By Peggy Lyon and Jill Handwerk, CNHP Botanists
CNHP worked with Colorado State Parks to collect detailed baseline information on rare and imperiled plants and plant communities found at the new Lone Mesa State Park, in southwestern Colorado.
Work included detailed mapping of imperiled plants and plant communities using GPS, documentation of rare element habitat, quality, condition, and viability, a list of all species observed on the Park (358 at last count), assessment of current and potential threats, and development of a permanent monitoring plan for Physaria pulvinata, a G1 S1 Colorado endemic.
An unexpected result was Peggy’s discovery of a new plant species, published in December 2008 as Gutierrezia elegans (Lone Mesa snakeweed). An additional species not yet published, to be named Physaria cnema by Steve O’Kane and James Reveal, was also found on the park.