The Friends of Dubois Badlands had a terrific day on our first Plant Inventory of the Dubois Badlands on June 7, 2023. Our goal is to begin a yearly inventory of plants (and wildlife) of these protected areas both as a Citizen Science research and to provide a baseline for monitoring changes over the years, especially as usage of these areas increases.
The weather was fantastic. Doing a “Flouristic Inventory” we meandered in the BLM WSA areas in Mason Draw and Byrd Draw. Other than just pretty flowers we learned so much about grasses and the many shrubs.
For example we learned to distinguish grasses that grow individually from a rhizome from the very important bunch grasses that are so important for winter feed for the wildlife there. We learned the difference between a flower stalk and a stem, and the important difference between the Death Camas and the tasty onion flavored alium.
And we were lucky that our favorite endemic species, the Dubois Milk Vetch was in full bloom!