The North Carolina Natural Heritage Program and the North Carolina Association of Environmental Professionals (NCAEP) will hold a Rare Plant and Natural Community Identification workshop September 13, 2013. The field trip/workshop will be led by Michael Schafale and Laura Gadd of the NC Natural Heritage Program, and will highlight some of the natural communities and rare plants associated with the middle Coastal Plain region of the state, in Sampson and Bladen Counties. This field trip is designed for environmental professionals, botanists, and students who are responsible for conducting environmental surveys. The registration fee is $85.
Background Information: The Bladen Lakes area is one of the most distinctive places in North Carolina’s Coastal Plain with the largest concentration of natural lakes and Carolina bays in the state. This one-day workshop will examine natural communities characteristic to this region, including discussion on the geology of the Bladen Lakes area. Natural communities covered during this workshop will include types of Dry Longleaf Pine Communities, Cypress Gum Swamp), Peatland Atlantic White Cedar Forest, Peatland Pocosins, Wet Pine Savannas and Natural Lake Communities. We will include a look at rare plant species at these sites, focusing on federally listed Lindera melissifolia.
The Guide to the Natural Communities of North Carolina, Fourth Approximation (2012) 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) by Schafale and Weakley, which has more descriptive text than the current Fourth Approximation. Bound copies of the Third Approximation can be purchased from the North Carolina Natural Heritage Program for $15 at the workshop.
Equipment: Please bring a lunch, as we will eat lunch while in the field and will not stop at a restaurant. The registration fee does not include meals. Please wear appropriate field clothes and shoes and bring insect repellent, sunscreen, hat, and plenty of water. The field trip sites are known to harbor ticks, chiggers, and snakes. Bring a camera if you are interested in photographing plant species and natural communities. Participants will not be allowed to collect plant or animal 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.
Travel: The workshop fee includes transportation by van to and from the meeting site in Raleigh. The specific meeting site and suggested hotel accommodations will be announced to registrants closer to the time of the workshop. We will make break stops at service stations along the way.
North Carolina Association of Environmental Professionals, PO Box #17512, Raleigh, NC 27619