The Kelsey Chapter serves native plant enthusiasts in the greater Helena and Great Falls areas, and regions associated with the Rocky Mountain Front and central and north central Montana.
The Chapter President is Mark Majerus; Chapter Vice-President is Kadie Gullickson
Contact Chapter Secretary Jane Fournier, for questions regarding the Chapter.
Are you interested in Native Plant Landscaping in our area? Click here
Programs and Activities:
Wednesday April 21st at 7:00 pm. Please join the Kelsey Chapter and Jordan Meyer-Morey for a presentation that investigates whether Desert Alyssum is a danger to native plant communities in Montana’s oldest park, Yellowstone NP.
Non-native plants can have devastating impacts to native plant communities; however, their actual impacts are often undocumented, understudied, and over represented by a few extreme offenders. Desert Alyssum is a non-native forb that is purported to out compete and displace native plants. To understand if Desert Alyssum should be managed in our sagebrush steppe communities, Ms. Meyer-Morey conducted a study that compared plant diversity in sites with and without Desert Alyssum and assessed how proposed control efforts would impact native annual forbs.
Jordan Meyer-Morey conducted this study on invasive plant ecology and management as a requirement for a Master’s of Science degree in Land Rehabilitation from Montana State University. She has spent nearly a decade sampling the vegetation of western U.S. range lands and sagebrush steppe in six different states. As a native Montanan, she grew up enjoying time outdoors, finds the buckwheat (Eriogonum) species to be her favorite plants, and has been a member of MNPS since 2013.
March 17. Vascular Flora of the Selkirk Mountains. 7 p.m. Harpo Faust gave an excellent program on here extensive exploration of the vascular flora of the Selkirk Mountains. This mountain range lies in the most northern reaches of the Idaho panhandle, west of the Kootenay Valley floor and north of the Pend Orielle River. It is ecologically distinct, hosting an assemblage of boreal, coastal, rocky mountain, and columbia basin floristic influences and a diverse flora shaped by a rich geologic and glacial history. With a rise in recreation, development, and natural resource extraction on top of climate change, it was timely to inventory the mountain range. Harpo will explain the results and some of the extensive collection of plants made from the 886 square mile study area during 2019 & 2020. We had intended to record this session for later use, but the recording process did not happen
Harpo Faust conducted this floristic inventory as a requirement for a Master’s of Science degree from the University of Idaho, Moscow. During her 2.5 years in Moscow she also worked for the Stillinger Herbarium at the University. She is originally from Corte Madera, California and received her undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Cruz. Before starting her graduate degree, Harpo worked as a seasonal botanist and is passionate about rare plants. Harpo completed her degree this winter and recently relocated to Tucson, Arizona.
Celebrate Wildflowers third week in May. Every year, the Helena/Lewis and Clark National Forest, Montana Discovery Foundation, Prickly Pear Land Trust, and the Kelsey Chapter of the Montana Native Plant Society host a series of events to celebrate these messengers of spring.:
- As the main focus, Celebrating Wildflowers hikes on Mt. Helena with 4th grade classes. These hikes are typically conducted the third week of May each year and volunteers are always needed to help out. While students will participate in an art contest through their schools, the Mount Helena hikes for 2021 will depend on circumstances then;
- A hike leader training session is held each year. This tuneup is designed for hike leaders but is open to the all MNPS members and the public. Watch for 2021 status.
- On the Thursday of Wildflower week the Prickly Pear Land Trust in cooperation with the Kelsey Chapter and the Montana Discovery Foundation hosts a wildflower hike for the general public on the same route as that used for the 4th graders – contact Bob Person, for questions. 2021 event subject to conditions at the time.
- All field events begin and end at the main Mount Helena trailhead. Flags will be out and information posted at the trailhead kiosk. Enjoy the spring flowers while practicing your social distancing. Virtual events are being planned for 2021 and will be widely announced.
Reports on Recent Activities:
Kelseya uniflora 2017 Field Trip – Trout Creek Canyon Trip Report For several years, we had hoped to conduct a field trip to see the Kelseya uniflora in full bloom, but the uncertainty of spring weather has foiled our attempts. At one point, we succeeded. Six Kelsey Chapter members journeyed out to see the spring bloom in as mild spring snowstorm. Our species list, according to the Lesica rule (only blooming plants counted) was 1, Kelseya uniflora.
These three pictures show the plants in bud or just beginning to bloom on April 6, 2017.
Here are pictures from our trip on April 9, 2017:
The Flora of Mount Helena
The Flora of Mount Helena permanent specimen collection is housed in the Montana section at the Lewis and Clark Library in Helena. The collection is arranged alphabetically by scientific name. Nomenclature follows Dorn 1984. An index is provided that allows cross-referencing by common name and common family name. Click here for a pdf file of the species list.
The Flora of Mount Helena collection is a joint project of the Kelsey Chapter of the Montana Native Plant Society and the Lewis and Clark Library. The Kelsey Chapter formally donated the specimen collection to the Lewis and Clark Library in 1999.
For more information about the collection or to make suggestions, contact the Montana Native Plant Society, Kelsey Chapter at [email protected]