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U.S. Forest Service

Celebrating Wildflowers News 2013

December 2013

Chicago Botanic Garden & US Forest Service – Eastern Region Partnership Field Season 2013 Progress

Posted December 12, 2013

Seed storage shelves with jars of seeds on them. Seed Storage at Shaw Arboretum, Missouri Botanical Garden.

Our ongoing Challenge Cost Share agreement with the Chicago Botanic Garden continues to support the Forest Service in the preservation of native plants of concern within the Eastern Region.

Read more about the Eastern Region's progress with the Chicago Botanic Garden (PDF, 213 KB)…

Kinomaage Native Plants Workshop – Fall 2013

Posted December 9, 2013

KBIC Fungi Workshop participants. KBIC Fungi Workshop participants.

On Friday, October 4, 2013, the Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College (KBOCC) hosted the sixth Native Plants Restoration and Pollinator Protection Workshop. This workshop provided by the Kinomaage/ Zaagkii Wings and Seeds series, focused on the theme "Forest Products and Plant Restoration". Approximately 30 individuals from throughout the Upper Peninsula of Michigan attended the workshop.

Read more about the Kinomaage Native Plants Workshop (PDF, 262 KB)…

November 2013

U.S Forest Service Eastern Region Intertribal Nursery Workshop

Posted November 15, 2013

Keweenaw Bay, Lake Superior, Michigan. Keweenaw Bay, Lake Superior, Michigan.

The Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) hosted a Forest Service Eastern Region Intertribal Nursery Workshop on August 13-14, 2013. Highlights included formal welcomes by the Four Thunders; an Elder blessing by Joe Dowd; a welcome from Chris Swartz KBIC Tribal Chairman; and greeting from Barbara Van Alstine and Tony Holland of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service. Jeremy Pinto of the Forest Service, Moscow, Idaho, provided a brief history of the Intertribal Nursery Council. Evelyn Ravindran, KBIC Hatchery/Nursery Manager, and Pam Nankervis, KBIC Wildlife Biologist, highlighted the KBIC Natural Resource Programs. Jan Schultz of the Forest Service Eastern Region and Scott Herron of Ferris State University, Big Rapids, Michigan discussed restoration needs, resources, and opportunities in botany. The Animal, Plant, Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Plant Protection and Quarantine’s (PPQ) mission regarding invasive species and how it relates to native plants and nurseries was presented by Craig Kellogg of the USDA, Romulus, Michigan.

Read more about the Eastern Region Intertribal Nursery Workshop (PDF, 498 KB)…

Volunteers Provide Assistance with Greenhouse, Nursery, and Restoration Projects on the Shasta-Trinity National Forest

Posted November 14, 2013

Volunteers working in the nursery.

In Fiscal Year 2013, forty-two volunteers provided 433.75 hours of assistance at the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, California, greenhouse and nursery as well as on restoration projects. They transplanted, prepared and sowed seed, watered, weeded and moved plants in the greenhouse and nursery. They also collected seed and planted seedlings on restoration sites.

Read more about the volunteers in the annual report (PDF, 1.8 MB)…

Overview, Nursery Program, and Sand Point Restoration: Achieving a Shared Vision

Posted November 14, 2013

Karen Anderson speaking at the conference. Karen Anderson speaking at the 13th Annual NAPPC conference.

Karen Anderson at the 13th annual North American Pollinator Protection Campaign (NAPPC) International Conference highlighted native plant and pollinator work by the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) Natural Resource Department and the Zaagkii Wings and Seeds Partnership on October 22-24, 2013.

Read more about the 13th annual NAPPC conference and the KBIC's efforts (PDF, 498 KB)…

September 2013

Forest Service National Strategic Framework for Invasive Species Management

Posted September 18, 2013

Forest National Strategic Framework for Invasive Species Management cover.

The Forest Service National Strategic Framework for Invasive Species Management responds to a 2010 USDA Office of Inspector General audit of Forest Service invasive programs by providing a consistent, agency-wide approach to the prevention, detection, and control of invasive insects, pathogens, plants, wildlife, and fish.

Read more about the Framework for Invasive Species Management…

August 2013

Long Live American Ginseng!

American ginsen. American ginseng, Panax quinquefolius.

Posted August 31, 2013

Prized for its fleshy taproot and similarity to the Asian medicinal plant Panax ginseng, American ginseng has been harvested both legally and illegally and exported to international markets since the early 1800s. Overharvests for the international market as well as other factors such as deer browse and habitat destruction are thought to have led to range wide population declines. Research has been initiated to assess current management policy on eastern and southern national forests in relation to population levels to determine if permitted harvest is consistent with long term sustainability of American ginseng.

