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4x4Voice

Covering recreation and environmental issues within California
John Stewart

Beargrass, a plant of many roles, is focus of new report

Report finds that disturbances are shifting within beargrass habitat

PORTLAND, Ore. November 19, 2012. Beargrass is an ecologically, culturally, and economically important plant in the Western United States and, for the first time, landowners, managers, and harvesters now have a comprehensive report about the species.

The report, Natural and Cultural History of Beargrass (Xerophyllum tenax), published by the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Research Station, identifies critical knowledge gaps and areas for future research. It also documents how changes in disturbance, including fire, may affect the species across its range.

“Beargrass is emblematic of a web of natural and cultural diversity in the West,” said Susan Stevens Hummel, a research forester at the station and lead author of the report. “This means that organisms and processes—like people, plants, and pollinators—are interrelated.”

Original author: Press
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Chief

Why are wetlands and aquatic habitats important?

Wetlands are among the most productive habitats on earth providing shelter and nursery areas for commercially and recreationally important animals like fish and shellfish, as well as wintering grounds for migrating birds. Coastal marshes are particularly valuable for preventing loss of life and property by moderating extreme floods and buffering the land from storms; they also form natural reservoirs and help maintain desirable water quality.

Aquatic habitats like those along the Gulf of Mexico are vital to seabirds, fish, and shellfish; economically the gulf alone contributes billions to the economy. Riverine deep water—like the Mississippi River and its many channels—is not only essential for navigation, industry, and recreation and therefore responsible for billions of dollars to the economy, but is also invaluable for natural resources. Songbirds and waterfowl use rivers as migratory guides, and rivers and lakes are both essential to countless species of fish, amphibians like frogs and salamanders, and reptiles like turtles, snakes, and alligators.

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Chief

Launching the BLOG

Welcome to the launch of the 4x4Voice BLOG.

Watch for weekly commentary about recreation and environmental issues affecting your recreation opportunity.

Expected commentary will address the increasing regulation burden on OHV recreation from local public land administrators and the federal EPA along with increased congressional action to create additional wilderness.

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