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Conference Wide

Fritcher, Shawn [1], Rowe, Erika [1].

Fire and Ice:  Glacial Relicts to Fire-Dependent Plant Communities at Whitewater State Park and Great River Bluffs State Park.

We will explore the rugged topography of Whitewater State Park.  A diverse mix of plant communities are found within this 3200-acre state park including cold and wet north slopes, bottomland hardwood forests, groundwater seepage communities, mesic maple and basswood forests, dry oak forests, and dry cliffs. Along the way we will see historic CCC/WPA-era structures, coldwater streams, and scenic overlooks.   Great River Bluffs State Park is dominated by south and west facing bluffs with large bluff prairies and fire-dependent woodlands.  The towering bluffs and cliffs offer scenic vistas of the Mississippi River.  We will discuss some of the challenges of managing fire-dependent communities while balancing the protection of other rare species.  We may visit disjunct populations of Montia chamissoi and Thuja occidentalis if time and energy allows.  Hiking conditions at both locations will be moderate to strenuous depending on the route.  Some trails have stone or wooden steps and climb 250-300 feet of elevation.  Plan to be on and off the trail on uneven terrain. Hiking boots, hat, and long pants are recommended.  Insect spray, sunscreen, binoculars, and rain gear (depending on the forecast) are advised.  Both parks are in high risk areas for deer ticks.  Tick gaiters, light colored clothing, repellants, and/or tucking pants in socks are recommended. Box lunches and water will be provided.

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1 - Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

none specified

Presentation Type: Activities:Field Trips
Session: FT06, Fire and Ice: Glacial Relicts to Fire-Dependent Plant Communities at Whitewater State Park and Great River Bluffs State Park
Location: Ballroom Lobby - West/Mayo Civic Center
Date: Saturday, July 21st, 2018
Time: 8:00 AM
Number: FT06001
Abstract ID:1245
Candidate for Awards:None

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