CNPS Happenings Jun/Jul 2015

June, 2015



Beginners and experts, non-members and members are all welcome at our programs and on our outings.  Almost all of our events are free.  All of our events are made possible by volunteer effort.

Evening Programs

Evening Programs are suspended for summer.  Get outside to see and learn about wild plants!

Field Trips and Walks

June 6, Saturday. 11 a.m.-3 p.m.  Jacoby Creek Forest Redwood Ecology Hike.  Jacoby Creek Forest at the end of Jacoby Creek Rd. is normally closed to the public.  This is a rare opportunity to survey its trees and plants with dynamic City botanist Michael McDowall.  Meet at 11 a.m. in the parking lot behind City Hall on 7th Street to carpool.  Bring water and snack/lunch; wear sturdy hiking shoes; be prepared for a moderate hike with two stream crossings.  Offered by the City of Arcata. The walk is limited to 25 people.  To make a reservation call 707-822-8184 or email

June 6, Saturday. 9 a.m. Haypress Meadow Wildflower Hike (& optional backpack overnight).  Explore meadows of the western Marble Mountains.  This is an all day hike with the option to backpack and camp overnight.  Meet at the Panamnik Building in Orleans (same building as the Post Office, 38150 Hwy 96) at 9 a.m., or at the Stanshaw Trailhead at 10:30. Please contact Tanya Chapple at 530-627-3202 or  Co-sponsored by Mid-Klamath Watershed Council.

June 20, Saturday. Rare Plant Treasure Hunt--Trinity Monkeyflower (Erythranthe trinitiensis).  Once again the North Coast Chapter of CNPS is partnering with Six Rivers National Forest to search for a rare plant.  We will head up Highway 299 to about 4,000 feet elevation in the Horse Mountain Botanical Area of Six Rivers National Forest.  We will visit a site where the recently described Trinity (Pink-margined) Monkeyflower  was seen last year and then attempt to find additional occurrences in the vicinity.  Be prepared for short hikes off gravel roads and for changeable, mountain weather.  Bring boots, lunch, water, hats, and sunscreen. Meet at 9:00 a.m. at Pacific Union School (3001 Janes Rd., Arcata) to carpool. Contact John McRae at 707-441-3513 for information, to say you are coming, and to tell him if you can bring a 4-wheel-drive vehicle.

June 27, Saturday.  Plant Gall Survey Trek.  A search for interesting and diverse plant galls takes us back to Titlow Hill Rd. and Horse Mountain area in Six Rivers National Forest (off Highway 299) with naturalist John DeMartini. At various roadside stops we will wander a bit, inspecting especially oaks (Quercus spp.) for these amazing homes for certain insect larvae.  We will make the most of the botany available, which should be wonderful.  Be prepared for walking off-trail and for changeable, mountain weather (cold or hot).  Bring lunch and plenty of water, and if you have one, a hand lens.  Meet at Pacific Union School (3001 Janes Rd., Arcata) at 9:30 a.m. to carpool. Return by 5 p.m. (or sooner, driver’s choice).  It’s good to tell us you’re coming:  707-822-2015.

July 10-11-12, Friday p.m.-Sunday.  East Boulder Lake and Scott Mt. Summit.  A two-mile hike, after an hour’s drive from our camp will put us at 6,700 ft in the wide basin of East Boulder Lake in the Scott Mountains, south of Callahan.   We will car-camp Friday and Saturday nights at Scott Mt. Summit Campground (5400 foot elevation) on Route 3 north of Weaverville, three hours from Arcata, in Shasta Trinity National Forest.  Saturday we will maximize time at East Boulder Lake among the Western White Pine and alpine flowers.  Sunday we will explore the camp area (one of our favorites) and Pacific Crest Trail before heading home.  Important: tell Carol if you are thinking of coming!  707-822-2015


A Botanical Treasure Hunt

Imagine a botanical explorer in the 1850s, in a place the locals called “Bear River Ridge.” With no USGS maps and no GPS, that was the best available information.  When the botanist discovered a wildflower he had never seen before, new to botanical science, he collected a specimen, circled an area on his crude map, and recorded a general location.  Then he described the specimen and named it, and the information all went into a collection of botanical specimens and the botanical literature.

Pink-margined monkeyflowerNow, 160 years later, contemporary botanists would dearly love to know if that plant still exists.  But first they have to find it.  The California Native Plant Society is organizing “Rare Plant Treasure Hunts” to locate and count individuals of rare species that have not been seen in many years.  CNPS Rare Plant Botanist and veteran botanical explorer Aaron Sims spoke to the North Coast Chapter of CNPS on April 8, describing his work, which involves seeking and mapping these finds.  He encouraged interested people to research rare species in their geographic areas, using records available through the California Natural Diversity Database and Consortium of California Herbaria, and then go search for these treasures in the wild. 
Our Chapter’s June 20th Rare Plant Treasure Hunt, organized by botanist John McRae of Six Rivers National Forest, will do this, searching for the Pink-margined Monkeyflower on Horse Mountain.

Documenting our rare species is important for the general conservation of our native flora.  As Sims said, “You can’t protect what you don’t know is there.”

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