Read more about American ginseng research…

Seed Banking Plant Species

Man dressed in a parka in the seed bank freezer looking at the seed collections. Putting endangered seeds into the Seed Bank's long-term freezer storage

Posted August 27, 2013

The Dixon National Tallgrass Prairie Seed Bank at the Chicago Botanic Garden collects and banks the seeds of rare and threatened plant species in northeastern forests in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service.

Read more about Seed Banking Plant Species…

Pollinator Mania Earth Day Event 2013

Plastic flower used in Pollinator Mania game.

Posted August 7, 2013

The playground is buzzing with running and laughing children. One group of kids is slowing down and shouting, “We need more nectar, we're dying!”

On the 26th of April, the Philipsburg School [Montana] held an Earth Day event and students participated in informative pollinator programs, one of which was the game, Pollinator Mania.

Read more about Pollinator Mania (PDF, 457 KB)…

July 2013

What's Bloomin' on the Black Hills National Forest?

Image from the What's Bloomin' slide show.

By Chelsea Monks Forest Botanist, Black Hills National Forest Posted July 17, 2013

I wanted to make sure that you were aware of the web page the Black Hills National Forest maintains every summer. It is called "What's Bloomin' in the Black Hills?" and features lists of the current blooming species along with links to photos. The lists and photos come from botanists and others across the Forest. I try to update the site every other week.

Visit What's Bloomin'…

June 2013

Forest Service is Aflutter with Native Plant and Pollinator Gardens

Posted June 18, 2013

Cranberry Mountain Nature Center Native Plant and Pollinator Garden. The Cranberry Mountain Nature Center Native Plant and Pollinator Garden is located along an accessible walkway with views of the highland Scenic Highway. (U.S. Forest Service photo/Diana Stull).

With a view of majestic mountains in the background, visitors to the Cranberry Mountain Nature Center of the Monongahela National Forest find themselves immersed in a bevy of beautiful plants in bloom and fluttering monarch butterflies. Beneath the natural grandeur, a very essential ecosystem service is taking place – pollination.

In celebration of National Pollinator Week, June 17-21, 2013, the Forest Service invites you to come and visit the beautiful gems called Native Plant and Pollinator gardens currently in bloom in the Eastern Region.

Read more about Native Plant and Pollinator Gardens in the Eastern Region…

Botany Challenge 49

Posted June 18, 2013

Botany Challenge 49 participants. Botany Challenge 49 participants.

The Falls Creek area of the Chugach State Park, Alaska, is immensely beautiful and includes verdant forests, species rich shrublands, and a lively stream. The trailhead is about 20 miles east of Anchorage on the Seward Highway. On the evening of June 13, 2013, “Botany Challenge 49” was held. The hiking group sought to identify 49 species of native plants (Alaska being the 49th state) and to note the phenological state of each (vegetative, flowering, fruiting). There were eleven participants (9 people and 2 dogs) in the botany challenge event, which extended from sea level to about 1,200 feet elevation along the Falls Creek Trail in Chugach State Park.

Read more about Botany Challenge 49…

Northern Michigan tribes unite in effort to restore native plants and protect pollinators

Posted June 7, 2013

Silverspot butterfly Group talking circle.

Drumming, demonstrations, talking circles and presentations greeted participants during April’s 5th Native Plants Restoration and Pollinator Protection Workshop, aptly named Kinomaage – or “Teachings from the earth.” Sault Tribe hosted the workshop at their cultural center.

The Kinomaage series is part of the Wings and Seeds Project (Zaagkii) first launched in 2008 by the Cedar Tree Institute, the U.S. Forest Service, Northern Michigan University’s Center for Native American Studies and Michigan’s Marquette County Juvenile Court.

The intent of the workshops is to assist indigenous leaders in reclaiming key roles as traditional caretakers of Great Lakes botanical ecosystems. The project is also a reminder to people that pollination is an essential ecological function. According to the Kinomaage website, “Over 80 percent of the world’s vegetables and fruits require a pollinator to produce. These pollinators include bats, butterflies, moths, flies, birds, beetles, ants and bees.”

Read about Northern Michigan tribes effort to restore native plants and protect pollinators (PDF, 0.6 MB)

May 2013

Cheers to Butterflies

Posted May 13, 2013

Silverspot butterfly Silverspot butterfly (U.S. Forest Service photo).

