Lisa Schassberger Roe.

Rare plant inventory of the outstanding natural areas of the Rocky Mountain Front online

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MONTANA
STATE




This "cover" page added by the Internet Archive for formatting purposes



581.52!

Nl7rpi

1988



RARE PLANT INVENTORY OF

THE OUTSTANDING NATURAL AREAS OF THE

ROCKY MOUNTAIN FRONT



Prepared for:

United States Department of Interior

Bureau of Land Management

812 14th Street North

Great Falls, MT 59401



^^TE DOCUMENTS COLLECTION

^°%^A STATE LIBRARY
L,^fr^r»^5 E. 6th AVE.
HELENA, MONTANA 59620



Prepared by:

Lisa Ann Schassberger , Botanist

Montana Natural Heritage Program

State Library Building

1525 E. 6th Avenue

Helena, MT 59620



Summary Report



25 November 198!






This is an abridged report



For the full report please contact:



The Montana Natural Heritage Program

1515 E Sixth Ave

Helena, Montana 59620

406-444-3009



Table of Contents

Page

Introduction 1

Section One: Orchis rotundifolia Site Report. . . 2

Methods 2

I. Species Information 2

A. Classification 2

B. Present Legal or Other Formal Status. 5

C. Description 6

D. Geographical Distribution 7

E. Habitat 7

F. Population Demography and Biology . . 9

II. Assessment & Management Recommendations. 9

A. Threats to Population 9

B. Recommendations 9

III. Summary 10

Appendix A (Travel Route Maps) 11

Appendix B (Photographs) 16

Section Two: Species List 21

Literature Cited , 32



INTRODUCTION

The Blindhorse, Ear Mountain, Chute Mountain and Deep
Creek/Battle Creek, Outstanding Natural Areas (ONAs) are
located in the Front range Mountains approximately 32 km. (20
mi.) west of Choteau, Montana. These ONAs are administered by
the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (B.L.M.). They encompass
13,087 acres and contain a diversity of habitats
representative of the Front Range ecosystem.

The topography varies from streambeds and meadows to steep
forested slopes, cliffs and high-elevation peaks. Elevations
within the ONAs range from 1524 m (5000 ft.) to 2165 m
(8580 ft.) in elevation. The principle geologic features of
these areas include: Lower Cretaceous and Jurassic rocks,
(sandstone, mudstone, and fissile shale); Upper and Lower
Mississippian Rocks (Castle Reef Dolomite) , with lesser
amounts of Upper and Lower Cretaceous Rocks, (sandstones and
shales); and glacial and landslide deposits (Mudge et al . ,
1983) .

Much of the terrain supports stands of Pinus f lexil is
(limber pine), Pseudotsuga menziesii (Douglas fir) and Populus
tremuloides (guaking aspen) , although some areas include
stands of Picea engelmannii (Engelmann spruce) and Abies
lasiocarpa (supalpine fir) . These forested areas are
interspersed with foothills prairie and riparian areas around
the numerous creeks and streams.

A rare plant inventory of the Blindhorse, Ear Mountain,
Chute Mountain, and Deep Creek/Battle Creek ONAs on the Front
Range of Montana was conducted between 17-29 June, 1988. The
purpose of this investigation was to determine the occurrence,
frequency, and distribution of threatened or endangered plant
species within these ONAs. The first section of this report
includes information pertaining specifically to the rare plant
species. Orchis rotundif ol ia , which was found to occur on the
Ear Mountain ONA. Additionally, although a comprehensive
plant inventory of the resource area was not attempted or part
of the purpose of this survey, a partial list of vascular
plants was identified. The second section then includes this
list and brief habitat descriptions for each species.



SECTION ONE: Orchis rotundifolia Site Report

Methods

Ocular reconnaissance was used to locate potentially rare
plant species within the ONAs. Based on information on the
geology of the area, several rare plants were thought to
potentially occur on the ONAs. These species were:

- Astragalus molvbdenus (Leadville milkvetch)

- Cypripedium passerinum (sparrow • s-egg lady ' s-sl ipper)

- Eriqeron f laqellaris (trailing fleabane)

- Eriqeron lackschewitzii (Lackschewitz ' s fleabane)

- Orchis rotundifolia (round-leaved orchis)

- Oxytropis laqopus var. coniuqens (***)

- Oxytropis podocarpa (stalked-pod crazyweed)

- Saussurea densa (dwarf saw-wort)

Owing to the extent of the area to be covered, the time
constraints, the most likely habitats for these species were
searched in detail, while other areas were covered in general.
Maps in Appendix A (p. 12) show the approximate routes of
travel and the extent of the areas covered. Due to access
problems, the Chute Mountain ONA and the northern portion of
the Deep Creek/Battle Creek ONA were not covered extensively,
and further work might reveal rare plant populations in these
areas .

Field collections were identified using the Flora of the
Pacific Northwest (Hitchcock and Cronquist, 1973), Vascular
Plants of Montana (Dorn, R.D., 1984), and Manual of the
Grasses of the United States (Hitchcock, A.S., 1971). Voucher
specimens of Orchis rotundifolia are deposited at the
University of Montana Herbarium (MONTU) .

It must be emphasized that the search comprised only 12
consecutive days, and it is possible that some plant species
had flowered or had yet to bloom, and so were overlooked.

A population of Orchis rotundifolia was found in the
northwest corner of the Ear Mountain ONA along an unnamed
creek. See Figure 1, p. 3 and Table 1, p. 4 for the mapped
location and Element Occurrence Record for this population.
The following is a status report on this species.



I. SPECIES INFORMATION

A. CLASSIFICATION

1. SCIENTIFIC NAME: Orchis rotundifolia Banks ex
Pursh.



ELEMENT OCCURRENCE RECORD
EOCODE: PriORC01010 .010
'name: orchis ROTUNDIFOLIA
COMNAME: ROUND-LEAVED ORCHIS



1 TENTEN: 5,2 IDENT: Y EOR


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Online LibraryLisa Schassberger RoeRare plant inventory of the outstanding natural areas of the Rocky Mountain Front → online text (page 1 of 2)