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Wenatchee Valley Chapter WNPS

2018 Field Trip Schedule


Upper Valley Ski Hill Walk at Leavenworth Ski Hill

Tuesday, April 17, 2018 2:00-5:00 PM
Wednesday, May 2, 2018 2:00-5:00 PM
Wednesday, May 30, 2018 2:00-5:00 PM
Tuesday, June 5, 2018 2:00-5:00

Join Connie McCauley to explore the Ski Hill area, looking at wildflowers, birds, and wildlife. Depending upon interest and conditions, participants will explore both ski trails and newly constructed mountain bike trails during this 2-3 hour walk.

Connie has explored these hills for 40 years and enjoys sharing her local knowledge with all ages and backgrounds. Meet at the Ski Hill Parking lot on 10701 Ski Hill Drive in Leavenworth.

RSVP appreciated but not required. Contact Hillary at (509) 667-9708 or hillary@cdlandtrust.org to RSVP.

This is a joint event made possible by a partnership with the Chelan Douglas Land Trust.


Coyote Sand Dunes

Wednesday, April 18, 5:30 pm- 7:00 pm Susan Ballinger

Join Susan Ballinger to explore this riverside area. We walk north along the loop trail to access the PUD Coyote Dunes property where we will walk on sandy footpaths. We will explore stabilized dunes and rock outcrops to see a wide variety of blooming native shrubs and wildflowers.  A newly developed species list for the site will be provided.

To join this outing, meet at the Apple Capital Loop Trail Trailhead at 32nd Place NW (parking lot with vault toilet), Douglas Co. WA.  Contact: Susan Ballinger, skylinebal@gmail.com or (509 669-7820)

Sam Hill Wildflower Walk

Saturday, April 21, 2018 1:00-4:00 Anne and Don Schaechtel, Jack Mynatt

Don't miss this! See the wildflowers at the Land Trust's Sam Hill property, just inside Icicle Canyon near Leavenworth. This property is unique and hosts a variety of beautiful and interesting plants. Join CDLT board member Jack Mynatt and Washington Native Plant Society Members Don and Ann Schaechtel for a wildflower walk. This is a joint Washington Native Plant Society and Land Trust event.

Even though the mileage is short, the terrain is rugged. Wear hiking boots, bring water and snacks, and dress for the weather. There will be a 12 person limit for this outing. Meeting location and directions will be emailed to participants prior to the event. This hike is open to Land Trust and Native Plant Society Members. Please call 509.667.9708 or email hillary@cdlandtrust.org  to register.

Wildflower Hike at Jacobson Preserve – Native Plant Appreciation Week

Thursday, April 26 5:30-7:00 Hillary Clark

Celebrate the beauty of springtime during Native Plant Appreciation Week! Join us for a weeknight wildflower walk at Jacobson Preserve, led by Wenatchee Naturalist and CDLT Membership & Education Coordinator Hillary Clark. We will explore what's blooming and learn about what we can do to encourage native plants in our area. Leave with a list of plants found at Jacobson Preserve.

This is a joint Wenatchee Valley Native Plant Society and CDLT event. This event will last from 5:30 to 7 pm. Please RSVP online at the CDLT website, or call or email Hillary with any questions (hillary@cdlandtrust.org, 509-667-9708).

Quincy Area Wildflower Walk

Friday, April 27, 2018 10:00 – 2:00 Molly Boyter

A chance to explore the spring bloomers at either the Beezley Hills or Babcock Bench.  The final location will be decided prior to the trip based on the best blooms.  We will explore early blooms in the shallow lithosols mixed in with deep soiled sagebrush biscuits near Quincy.

Meet at the East Wenatchee Park and Ride at 10:00am to carpool.  We can pick up additional folks at the rest area west of Quincy before heading on to our destination.  Access to both sites are on well-maintained gravel roads. Plan on being back to the East Wenatchee Park and Ride by 2:00pm.  To join this trip, contact Molly Boyter at mboyter@blm.gov or 509-665-2137.



Lower Crab Creek and Sentinel Dunes Exploration

Friday, May 4, 8:00 – 4:00 Nick Bechtold and Molly Boyter

We will spend the first half of the trip with Nick Bechtold, Assistant Manager of WDFW’s Columbia Basin Wildlife Area, along lower Crab Creek which is east of Beverly, WA.  Nick will tell us about how the agency manages the Wildlife Area, the important riparian habitats in Lower Crab Creek, and the challenges of managing wildlife habitat within a large federal irrigation project.

After lunch we will drive around to the western end of the Saddle Mountains to the Sentinel Gap dunes.  On our sandy hike we will see sand-loving species such as white sand verbena (Abronia mellifera), turpentine wave-wing (Cymopterus terebinthinus), sand-dune Penstemon (Penstemon acuminatus), and dune scurf-pea (Laedeania lanceolata), and lots of pale evening-primrose (Oenothera pallida).