As the bartender drew pints of Silverspot India Pale Ale for the crush of people in the Pelican Pub and Brewery in Pacific City, Ore., recently, Michelle Dragoo, Siuslaw National Forest wildlife biologist, and Anne Walker, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist, prepared to tell the story of the butterfly that inspired the event. About 50 people grabbed a drink and a snack then settled in to listen.

Read about the Oregon silverspot butterfly on the USDA Blog…

Great Basin Native Plant Selection and Increase Project 2012 Progress Report

Posted May 7, 2013

Cover page of Great Basin Native Plant Selection and Increase Project 2012 Progress Report.

The Interagency Native Plant Materials Development Program outlined in the 2002 USDA and USDI Report to Congress, USDI Bureau of Land Management programs and policies, and the Great Basin Restoration Initiative encourage the use of native species for rangeland rehabilitation and restoration where feasible. The Great Basin Native Plant Selection and Increase Project was initiated to provide information that will be useful to managers when making decisions about selecting appropriate plant materials and technologies for restoration. The Program is supported by the USDI Bureau of Land Management's National Native Plant Materials Program and the Great Basin Restoration Initiative and administered by the USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station's Grassland, Shrubland and Desert Ecosystem Research Program.

Read the Great Basin Native Plant Selection and Increase Project 2012 Progress Report (PDF, 8.9 MB)

Stories of Biodiversity on the Move, Monarch Butterflies (Danaus plexippus)

Posted May 3, 2013

Title scene of the YouTube Video, Stories of Biodiversity on the Move, Monarch Butterflies (Danaus plexippus)

A Google Earth Tour is posted on YouTube describing the migration of monarch butterflies, and the people that help them out along the way. It was produced by Atlantic Public Media in cooperation with the Encyclopedia of Life. Producers: Eduardo Garcia-Milagros and Ari Daniel Shapiro.

See the Monarch Butterflies Migration Google Earth Tour…

Announcing the 2102 National Forest System Invasive Species Program Award Winners

Posted May 3, 2013

The Forest Service announced the recipients of the 2012 National Forest System Invasive Species Program Awards on March 12, 2103. Each year, these national awards honor individuals and groups for outstanding work against aquatic and terrestrial invasive species threatening the National Forest System. Awards were presented for excellence in partnership development, prevention, early detection and rapid response, innovative control and management, and landscape-scale restoration and rehabilitation.

Read the Forest Service correspondence announcing the winners (PDF, 204 KB)…

USDA Secretary Thomas J. Vilsack proclaims National Pollinator Week and National Grassland Week

Posted May 2, 2013

April 2013

In the northeast, forests with entirely native flora are not the norm

Posted April 30, 2013

Two-thirds of all forest inventory plots in the Northeast and Midwestern United States contain at least one non-native plant species, a new U.S. Forest Service study found. The study across two dozen states from North Dakota to Maine can help land managers pinpoint areas on the landscape where invasive plants might take root.

Read more about northeast forests with native flora…

Native Wildflowers and Bees of Western Montana

Posted April 17, 2013

Cover page of Native Wildflowers and Bees of Western Montana.

Many of us enjoy the beauty of wildflowers, but we may not know their names or how to identify them. This basic guide will help you identify sixteen pairs of common native wildflowers and bees of western Montana that provide vital pollination services. In this this guide, a bee is paired with a flower it is most likely to visit, but it may visit other flower types as well. From early spring through the fall, look for these wildflowers and bees as you walk along forest and grassland trails.

This brochure was prepared and published by the U.S. Forest Service Lolo National Forest, Missoula, Montana. Text is by Susan Reel, design and native plant illustrations by Nancy Seiler, and bee illustrations by Steve Buchanan.

Native Wildflowers and Bees of Western Montana (PDF, 3.8 MB)

National Wildflower Week - May 19-25, 2013!

Posted April 11, 2013

Celebrating Wildflowers Logo

USDA Secretary Thomas J. Vilsack proclaimed May 19-25, 2013, "National Wildflower Week" (PDF, 311 KB)!

National Wildflower Week will kick off a season-long festival of events highlighting wildflower appreciation, education, interpretation, and restoration activities. The Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and National Park Service, along with all of our partners who participate in the Federal Interagency Plant Conservation Alliance, will join together to celebrate the diversity of plants and plant habitats found on the Nation's public lands.

Moving Harper's Beauty Off Road

Posted April 3, 2013

Harper's beauty. Harper's beauty is a perennial lily with a solitary yellow flower and iris-like leaves and is listed as federally endangered (U.S. Forest Service photo).

The first week of March found a team of plant biologists down on their knees in a highway right-of-way in the Florida Panhandle searching for Harper's beauty, one of Florida's rarest native plants.

