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
Sunday, April 15, 9 a.m. to noon. “Early Spring Wildflower Walk at the Matador Ranch.” Join us for a walk on The Nature Conservancy’s Matador Ranch and see the first prairie wildflowers of the year — phlox, milkvetch, rock cress, maybe even a prairie crocus! Meet at 8:30 a.m. at the Matador bunkhouse. We will drive to a few locations from there and go for some short walks. The Ranch is located 35 miles south of Malta on Highway 19, turn east down the driveway at mile marker 119. Info: Kelsey at 654-4566, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday, May 26, 8 a.m. to noon. “Spring Wildlife, Flower and Bird Walk at the Matador Ranch.” This is a great opportunity to see grassland wildflowers as well as learn about, hear, and see endemic grassland songbirds. Bring binoculars and a hand lens. If there is interest we can also ID some grasses. Easy to moderate hiking. Meet at the ranch bunkhouse at 8 a.m. See above April 15 event for directions. Info: Kelsey at 654-4566, email@example.com.
Saturday, June 16, 8:15 a.m. “North Fork of Dupuyer Creek.” This three-mike hike, co-sponsored with the Montana Wilderness Association, is through prairie and foothill wildflowers, across the Old North Trail and grizzly country. We will be on the Boone & Crockett Club’s Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Ranch, and will cross the prairie toward 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 expect to see more than 75 species of wildflowers, as well as tipi rings and features of the Old North Trail. Meet at the Choteau Information Center, near the Old Trail Museum. Registration required; sign up at www.wildmontana.org/walks. Info: Dave at 466-2161.
Western At-Large Representative
Saturday, July 7, 8:30 a.m. “St. Paul Lake.” Join botanist Peter Lesica to explore Kootenai National Forest Trail #646 in the Cabinet Mountain Wilderness. We expect to see crazy white Polemonium occidentale (Jacob’s ladder) on a trail described as having a “rain forest” feel, with an abundance of moss and large diameter trees. The hike to St. Paul Lake is 3.9 miles, starting at 3,060 feet and climbing to 4,780 feet. We will break into groups, if necessary, to comply with the wilderness rule of eight people per group. The trail head is close to the wilderness boundary with a minimal incline for the first two miles. Most of the elevation gain is in the second half of the hike, along with a challenging, bridge-less crossing of Isabella Creek. Bring water, lunch, appropriate clothing and footwear; bear spray is recommended. RSVP appreciated to estimate group size. Meet at the rest area near Troy, junction of Highways 2 and 56, to carpool. Otherwise, meet at the trailhead at 9:30 a.m. Take Hwy 58 to milepost 8, turn east onto FSR 407 and travel approximately 5.6 miles to FSR 407A, follow for 0.18 miles to the trailhead. Info: Pat McLeod at 295-4343, pat_ firstname.lastname@example.org.
What would you like to do? As the Western At-Large Representative I'd love to hear from you. My knowledge of native plants in very minimal but I love exploring and sharing the wonderful natural world we have in Western Montana.