Meet at the East Wenatchee Park and Ride at 8:00am to carpool.  We can pick up additional folks at the Sand Hollow Recreation Area on highway 243 just south of the Vantage Bridge.  Plan on being back to the East Wenatchee Park and Ride by 4:00pm. Please note, a Discover Pass or Vehicle Access Pass is required for the first half of this trip. Please let the trip leader know if you have a pass and are willing to carpool.  To join this trip, contact Molly Boyter at mboyter@blm.gov or 509-665-2137.

Tibbetts Mountain Hike

Friday, May 11, 2018 9:00 AM– 4:00 PM Cindy Luskus

Grab your wildflower guide books and binoculars and join me for a wonderful hike in an out of the way area that is still close to home! On this hike, we will be stopping often to look at the wonderful, and sometimes unusual wildflowers along the way. Tibbetts Mountain boasts better and better views and wildflowers as you hike up an old road bed for 2.5 miles (approx. 1660' elevation gain).  This takes you to a nice viewpoint overlooking the Cashmere area and beyond.  If the group is up for it, the actual summit (4115') can be reached by traveling along the ridge on a rugged trail for another quarter of a mile and another 225' of elevation.  Wear good hiking boots and bring a pack with lunch, water and enough clothing to deal with whatever the weather brings.

Meet at the Penny Road Park and Ride in Olds Station at 9:00 am, then we will carpool to the trailhead. We should return to the P&R at about 4:00 pm.  Call or e-mail Cindy Luksus (509) 888-0245, cluksus@nwi.net to sign up for this trip.  Limited to 10 participants.

Shrub-Steppe Wildflower Hike in Moses Coulee

Friday, May 18, 2018 8:00 to 2:00 pm Aaron Rosenblum

Join Aaron Rosenblum of the Foster Creek Conservation District in exploring some Nature Conservancy land parcels. We will begin our day on the Homestead Valley Trail south of Hwy 2 on Nature Conservancy property.  The trail is two miles long, relatively flat, and will lead us through a variety of different habitat types complete with gorgeous views.  We will then head north about 15 minutes to Dutch Henry Falls.  A short ¼ mile hike from the road leads us to the falls. We will enjoy lunch at the base of the falls and continue botanizing in the area, returning to Waterville by 2 pm.  Please bring proper attire, plenty of water, and lunch.  Also, please be aware that rattlesnakes and ticks are present in the area. 

We will meet at the Waterville Courthouse east parking lot at 8:00 am to carpool to The Nature Conservancy land in the Moses Coulee. 203 S. Rainier St. is the address for the front of the building. The parking lot is on the corner of Birch and Adams St. To join this trip, please contact Aaron Rosenblum, arosenblum@fostercreekcd.org or (509)-423-5990



Basic Plant Identification and Keying Study Group

Friday, June 1, 2018 1:00-4:00PM Lisa Therrell and Joan Frazee

Would you like to practice keying plants in Hitchcock in a non-intimidating setting?  Join Lisa Therrell and Joan Frazee at the Leavenworth Ski Hill to practice keying plants.  We will take a look around and select a few straight forward and common things to key, jumping straight to family or genus to speed things up.  We will look up and review nomenclature as we go.  Bring your Hitchcock, a hand lens, a ruler in metric, and something to sit on like a sit-upon or a lightweight camp chair.  Your trip leaders have been enjoying the process of discovery for many years. Contact Lisa Therrell at merrymulesears@msn.com or leave a message at (509) 548-4137.  We will meet at the Leavenworth Ski Hill in Leavenworth.

Lichen Exploration in the Swauk

Saturday June 2, 2018, 9:00-4:00 Jack Massie

Explore common lichens in the Swauk drainage with Jack Massie, US Forest Service botanist.  Jack has been studying and inventorying lichens for the Forest Service for a many years.  Jack will provide an identification guide and lots of interesting details about these unique members of the plant kingdom.  We will drive to a number of locations and explore each habitat area.  Expect to hike a short distance at each stop.  Wear appropriate footwear. Depending on our final site selections, a NW Forest Pass may be required for parking.  To reserve a place on this trip, please RSVP by email, annfink@northfork@nwi or call (509) 548-4137.  Limit of 15.

Iron-Bear Hike

Friday, June 8, 2018 8:30 to 6:00 Cindy Luskus

This all-day hike has it all!  The views are amazing as we travel through several ecosystems.  We will gain 1900 ft. of elevation in 3.5 miles (7 miles round trip), but, at a leisurely pace to accommodate the numerous flower distractions along the way. The trail climbs through forest and then along an exposed serpentine ridge (1.8 miles).  The trail then traverses long switchbacks to a 5489’ knoll. We will see many lovely forest plants, including endemics such as Wenatchee lomatium (Lomatium cuspidatum) and Cryptantha thompsonii.  Bring a pack with lunch, water and gear appropriate to the mountains and any possible changes in weather.  Good hiking boots are essential, and poles are recommended. Flower guide books will be well used. 