A perennial lily with a solitary yellow flower and iris-like leaves, Harper's beauty (Harperocallis flava) is listed as federally endangered and found in only three Panhandle counties, with most plants growing in the Apalachicola National Forest.

Volunteers from the U.S. Forest Service, its Southern Research Station, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Florida Department of Transportation, and Florida Natural Areas Inventory were there to take the first step in a project to move the endangered plants from the roadside to a more secure home.

Read more about moving Harper's Beauty off road…

March 2013

A Tale of Alaskan Winter Weather Explains Current, Changing Landscapes

Blueberry budding and blooming. Early blueberry is budding out in mid-February in southeastern Alaska. U.S. Forest Service photo by Mary Stensvold.

Posted March 29, 2013

This winter in Alaska has been particularly warm. At sea level, rain rather than snow has dominated the precipitation. Instead of crisp, snowy winter days, we're experiencing soggy, drippy weather. The temperature is warm enough that the early blueberries are beginning to flower. Because this is very early for flowering, a hard freeze later in the winter could destroy the budding plants and threaten the berry crop.

Read more about the Tale of Alaskan Winter Weather…

Great Lakes Greenhouse Gives Native Plants a Second Chance

Posted March 27, 2013

Since the early 1990s, the Hiawatha National Forest has operated a greenhouse in Marquette, Michigan. The idea is to provide both native seeds and seedlings for successful restoration of sites impacted by logging or disturbed by other land management activities. For instance, when aging culverts are replaced, native plants can be introduced to re-vegetate disturbed soil. Seeds and seedlings are also used to enhance existing wildlife habitats.

Read more about the Great Lakes greenhouse…

Volunteers Help Restore Native Idaho Wildlife Habitat

Volunteers plant bitterbrush. Volunteers plant bitterbrush. Photo by Idaho Fish & Game.

Lucky Peak Nursery native forb production field. Lucky Peak Nursery native forb production field.

Posted March 8, 2013 From Idaho Fish & Game News

Volunteers provide the workforce to restore native habitat throughout Idaho, collecting seed and planting since 1990 when Idaho Fish and Game initiated its volunteer program. Since then, thousands of volunteers in the southwest have planted nearly three quarter of a million bitterbrush and sagebrush seedlings to restore the native shrubs on burned winter ranges for deer, elk and pronghorn. During summer months, volunteers collect seed from native plants including forbs, grasses, and shrubs for restoration work by the Boise National Forest and the Idaho Fish and Game.

Some seed is used by the U.S. Forest Service Lucky Peak Nursery, 15 miles east of Boise, to propagate seedlings that volunteers plant. The seed is taken to the nursery and spread on drying racks. Nursery employees clean the seed. Seeds sown in May of one year are ready to plant as seedlings the following spring.

Read more about volunteers helping to restore native Idaho wildlife habitat (PDF, 380 KB)…

January 2013

“Gikinoo’wizhiwe Onji Waaban” (Guiding for Tomorrow) Changing Climate, Changing Culture Initiative

Guiding for Tomorrow logo.

Posted Jan 30, 2013

The Gikinoo’wizhiwe Onji Waaban (Guiding for Tomorrow) or “G-WOW” Initiative takes a unique approach to increasing people’s knowledge of climate change impacts on the Lake Superior region by integrating scientific research with real world evidence of how climate change is affecting traditional Ojibwe lifeways. It brings Native perspectives to addressing issue of climate change and incorporates Ojibwe language and cultural components. The project’s service learning approach promotes community level action to mitigate or adapt to a changing Lake Superior climate.

Read more about “Gikinoo’wizhiwe Onji Waaban” (PDF, 380 KB)…

Pollinator Activities Take Flight, Find Rare Bumble Bee in Northeastern Wisconsin

Monarch butterflies. Monarch butterflies.

Posted Jan 24, 2013

Something’s abuzz on the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest’s Lakewood-Laona Ranger District in northeast Wisconsin.

Imagine a place where the air is laden with intoxicating scents of flowers in bloom, a place where treasures wait to be found, where countless butterflies swirl like fluttering jewels amidst bees and diurnal moths, all against a backdrop of vibrant green.

Sound too good to be true?

Read more about pollinator activities…

White Mountain National Forest Celebrates 2012 Invasive Species Accomplishments

Treated roadside on the White Mountain National Forest. Treated roadside.

Posted Jan 7, 2013

White Mountain National Forest wildlife and botany staff finished the 2012 field season with a total of 73.2 acres of Non-Native Inavasive Species treatment on the Forest, exceeding the target by 55%.

Read more about the White Mountain National Forest accomplishments…