Montana Native Plant Society, Eastern and Western At-Large Areas
The At-Large Chapters exist to serve the MNPS membership without reference to specific area chapter membership and give a Society home to those without a chapter membership.
Eastern At-Large Representative
5119 Cherokee Trail
Billings, MT 59106
406-656-7869406-656-7869 h or 406-657-1186406-657-1186
Saturday, June 17, 8:15 a.m. “North Fork of Dupuyer Creek.” This hike is a three-mile stroll through prairie and foothill wildflowers, across the Old North Trail and grizzly country. The hike is on the Boone & Crockett Club’s Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Ranch, and will cross the prairie toward the North Fork Canyon and Walling Reef. Dave Shea will help with plant and wildlife identification and discuss the history and spectacular geology of the area. We should see more than 75 species of wildflowers, as well as tipi rings and the Old North Trail. Meet at the Choteau Information Center near the Old Trail Museum in Choteau. Info: Dave Shea at 466-2161. Cosponsored by the Montana Wilderness Association.
Sunday and Monday, June 25 and 26, 3-6 p.m. and 9 a.m.-noon. Following the conclusion of the MNPS Annual Membership Meeting in Lambert, Wayne Phillips will lead folks on some explorations of the American Prairie Reserve, south of Malta. Beside native grasses, shrubs, and wildflowers you may see bison, prairie dogs, burrowing owls, pronghorn, and maybe bighorn sheep. Headquarters for these two days is at APR’s Buffalo Camp. From the MNPS meeting near Lambert (Fox Lake), drive about 200 miles (3.5 hours) to Malta via state highway 201 and US 2, then south to Buffalo Camp about 40 miles (one hour). Detailed directions from Malta to Buffalo Camp are on the American Prairie Reserve website (www.americanprairie.org), where you must also reserve a campsite in advance at Buffalo Camp. A map and more info also is available on the APR website. Map orders require two to three-weeks for delivery, and there are a limited number of camp sites; reserve yours soon! Info: Wayne at 453-0648, email@example.com.
Saturday, July 8 — Ear Mountain Outstanding Natural Area and Yeager Flats Hike 9:00 am. This moderately difficult, five-mile round-trip hike passes through limber pine savannah, narrow-leafed cottonwood groves, sagebrush, Douglas-fir/Englemann spruce forest, a portion of the 2000 lightning-caused Ear Mountain fire, and ends up in a vast, high-elevation native fescue prairie near the base of Ear Mountain. In these varied habitats grow a great variety of shrubs, grasses, and forbs, including bitterroots and several orchid species. Clark’s nutcracker, chickadees, and other birds are common, and prairie falcons nest on cliff faces. This is also good mule deer, elk, mountain sheep, and black and grizzly bear country. A short portion of this hike is actually on the Old North Trail, so archeology and history as well as Rocky Mountain Front geology, wildlife, and management issues will be discussed. The hike concludes by dropping through meadows and old-growth forest to an old Metis cemetery on the South Fork. Meet at the Choteau Information Center parking lot at the north end of town on Highway 89. We will drive to the Ear Mountain trailhead up the Teton River. Info: Dave at 466-2161. Register online at www.wildmontana.org/walks. This outing is co-sponsored by the Montana Wilderness Association.
Western At-Large Representative
582 Reserve Rd
Libby MT 59923
Saturday, July 15 — 2017 “Exploding Car Battery Hike” to Cody Lake Fen 10:00 am or 10:30 am. Fens are unique areas full of botanical delights and this year we will visit the fen at Cody Lakes, near Libby. These are three small lakes located at the head of Cody Creek, at about 4,700 feet elevation. Forest type is Douglas-fir, larch, and spruce. We can drive to within ¼-mile of the lake and then explore the vegetation on the thick, organic mat with Peter Lesica. We expect to find a number of interesting species. After exploring the fen, we’ll drive a little farther up the road and hike about a mile (800 feet elevation gain) to the subalpine meadows of Richards Mountain. Bring lunch, water shoes for the fen, and hiking boots. Meet to carpool at 10:00 at Mac’s Market, one mile north of Libby on Highway 37. Or, if you are coming from Eureka or Kalispell, meet at 10:30 at the Big Bend Restaurant, near the confluence of the Fisher and Kootenai rivers. Info: Jon Reny at 334-0459, firstname.lastname@example.org.