt   sales   amount   to  $646.    We   agreed   to   subsidize   this   project   up   to  $200  if   needed .   Chad   Kirschbaum   was   commended   by   the   Board   for   his   efforts .

Finances   discussion :   We   may   have   a   deficit   budget   unless :

1 .   We   finance   fewer   projects ..

2 .   We   increase   our   membership .   Present   membership   is  85.

3 .   More   members   get   the   newsletter   by   email

4 .   Increase   dues  $3  for   members   who   prefer   postal   mail   rather   than   email

Note :   The   Native   Notes   will   continue   to   be   sent   by   postal   mail   unless   you   specifically   request   sending   it   by   email .

Public   Relations :

·   Cultivate   members   of   the   press   such   as   Scott   Shalaway  ( send   names  &  email   to   Helen   Gibbins )

·   Target   at   least   two   members   of   the   press

·   Ask   Frank   Porter   to   write   a   press   release   for   the  2007  annual   meeting

·   Develop   a   display   featuring   native   plants   for   the  2008  Bee   Keeping   convention   to   be   held   in   Huntington .

Helen   Gibbins   agreed   to   chair   the   Nominating   Committee .   She   will   ask   Lois   Kuhl   and   Romie   Hughart   to   serve   again .

Wilderness :   Helen   Gibbins   reported   that ,  in   the   name   of   WVNPS ,  she   sent   a   letter   to   WV ’ s   Congressional   delegation   asking   them   to   desiginate   more   wilderness   areas   in   WV .   The   emphasis   of   the   letter   was   on   stopping   invasive   plants   from   moving   into   special   areas .

Invasive   Plants :  Lawrence   Beckerle   said   that   he   had   contacted   the   Forest   Service ,  asking   what   plan   it   had   to   eradicate   Japanese   stilt   grass   from   the   Cranberry   Wilderness .   He   emphasized   the   need   to   take   aggressive   action   early   on .   From   his   conversation   he   gathers   this   is   a   new   activity   for   Forest   Service   employees .

It   was   agreed   that   WVNPS   would   sponsor   a   winter   workshop   on   eradicating   invasive   plants .   The   workshop   would   include   speakers   and   a   display   to   help   identify   invasive   plants .   Proposed   speakers   were   Kent   Karriker ,  David   Dick ,  Scott   Eggerud ,  Cindy   Huebner ,  Chad   K .  and   Lawrence   B   will   contact   individuals   who   might   be   willing   to   make   presentations   at   the   workshop .   Date   and   place   to   be   determined   later .

The   board   approved   Chad   Kirschbaum   using   our   name   on   grant   applications .

The   WV   Legislature   passed   new   rules   that   update   the   WV   List   of   Noxious   Weeds .

K A N A WH V A LLEY   N A TIVE   PL A NT   SOCIETY   HIKE  

D A TE :  A ugust  4, 2007 - 10:00  am

PL A CE Kanawha   State   Forest

BY Christopher   M Gatens   of   Leon WV  


    On   this   date three   brave   chapter   members   hiked   to   the   top   of   the   Middle   Ridge   Road   to   search   for   three   plant  species   that   are   tracked   by   the   WVDNR   Natural   Heritage   Program Present   for   this   hike   were   Mae   Ellen   Wilson   of   Charleston WV Kevin   L Campbell   of   Walker , ( Wood   County ),  WV   and   myself The   temperature   for   the   hike   climbed   to   near  90  F   near   the   end   of   the   trip but   a   good   time   was   had   by   the   participants . A  partial   plant   list   for   the   day   included   the   following   species :


