The North Carolina Natural Heritage Program (NHP) and the North Carolina Association of Environmental Professionals (NCAEP) will hold a one-day Rare Plant and Natural Community Identification workshop. The field trip/workshop will be led by James Padgett, Michael Schafale, Laura Robinson, and Suzanne Mason, and will highlight some of the rare plants and natural communities in the Hickory Nut Gorge area of the NC Mountains. This field trip is designed for environmental professionals, botanists, and students who are responsible for conducting environmental surveys.
June 3, 2015 Field Trip: Rare Species and Natural Communities
This one-day workshop will include visits to populations of the federally endangered White Irisette (Sisyrinchium dichotomum) in and around the Hickory Nut Gorge Area in western Rutherford County. We will potentially see the federally threatened Small Whorled Pogonia (Isotria medeoloides), or at least see habitat for this species. Other rare plant species will also be observed and we will focus on how to identify the species encountered. We will visit a variety of natural communities including Montane Hardwood Forests, Pine—Oak/Heath, Low Elevation Rocky Summit, and Rich Cove Forests.
The natural community portion of the workshop will be based on the Guide to the Natural Communities of North Carolina, Fourth Approximation (2012). This document in electronic form is available as a free download at the NHP website at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/nhp/searchable-publications. You may also download a copy of Classification of the Natural Communities of North Carolina, Third Approximation (1990) by Schafale and Weakley, which has more descriptive text than the current Fourth Approximation.
Registration: In order to make the most of this learning experience and for the safety of all participants and the habitats we visit, we must limit the number of participants to 20 registrants each day and require a minimum of 10 participants. If there is fewer than the minimum number of participants on either day, that day’s class may be canceled up to 1 week prior to the field trip. Registrants will receive a registration confirmation and additional trip details by email.
Transportation: The workshop fee includes transportation by van from the local meeting location to the workshop sites, for interested parties. If less than 10 people sign up to ride in a van, we may cancel the van registration and request that participants carpool. Due to limited parking at the rare plant sites, carpooling with other workshop participants or riding in a van is encouraged. Details about departure times and meeting locations will be emailed to participants prior to the workshop. We will make break stops at service stations along the way.
Meeting Location: Town of Lake Lure Visitors Center. 2948 Memorial Highway, Lake Lure, NC 28746. Participants will receive further information via email closer to the event. Those traveling from distant locations may choose to stay in Rutherfordton, approximately a 30-minute drive from the Lake Lure area.
Equipment: Please bring a lunch, as we will eat lunch while in the field.Please wear appropriate field clothes and shoes and bring insect repellent, sunscreen, and plenty of water. Bring a camera if you are interested in photographing the plants in flower. Participants will not be allowed to collect specimens. The field trips are planned rain or shine, so please plan and prepare accordingly. In the rare event of emergency cancellation or last minute updates, registrants will be contacted via email. Coolers will be provided for drinks. Afternoon snacks will also be provided.