Meet at the Penny Road Park and Ride in Olds Station at 8:30am. We will pick up Leavenworth area folks at the Big Y Park and Ride at 9:15am before continuing south on Highway 97 to Forest Service Road 9714 and a bumpy 3.5 mile ride to the trailhead. Plan on being back at the respective Park and Rides at 5:30pm and 6:00pm.  To join this trip, contact Cindy Luksus, cluksus@nwi.net or (509) 888-0245. Limited to 8.

Icicle Gorge

Saturday June16, 2018, 9:00 -2:00 Joan Frazee and Ann Fink

Join Joan and Ann for a delightful 4 mile walk on the Icicle Gorge Trail.  Scenery abounds on this easy walk through several plant communities.  Expect to experience a diversity of trees, shrubs and wildflowers as we meander through dry forest, moist forest, and a cedar bog with a luxuriant understory of false bugbane and devil's club. Elevation gain is negligible, so this trail is suitable for most hikers.  Expect to see many species of trees, as this moist valley has representatives from both sides of the Cascades. To join this hike, contact Joan Frazee je_frazee@hotmail.com or you can call/text 541-801-5513.  We will commence on our botanical adventure at 9:00 on Saturday June 16 at the Icicle Gorge trailhead which does require a NW Forest Pass.  The trailhead is on your left as you proceed on the unpaved portion of Icicle Road some distance beyond the Chatter Creek Guard Station.  Limited to 12 participants.  

Introduction to Grass Identification

Saturday, June 23, 2017 9:00 to 1:00 Don Schaechtel

In this four-hour clinic you will learn how to identify common grasses in the Wenatchee Valley and the basics of grass identification.  This is a hands-on clinic.  We will look at grasses as they are growing and then look at the details that separate one genus and species from another.  Bring a hand lens and lunch or snacks.  A hand-out will be provided.  Limit 8. Meet at 54 Wedge View Lane, Leavenworth from 9:00 to 1:00.  Sign-up by email to don.safety@nwi.net before June 16.


Wenatchee Valley Chapter
Meeting and Presentation
Schedule for 2018

Date:         Thursday, April 12, 2018
Topic:        Plant Conservation in Utah: Lessons for Washington
Presenter:  Walt Fertig, Washington Natural Heritage State Rare Plant Botanist
Time:         7:00 pm to 8:30 pm
Place:        Wenatchee Museum and Cultural Ce
                 127 South Mission St, Wenatchee, WA

Utah has one of the largest floras of any state and the highest concentration of national parks and other highly protected lands in the country. Working with the National Park Service and the Utah Native Plant Society, Walt helped develop a system for assessing conservation priorities for plant species in southern Utah and for determining gaps in the protected area network. He hopes to apply some of these same methods in Washington as the state's new botanist for the Natural Heritage Program. Walt will also will talk briefly about some of the challenges and rewards of doing plant conservation work in rural areas.

This is our last regularly scheduled meeting until Fall. Watch this site for updates!




Wenatchee Chapter 2016 Plant of the Year:

Nicotiana Attentua (Coyote Tobacco)

by Molly Boyter

Nicotiana attenuata is a rare annual that is found in Washington east of the Cascades, as well as other parts of the West.  It is strong smelling, hairy, and sticky, and grows to 3-10 dm.  The leaves are larger and lance-ovate at the bottom to reduced and more linear at the top.  The corolla is up to 3.5 cm long, white, and blooms from June to September.Coyote Tobacco

As part of my job as a botanist at the Bureau of Land Management I am responsible for monitoring rare plants, and have been trying to relocate Nicotiana populations since 2010.  After reading the descriptions of this flower I thought it would be easy to recognize, monitor, and report my findings.  However I was unable to find the plants at any of the former sites on BLM lands in Douglas Creek and Moses Coulee.  What was I missing?

In 2015, while driving through an area that burned in the 2014 Palisades fire, I saw a few rather tall forbs with white flowers which stood out starkly against the rocky coulee walls.  I thought it was strange to see a showy flower so late in the season since most things have begun to dry up on the Columbia Plateau by this time.  It was just about the only thing blooming at this location, which was just starting to recover from the fire the year before but had very little vegetative cover.

I hopped out to see if I could identify this mystery plant.  Maybe, just maybe, this was the elusive Nicotiana!  It was sticky, and stinky, and growing big and bold where almost nothing else was.  There were hundreds of these plants growing on the coulee floor and even into the rocky slopes.  I returned a few days later with a botany intern and we counted over 2000 plants on 40 acres, an astounding number since most sites in our records reported only scattered handfuls of individuals. Pam Camp graciously volunteered her time to look at the plants and confirmed their identity.  It was Nicotiana attenuata!

Since noting this population in 2015, I have become a fire follower, looking for ‘new’ Nicotiana populations in areas of likely habitat that have recently burned.  In 2016, BLM interns and I have documented sites in many recently burned areas of Douglas Creek, Burton Draw near Jameson Lake, and the Columbia River.  Though recent large fires have been extremely devastating to the sagebrush habitat in our region, it has been fascinating and exciting to discover the persistence of this little plant that has been hiding in the seed bank.  Where will it pop up next?


Updated: April 4, 2018
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