FT 5 - Vegetation and Ecology of the South Prairie Botanical Area and the White Salmon Oak NRCA, Washington

Sunday, August 6, 2017: 7:30 AM-6:45 PM
M.L. King Jr. Lobby, Oregon Convention Center
Todd Keeler-Wolf, California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Gene Fults, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service; and Joe Rocchio, Washington Department of Natural Resources
This field trip is underwritten by the ESA Vegetation Panel and will give participants insight into how the National Vegetation Classification describes ecological settings in two locations: a montane wetland complex on the southwestern slopes of Mt Adams, and one of the best Oregon Oak woodlands remaining in southern Washington State.  The trip leaders are experienced ecologists who have worked with the plants and vegetation of the Pacific Northwest, and who have applied the concepts of the NVC to describing ecological sites and conditions.

The South Prairie Botanic Area is a beautiful, diverse mosaic of shallow lakes, fens, meadows, riparian and coniferous forests in a geologically interesting setting. The wetlands include shallow lakes with yellow pond lily and other hydrophytes; quaking fens with bog sedge, sundews; both wooded and herbaceous sloping fens with shore pine, bog bilberry, and mountain alder; and sedge meadows lined with willows, aspen, and cottonwoods. The drier lodgepole pine forests are on elevated lava flows riddled with lava tubes.

We will have lunch at South Prairie and in early afternoon depart for White Salmon Oaks Natural Resources Conservation Area. We will park at the southern edge of the area and will walk through a matrix of Oregon oak and grassland "balds" where we will discuss the tenuous maintenance and management of this wildlife-rich assemblage. We will return to the vans and head back along the Columbia Gorge, crossing back to Oregon at the Bridge of the Gods to return to Portland on Hwy 84.

Registration Fee: $115

Equipment and Attire: Hiking and weather conditions are expected to be comfortable and moderate. Dressing in layers and wearing comfortable hiking boots is recommended. Bring a rain jacket or poncho. Insect repellent, dark glasses, hats and sunscreen are recommended. Although we will not be wading, the meadows will be wet so water-repellent hiking boots are recommended. Participants should be fit enough to endure moderate uphill and downhill walking especially at the Oregon oak woodland stop. Frequent stops will be made with a longer one for lunch.

7:30 AM 2 vans leave Oregon Convention Center (611 Southwest Kingston Avenue, Portland, OR 97205) to arrive at South Prairie Botanical Area by 9:30 AM (National Forest Development Road 66)
Lunch at 12:00
Depart South Prairie at 1:30PM. Vans drive NE and E on National Forest Rd 66 to Carson Guler Rd/NF-24 and thence to Indian Cemetery Rd (WA-141N) to the junction of Indian Cr. Rd. the parking area for White Salmon Oaks NRCA.
2:30 Tour the White Salmon Oaks NRNA returning to the vans at 4:30
4:45 depart White Salmon Oaks NRCA returning via WA 14 and the Bridge of the Gods on OR 85 to return to the Oregon Convention Center by 6:45 PM

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