The HERS Lab is working with the Ochoco and Malheur National Forests to develop a monitoring plan that will evaluate effects of forest restoration activities on a rare and endemic plant, Peck’s mariposa lily (Calochortus longebarbatus Wats. var. peckii). Monitoring will include documentation of baseline (pre-stand treatment) mariposa lily distribution and abundance and post-treatment responses.
Five-needle white pines, including limber pine (Pinus flexilis), are foundational species in upper subalpine and treeline forests. They create locally stable conditions required by many other species. White pine trees are susceptible to the invasive pathogen white pine blister rust (Cronartium ribicola), which has decimated stands throughout the Intermountain West and portions of the Pacific West. Limber pine is a high priority resource at Craters of the Moon NM&P, being monitored by the UCBN. The data collected about these limber pine help detect changes in the ecological condition of the local limber pine community and provide park staff with information about the forest dynamics of these stands.
The nutritious bulb-like root of camas lily (Camassia quamash) has long been harvested by indigenous people in the pacific northwest and is a culturally significant resource. The UCBN has partnered with parks to develop a citizen science program to support camas monitoring. Each year, high school students from communities around Weippe Prairie are trained and join small field teams, supervised by network and park staff, to collect annual camas monitoring data. This data assists park staff in making management and restoration decisions regarding camas habitat.
Lemhi penstemon (Penstemon lemhiensis) is a rare flowering plant, endemic to only 5 counties in Idaho and Montana, that is at risk of extinction due to habitat loss. The UCBN and HERS Lab annually monitor this species at Big Hole National Battlefield in Southwestern Montana, with the help of park staff and HERS Lab volunteers. Results of these monitoring efforts have confirmed the population at the battlefield to be the largest reported of the species, making Big Hole National Battlefield a crucial place for Lemhi penstemon conservation.