Sitka Conservation Society
Jun 22 2009

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.

Jun 07 2009

Expedition: Lake Diana

The Wilderness Ranger and I spent an overnight trip at Lake Diana to monitor a hunting camp and to conduct invasive and sensitive plant surveys.

We did extensive clean up of a camp site near the eastern shore of the lake, including trash collection, line removal and consolidating multiple fire rings into one site.

We hiked up from the eastern shore to the snow line on the ridge overlooking the Salmon Lake valley. No invasive or sensitive plants were seen.  The most notable feature of the vegetation was the presence of several native Mtn Ash trees.

Notable bird sightings: American Pipits, Red-Tailed Hawks

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