Montana Native Plant Society Annual Meeting June 24-26, 2022
Hosted by the Flathead Chapter and the Western-at-large Members
JOIN US in exploring the deep forests and lush mountain slopes of northwest Montana. Our base of exploration will be Timberlane Campground, eight miles north of Libby. Excursions will include low elevation old-growth forests, slopes of the Cabinet Mountains, and wetlands of the Bull River Valley. Here you will see a broad diversity of flora, some of the largest trees in the state, and perhaps even some coastal disjunct species!
UPDATE: Registration is full. A waiting list form is available here.
At the time of this announcement, the MNPS Board of Directors determined to move forward with the 2022 Annual Meeting. To protect Meeting participants, however, MNPS respectfully request people only attend under the following conditions:
- You are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 (according to CDC guidance) or if not vaccinated, you have tested negative for Covid-19 within 3 days of the Meeting.
- Masks are worn inside vehicles when carpooling for field trips.
If the MNPS board determines the risk to its membership has changed according to guidance by the CDC, MNPS may cancel this Annual Meeting. If the Meeting is canceled, all registration fees will be fully refunded. Check back here for updates.
- A heartfelt thank you to attendees for being fully vaccinated and keeping your communities and ours safe.
- If a registered individual comes under CDC recommendations for isolation (illness) or quarantine (exposure) for COVID-19 at the time of the Meeting, they may not attend. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/quarantine-isolation.html
- A full refund will be given in the event of illness, or COVID-19 quarantine, on request, emailed to [email protected]
UPDATE: Registration is full. A waiting list form is available here.
The MNPS does not want financial hardship to be a deterrent to student attendance. Contact us at [email protected] if you would like to be considered for a full or partial fee waiver.
Friday Workshops are from 1:00-4:00 on June 24th. Sign up is required at time of Meeting registration and space is limited, so register early.
- Citizen Botany Training – Field testing rare plant data collection & mapping with Andrea Pipp and Kenda Herman, Montana Natural Heritage Program Botanist and Assistant Botanist. We’ll test aspects of data collection and mapping of a target plant, hopefully a rare one. For the target plant we’ll review plant identification materials, search for it, and work through data collection using the Survey 123 revisit and paper forms, and map using Survey 123, GPS, and paper maps.
- Plant Collecting Workshop with Maria Mantas. Plant specimens are necessary for the study of plant taxonomy and geography. This workshop will focus on techniques for preparing herbarium grade plant specimens with associated labels. If you have a plant press, please bring it.
- Put Pizzazz in your Plant Pictures with Dee Blank. Bring whatever camera you have, including smartphones, and explore how to influence the background and lighting in natural settings to bring out the beauty and unique qualities of your botanical subject. Also learn how to get good close-ups and crisp, uncluttered, images for identification.
Sign up opens at 3pm on Friday, June 24. Below is a preliminary list of half day and all day trips and are subject to change. Bring your own water, lunch, sturdy shoes, raingear, sunscreen, insect repellent, and bear spray.
Saturday Trips and Activities
45-minute drive to trailhead. Easy 3-mile round trip hike. 350 feet elevation gain. Gentle hike through mesic forest to a low elevation lake. Lakeside vegetation and a grass/sedge/alder meadow. Orchids by lake area.
Pulpit Mountain Ridge
90-minute drive. Moderate 2–4-mile round trip hike. Starts at 5,000 ft and follows a gentle ridge gaining little elevation. Mostly open, sparse timber. Trail goes into an area burned in 2000.
West Fork Quartz Creek
45-minute drive. Moderate 4-mile round trip hike. Old growth cedars along West Fork Quartz Creek. Trail follows a creek for about 2 miles before turning uphill. Good area for lowland wet vegetation.
Quartz Creek Old Growth and Lichens with Toby Spribille
45-minute drive. Moderate 1-mile round trip easy bushwhack (no trail). Explore an old growth cedar forest with a variety of lichens and ferns. This is one of the only places in Montana where the lichen Platismatia herrei has been collected. Also, expect cool pin lichens!
The Bitterroot site
60-minute drive. Good clearance and good tires recommended. Easy 1-mile round trip hike.
This site supports a large population of the state flower and many other species in open, rocky slopes or bedrock meadows. Site is on the south facing, open slopes above the Kootenai River. The trail has a few short segments where care must be taken because of loose rock.
Flagstaff Mountain (past the Bitterroot site)
70-minute drive. Good clearance and good tires recommended. Moderate to difficult 3.5-mile round trip hike. Open ridge to 6,075-ft Flagstaff Mountain with 1,300-ft elevation gain. Excellent views, higher elevation plants. (Higher elevation for the Kootenai area.)
