North Central Washington

Okanogan Outdoor Education - 2000

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The pink dandelion, Agoseris lackschewitzii, a new species from Idaho, Washington, and Southern British Columbia. Photo by L.E. Smith.

Cameron Lakes

Sunday, May 28. Leader, George Wooten

The Okanogan Chapter WNPS returned to the lava plateau on the Colville Reservation above Brewster to see verdant fields of wild Iris missouriensis, and this time successfully finding the elusive Talinum spinescens (prickly fameflower). No luck in finding any Douglasia from this area. On our 1997 visit here, which began in the Aeneas Valley, then went through Moses Meadow, we found interesting plants and animals including Triglochin maritimum (those funny green spikes in the wetlands), Valeriana dioica (wild Valerian), and a number of disjuncts from the realm of Cusick: Castilleja cusickii, (Cusick's paintbrush - a beautiful creamy one), Dodecatheon cusickii (Cusick's shooting stars) and Lupinus cusickii (a segregate from Lupinus lepidus). The lakes and wetlands of this area are also a great place for birding, where in 1997 we saw golden eagle, rock wren, oriole, green winged teal, osprey, gadwall and Brewer's sparrow.

Okanogan Plateau (start at Larry Darly's place)

We stopped at several lava outcrops and wetlands near Little Goose Lake, then later had a splendid lunch at the Darly's. Later Susan C. and George went to Duley Lake where the Talinum occurred.

Hummock Wetland Workshop

George & George in the hummocks
George Halekas & George Wooten
in the Thirtymile Meadows hummocks

Date: Fri, Sat, Sun, June 24-25, 2000 - Thirtymile and Twentymile Meadows (Twentymile Roadless Area, Okanogan NF).

The workshop visited the seldom seen world of the boreal north, replete with mysterious earth hummocks, tussock bogs and misty, moosey fens. We learned about the soils, botany, hydrology and ecology of boreal peatlands and how ice-sheet glaciation features such as hummocks and permafrost differ from alpine glacial ecology. Participants investigated earth hummocks and the rare and beautiful boreal flora which they support, including a colorful cast of moonworts, willows big and small, huckleberries, sedges, gentians and nagoon berries, along with the mosses, sphagnum, fungi and lichens which accompany them. Cosponsers were the Okanogan Chapter of the Washington Native Plant Society, Pacific Biodiversity Institute, and Kettle Range Conservation Group.

The workshop began with an all-day hike (8 miles round trip, moderate difficulty) to Round Meadows, beginning at Trail No. 371 on Road No. 39 of South Fork Twentymile Creek. This hike passed through miles of boggy fens with an unparalleled botanical diversity.

Hickey Hump

Windy Peak near Hickey Hump

Windy Peak near Hickey Hump

Saturday, September 23, 2000 - The Hickey Hump, Twentymile (Long Swamp) Roadless Area, Okanogan National Forest.

This was all-day long, rigorous hike into the dry, interior forests and meadows of Hickey Hump (really--its on the map). WE enjoyed the vegetation and wildlife of this remote roadless area between the Loomis Forest and Pasayten Wilderness during the time of equinox. The Twentymile Roadless Area, also called "the Meadows", and surrounding forests of the Okanogan Range, are home to a number of rare animals such as lynx, grizzly, marten, black-backed woodpeckers, northern-three-toed woodpeckers, boreal owls, great grey owls, and new species of plants, mosses, lichens, and spiders, to name a few. It was a spectacular hike.

First, in the morning, we drove down the road 4 miles to Toats Coulee Creek for a brief climb up to a roadless area viewshed. Next, the main hike began at Long Swamp Campground. Windy Peak was reached by the afternoon, and after a brief panoramic photo session, we returned.