Expedition: Red Bluff 2009

We spent 5 days at Red Bluff bay conducting Invasive and sensitive plant surveys and solitude monitoring. Red Bluff was the most heavily used area that we visited in either Wilderness during the 2009 field season. There were 10 private boats anchored in the bay and 2 parties seen on shore.

We did not find any invasive species, but document several populations of Polystichum kruckebergii , a species of fern included on the Region 10 Sensitive plant list, on the bluffs. Additionally we found two species included on the Alaska Natural Heritage Vascular Plant tracking list, Mimulus lewisii (S2) and Asplenium trichomanes (S1) on the bluffs near the abandoned cannery site. Interesting vegetation types encountered included the strikingly sparse vegetation found on the ultramafic bluffs and stands of Populus balsamifera in the floodplain.

Cedar samples were collected for the Forest Sciences study on the genetics and biogeography of Alaska Yellow Cedar.

Notable bird sightings included: a pair of Red-throated loons, groups of Marbled murrelets, a juvenile Trumpeter Swan and a Western Screech Owl.

The most unusual animal sighting was grasshoppers (not typical of insular southeast Alaska) on the bluffs.

A sow and cubs were seen in the estuary meadow.

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