Yellow - Fringed   Orchid             Platanthera   ciliaris

Chain   Fern                                 Woodwardia   areolata

Climbing   Fern                            Lygodium   palmatum

Glade   Fern                                  Diplazium   pycnocarpon

Broad   Beech   Fern                       Phegopteris   hexagonoptera  

Devil’s   Walking   Stick                A ralia   spinosa

Small - headed   Sunflower             Helianthus   microcephalus

Tickseed   Sunflower                     Coreopsis   major

Pink   Lady   Slipper                       Cypripedium   acaule

Downy   Skullcap                           Scutellaria   incana   

Giant   Cane                                  A rundinaria   gigantea

Partridge   Pea                               Chamaecrista   fasciculata

WVNPS   NOMIN A TING   COMMITTEE   REPORT   for  2008


Helen   Gibbins   –   Chairperson  

Lois   Kuhl   –   member

Romie   Hughart  -  member


2 008  Officers Trustee

President   –   Chad   Kirschbaum

Vice   Pres .  –   Lawrence   Beckerle

Corresponding   Sec .  –   Steve   Mace

Recording   Secretary   –   Helen   Gibbins

Treasurer   –   Donna   Ford - Werntz

Bd .  of   Trustees   –   Judi   White   –  1  year   term

  -  Lois   Kuhl   –  3  year   term


M A RYL A ND   NPS    A NNU A L   CONFERENCE


Climate   Change :  Global   Effects ,  Local   Impacts

-   Western   Maryland’s   Flora   at   Risk ?

September  29  –  30, 2007

2 26  Compton   Hall ,  Frostburg   State   University ,  Frostburg ,  MD

Registration   fee  ( includes   lunch )  $50-  members   $65-  nonmembers

    - Saturday   social   fee  ( includes   dinner )  $30  per   person

Rodney   Bartgis   –   State   Director   of   WV   The   Nature   Conservancy   is   a   speaker .

Liz   McDowell   and   Ron   Boyer  ( owners   of   Elk   Ridge   Nature   Works )  and   Jessie   Harris   are   WV   NPS   members   who   will   be   field   trip   leaders .

The   conference   will   have  3  excellent   speakers   and  5  exciting   field   trips   to   choose   from .

Website   info :  http :// www . mdflora . org

Registration   info :  Beth   Johnson   301  949-6338

Or   email  :  bajohnson @ verizon . net

S A Y   IT  A IN’T   SO


For  30  years   I   have   told   people   that   Coltsfoot  ( Tussilago   farfara )  is  

nothing   to   get   worried   about .   It   has   invaded   roadsides   and   disturbed  

soils   with   occasional   plants   showing   up   in   unmanaged   pastures .  

However ,  during   a   recent   trip   to   Canaan   Valley   State   Park ,  I  

discovered   Coltsfoot   competing   with   a   half   dozen   rare   species

 in   wet   mucky ,  highly   organic   soils .   I   was   very   surprised   to   see  

this . A dding   to   my   surprise   was   the   wet   thicket   is   at   least  200 

feet   from   any   road   or   disturbed   soils .

Web   site :   WVNPS . ORG   

DOLLY   SODS  

On   a   Warm   Summer   Day   feels   like   South   Central  A laska


Few   landmarks   in   West   Virginia   receive   more   acclaim   than   the   numerous   escarpments   along   the  A llegheny   front .   Of   all   the   wild   places   most   photographed   and   most   written   about the   Dolly   Sods   Wilderness   and   Recreation  A reas   could   win   hands - down   as   the   poster   child   for   “Most   Scenic   West   Virginia .    A lthough   many   of   West   Virginia’s   lesser   acclaimed   scenic   treasures   deserve   mention I   am   again   inspired   to   share   another   perspective   of   the   Dolly   Sods   plateau .   First   I   digress   to   another   journey   made   prior   to   the   wonderful   July  17  visit   to   Dolly   Sods   with   my   husband   Bill .

Bill   and   I   took   our   first   trip   to  A laska   in   June   of   this   year .   We   spent   two   weeks   exploring   the   Kenai   Peninsula   in   south   central  A laska   and   then   north   to   Denali   National   Park .   We   drove   south   from  A nchorage   on   June  21  in   a   tiny   Ford   Focus   with   only   two   scheduled   destinations .   In   between   these   points   of   interest   we   explored   a   variety   of   trails mountains   and   coastal   areas .   Each   side   trip   on   any   given   day   was   selected   by   studying   the   map picking   what   looked   like   the   most   promising   area   and   letting   intuition   guide   our   way .   It   worked !  A lthough   we   may   never   know   what   we   missed not   one   excursion   was   a   disappointment .  

 

Alaska’s   scenery   exceeded   all   expectations   and   imaginings   in   its   scale   and   raw   beauty .   The   wildlife   was   for   the   most   part   all   new   and   exciting .   However the   vegetation   and   bird   song   below   the   sub   alpine   areas   was   oddly   reminiscent   of   the   high   red   spruce   landscapes   of   our   home   state .   The   visual   textures   and   structures   of   some   plant   communities   and   natural   sounds   throughout   south   central  A laska   evoked   visual   and   auditory   connections   with   the   oddly   diverse   plant   communities   of   Dolly   Sods .  