Flatiron Mountain / Rainbow Lake
45-minute drive. Moderate 4.5-mile round trip, 1500-ft elevation gain. Trail follows a gentle ridge to the top of Flatiron Mountain (5,787-ft). Openings with shallow soils, seeps. Rainbow Lake is near the trailhead, and if time permits, group may visit this mid-elevation, shallow mountain lake.
40-minute drive. Moderate 6-mile round trip hike. Trail goes through a recently planted burned area, then follows a gentle ridge to the top where there is the remnants of a tree-stand fire lookout built in 1910. Much of the area was burned in 2017. Vegetation in different stages of recovery. Lomatium geyeri has been seen on the trail.
Flower Creek trail and Flower Lake
45-minute drive. Moderate 5.5-mile round trip hike. Trail is on the NE side of the Cabinet Mtns. It is mostly above Flower Creek, but at times is near the creek. Riparian and riparian influenced vegetation. Mid-elevation (3,700-4,500′).
Yaak Tour – Hensley Hill radar, big White Pine on Yaak River, big Cedar at 17-Mile Creek and walk-through Hayes property, Tiger Lily, Browns meadow
Driving tour of the Yaak. Approximately 70 miles driving with short walks at each stop.
Stops include Hensley Hill that has an old radar installation, views of the Yaak valley, and plenty of fun plants; the biggest White Pine in Montana growing on the banks of the Yaak River; a grove of large Cedars (some on private land) with patches of tiger lilies; and Brown’s meadow that has a variety of moist habitats along 17-Mile Creek.
Noisy Creek burn walk with Jack Nisbet
10-minute drive. Easy to moderate 3–5-mile round trip hike. On this hike we will explore the aftermath of the recent fire while discussing a variety of perspectives on burn management—beginning with pre-contact tribal methods, moving on to what fur agent David Thompson described in the Kootenai country in 1807-12, and finally using the late 19th-century wildfires witnessed by John Leiberg as a way to think about fires today and those to come tomorrow.
Introduction to Plant Identification with Ryan Quire
In and near camp. Ryan will present a brief introduction to important identification terminology and the “Manual of Montana Vascular Plants” by Peter Lesica. Next, a few collected specimens will be provided to key out as a group. Ryan will then lead the group on a short hike, stopping to key out a handful of species observed along the way. The hike will end around 12 pm. The afternoon is optional, but participants may enjoy practicing their identification skills on their own or in small groups. Please bring a 10x or 20x hand lens and a “Manual of Montana Vascular Plants” by Peter Lesica. A few copies of this key will be available for purchase if participants don’t bring their own or have one to share.
Sunday Field Trips and Suggestions on Your Way Home
We will provide directions to several self-guided trips and may offer a of couple guided trips. You can take in these on your way home or make a day of it and return to camp to spend another night.
Please join a Committee Meeting on Sunday morning from 8:30 to 9:30 to learn more about these MNPS activities and find out how you can be involved.
The Landscape and Revegetation Committee will be discussing landscaping with native plants, replacing Kentucky bluegrass lawns with alternative species, and revegetation practices to restore native plant communities on disturbed land. Please come join the discussion, then join the committee to help continue our good work for Montana native communities.
The Conservation Committee will be discussing the Montana Plant Conservation Strategy, Citizen Botany, potential listing under the federal ESA for thick-leaved bladder pod, the strategy to include plants in the Montana State Wildlife Action Plan, and MNPS Important Plant Areas.
Small Grants Committee. The Montana Native Plant Society has been awarding Small Grants since 1996. A complete listing of grants awarded through 2020 may be found here. Reports written by past grant recipients are published in the Society Newsletter and may be found by searching for “Small Grants” on the Kelseya archive page. Come learn more about what we do.
Children’s activities will be planned after we determine the numbers and ages of kids attending. A half day Saturday activity is the most likely. Email [email protected] if you have questions in the meantime.
FRIDAY FIRESIDE TALK WITH JACK NISBET
Author and historian Jack Nisbet will join us for a campfire talk on Friday night on John Lieberg’s Green World. Leiberg was a Swedish immigrant and plant lover who homesteaded on Idaho’s Lake Pend Oreille in 1885. Over the next two decades he roamed the region as a railroad man, floral collector, prospector, and forest surveyor, providing an early ecological perspective on the landscapes of north Idaho and western Montana.
“Jack Nisbet’s The Dreamer and the Doctor is a textured, insightful history of the waning frontier days of the American West that reads like a novel. The featured couple, a female doctor and an obsessed botanist, provide an unusual lens to a time that is both familiar and antique, a time when science and medicine were rapidly evolving but were still intensely personal. Entwined in the narrative are the roots of the battle for Western public lands, the impact of federal science, and a growing awareness of the impact of forest fires.”
