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Rick Speer <[log in to unmask]>
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- JBS-L - Josselyn Botanical Society discussion list of the University of Maine <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 7 Mar 2004 13:57:48 -0500
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Dave Field of the Maine Appalachian Trail Conference is looking for
volunteers to help with monitoring rare plant sites along the AT.  I
will paste in an email below that he sent recently to those who had
expressed an interest in helping.  He is looking for additional
volunteers, especially individuals with botanical knowledge or
background.  If you are interested in learning more or helping out,
please contact him directly at:  [log in to unmask]

Rick Speer

From Dave Field:
Please mark 10 July on your calendars.  That is the date of the Natural
Heritage Monitoring Training Session, probably on Saddleback or Bigelow.

We have some 41 "natural diversity" sites along the A.T. corridor in
Maine, but only 14 or so are "rare, threatened, and endangered plant
monitoring sites".

A very brief overview of the protocol is:

1.  Preparation and training (the 10 July session).  Each monitor will
receive a site-specific "natural heritage site monitoring kit" that
includes a description of the site, how to get there, and a botanical
description of the species (drawing and/or photo) present at the site.
Some species can best be identified during its flowering or fruiting
phase.  For some alpine flora, that can be a rather small time window.

2.  Locating the rare species population.

3.  Evaluating the health of the population (this requires training)

4.  Identifying threats to the site (especially threats related to A.T.

5.  Recording and reporting findings (using approved forms, of course!)

Photographic evidence is some of the best for identifying problems and
monitoring changes.  The rapidly increasing availability of inexpensive
digital cameras should help with this.

This is a sensitive responsibility.  We really do not want the general
population and the hiking community to know the location of threatened
and endangered species, for fear of attracting collectors.

Not every site will need to be visited every year, but most will
require at least annual visits.

Anyway, thanks again for your interest and I'll be in touch.
David B. Field
E. L. Giddings Professor of Forest Policy
 and Chair, Department of Forest Management