My   first   inkling   of   West   Virginia   in  A laska   occurred   on   a   hike   into   a   beautiful   Sitka   spruce   forest   along   the   rocky - mossy   Resurrection   River   Trail .   It   immediately   felt   like    Dolly   Sods   in   those   areas   where   the   spruce   has   matured .  A lthough   the   species   of   spruce   was   different the   composition   of   the   plant   community   included   numerous   species  ( or   at   least   close   cousins of   plants   and   plant   arrangements   found   on   Dolly   Sods .   

Another   notable   resemblance the   endless   jumble   of   rocks   and   boulders   festooned   with   thick   clumps   of   moss   and   Lycopdium .   The   vegetation   emerged   in   a   random   tier - like   fashion   on   the   slopes   above   the   trail .  A rching   clumps   of   wood   ferns  ( Dryopteris   spp .)  rose   between   boulders   interspersed   with   patches   of   skunk   currant alder chokecherry   and   mountain   ash   between   numerous   stilted   birch   and   spruce .   With   each   step   along   the   trail familiar   plants   native   to   WV   appeared   along   the   trail   dwarf   cornel teaberry twin - flower sarsaparilla gold - thread baneberry cow   parsnip bishop’s   cap twisted   stalk   and   wild   geranium .   The   shrub   layer   also   included   menzizia elderberry   and   blueberry .   Plants   all   commonly   seen   on   Dolly   Sods

And   all   the   while   as   I   walked   dreamily   through   the   myriad   shades   of   green my   ears   were   serenaded   by   the   lilting   flute - like   calls   of   the   hermit   thrush   and   Swainson’s   thrush .   Black   capped   chickadees   bustled   all   about   through   the   branches   above   calling   the   familiar   sounds   of   home .   Golden - crowned   kinglets   and   tufted   titmice   also   made   their   presence   known .   The   one   constant   reminder   that   we   were   not   home   was   the   brisk   yet   musical   song   of   the   gray - cheeked   thrush .

Similarities   in   the   overall   patterns   and   distribution   of   vegetation   across   the   landscape   of   Alaska   washed   over   me   even   more   strongly   as   we   ambled   along   the   first   mile   of   South   Prong   Trail   on   the   southern   end   of   the   Dolly   Sods   plateau .  A t   the   trail   head nearly   ¼   of   the   plant   species   are   exotics including   heal   all birdsfoot   trefoil queen  A nne’s   lace   and   crown   vetch .   But   within   a   few   feet   beyond   the   road the   rocks and   water   shape   and   support   the   rich   diversity   of   native   plant   species   that   thrive   in   the   harsh   climates   of   our   highest   elevations   and   south   central  A laska .

Another   comparable   landscape   feature   of   West   Virginia’s   high   mountain   plains   and  A laska ’s   south   central   mountains   is   water .   Standing   water running   water rain snow   and   fog   remain   a   constant   presence   nurturing   a   wide   variety   of   micro - habitats   and   numerous   plant   species .   Sounds   very   much   like   Dolly   Sods .   The   similarities   in   vegetation   composition   and   certain   landscape   features   could   not   have   resulted   from   such   significantly   different   geologic   histories   and   certainly   incomparable   climatic   differences   due   to   the   extreme   northern   latitude   of  A laska .   Or   maybe   there   are   a   few   common   threads .

The   high   elevations   of   West   Virginia   are   subject   to   extreme   cold   for   many   months   of   the   year   with   significant   snowfalls .    Both   regions   are   ravaged   by   severe   icy   windstorms   in   winter   and   the   intense   heat   of   the   summer   sun .   Both   areas   have   been   subjected   to   catastrophic   disturbance   in   the   past .   South   Central  A laska’s   landscape   was   repeatedly   scraped   and   scoured   by   glaciers     although   thousands   of   years   ago .   But   the   landscape   is   still   a   patchwork   of   rock rivers avalanche   trails   interspersed   with   forest   and   scrubby   shrubs .