– Kirk Johnson, Sant Director, Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History
Spokane-based author Jack Nisbet has published several collections of essays about the human and natural history of the Intermountain West, as well as award-winning biographies of David Thompson (Sources of the River), and David Douglas (The Collector). His most recent book, The Dreamer and the Doctor, traces the unlikely journeys of John Leiberg and his physician wife Carrie through Idaho and Montana at the end of the nineteenth century.
On Saturday morning, Jack will lead a half-day field trip to Noisy Creek to view and discuss fire and the history of fire management. See field trips.
Jack will have a variety of his books for sale, so please bring a check or cash for purchases.
Support the Montana Native Plant Society and its many programs and take a chance on winning some beautiful prizes. Many prizes have been crafted by members, some are by Montana artists and some are just plain fun and practical.
Raffle tickets are available by mail or in person at the annual meeting. The form to purchase them can be downloaded here.
Forms must be mailed by June 10.
1 for $2
6 for $10
15 for $20
- Prizes include:
This artfully crafted quilt was sewn by Betty Kuropat and Pat Jaquith using Montana Native Plant Society T-shirts. This one-of-a-kind quilt will never be reproduced. It measures 60” by 79” inches and can decorate any twin of full bed, a couch or sofa, or wall. It will be sure to bring back fond memories while sharing the beauty of Montana’s plants.
- Mountains of Montana love, metal art by Birch Creek Studio in the Bitterroot Valley. Donated by anonymous member.
- Print of a watercolor by Montana artist Jo Ellen Scott donated by anonymous member.
- Montana’s Pioneer Botanists book. This is a limited out of print hardback edition that is only available here and in libraries. Edited by members Rachel Potter and Peter Lesica with forward by Jack Nisbet. Published by the MNPS.
- Missouri River willow basket crafted by long-time member Doug Smith.
- Additional prizes include note cards, books, pot holders and more.
Legalese (the part where if this were a tv commercial, they start to talk really fast): Winners will be selected by random drawing at the annual meeting. You do not need to be present at the meeting to win. If you are not present, you will be notified by email or phone to determine how to deliver your prize(s) to you. Your chances of winning are based on the number of tickets you purchase compared to the total number of tickets purchased. A list of winners will be available upon request.
From Libby, Montana, cross the Kootenai River Bridge on Highway 37, go approximately 1 mile and turn north onto Pipe Creek Road 68, which leads to the town of Yaak and Turner Mountain Ski Area. Travel 8 miles to the campground gate on the left, which is approximately 1 mile past the community of Pipe Creek.
Latitude 48° 29′ 20.0000″ N Longitude 115° 31′ 30.0000″ W
Campers may arrive at Timberlane Campground any time after 3 pm on Thursday, June 23. The MNPS has the whole campground reserved. All camping is first come—first serve with the exception noted below. Meals are offered Friday evening through Sunday morning only. The campground has four vault toilets, water spigots and a bear proof garbage receptacle. Check-out is 11 am on Monday, June 27.
The campground offers 13 “sites” with tables and fire pits. Many of them are quite large, so please consider inviting friends, old or new, to join you. There is ample additional dispersed camping space elsewhere in the campground, including in the field at the south end of the campground loop.
Please camp in the field at the far south end of the campground loop and leave campsites to car campers. Timberlane Campground has no hookups. We trust you will be considerate of fellow campers and minimize generator use. Fireman’s Park Campground, just west of Rosauers in Libby, has a RV dump station for a donation.
Limited Mobility Site
Timberlane has a couple campsites with better accessibility (i.e. flatter gravel trails, easy vault toilet access, proximity to pavilion). Send a note to organizers at [email protected] if you would like her to reserve one of those for you.
Checkout is at 11 am on Monday, June 27.
THIS IS BEAR COUNTRY.
From the Kootenai National Forest:
A mandatory Food Storage Order is in place on the Forest. One of the best ways to protect your family (and visitors that follow you) is to keep all food, garbage and other attractants stored in an animal resistant manner. If unattended; food or garbage must be:
- Stored inside a bear-resistant container (most coolers are NOT certified bear resistant)
- Stored in a closed vehicle (Hard sided camper, vehicle trunk, or cab)
We appreciate your extra effort on keeping a clean camp!
PETS ARE NOT ALLOWED ON MNPS ACTIVITIES
If you prefer to stay elsewhere, Libby has a variety of vacation rentals, a few hotels, and commercial campgrounds with hookups. However, summers are increasingly busy, so we encourage you to book early.
There is no cell service, Wifi or electricity at Timberlane Campground.
Registration for meals closes June 1.
- Friday Mixer hosted by the Flathead Chapter with snacks, beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages. Thank you to Yaak River Originals for donating beer.
- Friday Dinner ($15 adult/$6 child) will feature three hearty soups: Tuscan chicken with kale (gluten free), garden vegetable beef, and potato leek (vegetarian and gluten free), with an assortment of bread and rolls, butter and a tossed green salad.
