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Plant researchers needed

Gregory Crofton, Tahoe Daily Tribune

The hunt for rare plants is on.

The U.S. Forest Service is teaming up with the Native Plant Society and the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency to teach residents how to spot sensitive and endangered plants in the Tahoe Basin.

Two training sessions, one starting May 11, the other June 15, will teach for free a limited number of people how to identify the rare plants. Once trained, the participants will be required to work one day this summer taking inventory.

The training session in May runs two consecutive days, each 8-hour courses, and is limited to 20 people. Nineteen are already signed up.

The session in June is one day and has a limit of 30. So far, nine people are signed up.

The inventories will be conducted June to August at places such as Freel Peak, Grass Lake, various creek meadows in the basin and high Alpine country, said Gail Durham, forest botanist at U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit.

“That’s why we’re surveying,” she said. “We don’t know how much we have. It’s a big effort.”

Durham said once the Forest Service knows where the sensitive plants are, its employees can design projects for the protection of the plants.

Anyone interested in signing up for the training should call Connie Cowan at (530) 573-2233. Cowan, an LTBMU employee, said most of the people who already signed up are members of the California and Nevada native plant societies.


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