The  A llegheny   Front   including   the   Dolly   Sods   area   was   scraped   of   all   vegetation   in   a   “leave   no   twig   behind”   manner   during   the   peak   of   the   industrial   growth   of   the   United   States .   Vast   areas   were   left   exposed   to   erosion   and   fire Fires   sparked   by   trains lightning   and   other   sources   burned   through   the   sun - baked   layers   of   soil   and   sub - soil   to   leave   bare   rock   on   the   highest   areas   devoid   of   standing   water .   The   devastation   was   quick complete   and   yet   relatively   recent  -80  to  100  years   ago .

Consequently similar   climatic   and   other   physiographic   features   would   lead   to   the   kinds   of   similar   vegetation   in   these   two   so   vastly   different   landscapes   as   far   as   the   scale   of   size   and   breadth   of   latitude .   The   dominant   vegetation   in   both   areas   thrives   in   nutrient   poor rocky   habitats   exposed   to   deep   winter   freezes   and   baking   heat   for   a   few   summer   months .  A nd most   likely   the   vegetation   in   the  A llegheny   Mountains   followed   the   glaciers   as   they   receded   1 0,000  years   ago .  A lthough   West   Virginia   was   never   glaciated   or   even   subject   to   glacial   wash the   climate   was   very very   cold   with   heavy   snowfall   during   the   ice   ages

No   wonder   I   could   feel   at   home   in  A laska’s   forests   and   bogs .   We   have   a   strong   historical   connection .   Of   course from   this   point   the   similarities   pretty   much   end .   But after   Alaska I   am   even   more   excited   to   scramble   across   every   square   inch   of   the   Dolly   Sods   areas   discovering   a   host   of   micro - habitats   and   plant   species   new   to   me .   Within   the   first   ½   mile   of   South   Prong   Trail Bill   and   I   identified  78  native   species   of   plants   on   July  17.   Dolly   Sods   is   very   much   alive   and   thriving   and   changing   with   every   year   and   every   decade .

By EMILY   GR A FTON     


MEMBERSHIP   SURVEY

Name  

Address


Email  ( this   is   especially   needed ):


1 Please   rank   the   following   from   most   important  ( number  1)  to   least   important  ( number  4)  as   a   reason   that   you   belong   to   the   West   Virginia   Native   Plant   Society

 Newsletter

 Field   Trips

 Seed   Exchange

 Workshops

Other

2 Which   of   the   following   areas   would   you   be   willing   to    volunteer   your   time   and   talent ?

 Newsletter

 Field   Trips

 Workshops

 grant   writing

Other


3 What   do   you   consider   to   be   the   most   important   activities   of   the   WVNPS  ( rank  1-13,  with  1  being   most   significant ):

_____field   trips   to   see   rare   plants

_____field   trips   to   specific   habitats  

_____field   trips   for   observing   many

           different   plants

_____field   trips   to   collect   scientific   data  

          ( involving   members   with   research )

_____work   with   other   conservation  

           groups   on   restoration   projects

_____working   with   other   organizations  

           on   invasive   species   control

_____establish   rare   and   native   plant  

           gardens   or   seed   banks

_____displays   on   the   WVNPS   and   native  

           plant   conservation   at   conferences  

           and   meetings

_____sponsor   periodic   lectures   around  

           the   state   or   in   chapter   areas

_____fund   student   research   and  

           establishment   of   native   plant  

           gardens   at   schools

_____education   of   public   on   native   and  

           non - native   plants

_____g ifts   to   herbaria   and   projects  

           such   as   native   plant   gardens   and  

           education

_____Other  

4 What   format   would   you   prefer   to   receive   the   newsletter ?

Electronic  

          ( email   or   website   download )

 Hard   Copy

Any   other   comments   on   the   future   of   the   WVNPS   are   appreciated :

How   to   get   this   information   to   us :

1 Print   and   fill   in   this   form   and   mail   to :

        Kevin   Campbell

         311 A lleman   Hill   Road

          Walker WV    26180

2 Fill - out   this   form   electronically S A VE   and   email   to   Hazwaste 99@ hotmail . com

3 Complete   the   survey   ONLINE   at   www . wvnps . org

Thank   You !

WV   N A TIVE   PL A NT   SOCIETY

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NEW   H A VEN WV  25265-0808