- Saturday and Sunday Breakfasts ($10 adult/$5 child – sign up for one or both) will feature a variety of locally-baked fruit muffins and scones, bagels, cream cheese, peanut butter, hard-boiled eggs, yogurts, granola, dairy and other milks, fruit, juice, coffee and tea. Gluten free granola and baked goods will be served on a separate table.
- Saturday Dinner ($23 adults/$10 child) will be a choice of 1) Thai chicken with eggplant and spicy green curry with jasmine rice (gf), 2) mushroom and leek quiche with cheddar cheese (vegetarian) or 3) lasagna Bolognese with Italian sausage. Roasted vegetables, rolls and butter are included. The meal will be capped off with an assortment of desserts.
- We are pleased to have Libby’s premier caterer, Gracious Table, provide Friday’s soup and bread, baked goodies for breakfast, and all of your Saturday dinner.
- Locally sourced food and drink will include vegetables from Libby’s Hoot Owl Farms, dairy from Kalispell Creamery, coffee from Montana Coffee Traders and beer from Cabinet Mountain Brewery.
- Do you have additional questions about the menu? Contact us at [email protected]
- Please help reduce waste by bringing your own mugs and tableware.
- Recognizing these changed times, we will minimize “communal serving” by offering single servings, having gloved volunteers serve, etc., while balancing practicality and reducing excessive waste.
THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS
Montana Coffee Traders is donating coffee to keep our bodies fueled and Edd Kuropat from Yaak River Originals is donating beer from Cabinet Mountain Brewing for Friday night’s mixer.
Yaak River Originals: https://www.facebook.com/ekuropat
Montana Coffee Traders: https://www.coffeetraders.com/index.cfm
Thursday, June 23
After 3:00 pm Campground available to MNPS Meeting participants
Friday, June 24
1:00-4:00 Workshops (early registration required)
3:00-6:00 Check-in and field trip sign-up
6:30-7:30 Board of Directors meeting
7:30-8:30 Campfire talk with Jack Nisbet: John Lieberg’s Green World
Saturday, June 25
8:00-4:30 Field trips (pack your own lunch)
4:00-6:00 Wayne Phillips Plant Identification Contest
7:00-8:00 General Membership Meeting. Raffle drawing followed by an evening social
Sunday, June 26
8:30-9:30 Committee meetings
From 9:00 on – Break camp, field trips in the area or on the way home
Monday, June 27
11 am Campground checkout
WE NEED YOUR HELP
Organizers will need help with various tasks during the Meeting, including registration, serving food and sweeping out and restocking vault toilets. Contact us at [email protected] if you can help out. There will also be sign up sheets at the Meeting.
WHAT TO BRING
- Lawn chairs
- Tableware (utensils, plates, bowls)
- Water bottle
- Musical instruments for the campfires
- Cash or check for raffle and miscellaneous purchases
- Food for lunches
- Water bottle
- Rain gear
- Facemasks for carpooling
- Insect repellant
- Bear spray
- Hand lens
- Field guides and keys
Do you still have questions that are not answered here? Contact organizers at [email protected]
From the Kootenai National Forest:
Timberlane is part of Kootenai National Forest. It lies along Pipe Creek at an elevation of 2649’, and has been a campground since the late 1960s. It was first settled when Hamilton (Ham) Houghs acquired a special-use permit for a one-half acre of land in 1936. He began building his dream home immediately. He met and married Jessie Ice in 1938 and brought her to “The House that Ham Built”. She fell under its enchanting spell and named their paradise “Timberlane”.
Ham was drafted into the Air Force after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and when he returned he was fascinated by airplanes. He continued his flying interest with Russell Deist of the Libby Sky Ranch. In 1946, Ham lost control of his plane while flying between Libby and Kalispell, and crashed in McGregor Lake and was drowned in the icy waters below. Jessie, numb with shock and desolate with grief, sought refuge in Alaska. She stayed nearly a year and on her way home to Libby her plane crashed and was never found.
Wayne and Carol Cannon purchased the property from Mr. Deist in 1948. They and their three sons, Stuart, Larry and Bruce moved in on Thanksgiving Day. They lived there until 1961.
“The House That Ham Built,” burnt down in 1959, remnants of the cabin’s fireplace can still be seen near the pavilion along the creek.
Enter this place of the “Wood Spirit, a place of magic that is almost like being in a strange but familiar time and place.”
Your favorite Montana field guide will work here. Especially useful could be Plants of the Inland Northwest and Southern Interior British Columbia by Roberta Parish.
Annual Meeting Photos
Click on the Caption at the bottom of the following pictures to go to photos from past annual meetings shared by generous annual meeting participants. Please enjoy the pictures and respect the talents and work of the photographers – i.e. please don’t steal their work.