Friday, July 9, 2010

LANDS- Week 6

DAY 1:
After enjoying a four-day holiday weekend the LANDS crew returned to surveying non-native invasive plants and insects in Vermont State Parks. The crew had a busy day Tuesday at Lake Carmi State Park in Enosburg which is the largest state park in Vermont. Dividing the two areas of the park is the Lake Carmi Bog which is the third largest peat bog in Vermont. The crew surveyed over 170 campsites and several roads all in one day in over 90 degree weather and finished the day with a stop to an ice cream stand. For such a large park, surprisingly few invasive species were found.

Campsite at Lake Carmi State Park

DAY 2:
The heat wave continued throughout the rest of the week as the crew surveyed Burton Island State Park in St. Albans on Wednesday. This park was located on an island in Lake Champlain. The crew boarded a ferry for a 10 minute ride to the island. The lack of cars and presence of a marina made this state park unique from the rest. Even though the park is remote and surrounded by water there were still several invasive species to be found including honeysuckle, buckthorn, oriental bittersweet, Japanese and Common barberry, and black locust. The occasional dip in the lake was a much needed relief from the heat during the day of surveying.
Relaxing on the ferry on the way to Burton Island State Park
Beautiful, quiet view from a trail on Burton Island State Park.

DAY 3:
On Thursday the crew surveyed Underhill State Park on the west slope of Mt. Mansfield, Vermont’s highest peak. This small campground features several trails to the peak of Mt. Mansfield and was almost pristine with only Oriental Bittersweet and Buckthorn being found. In the afternoon, the crew stopped at Smuggler’s Notch Cave on the way to Smuggler’s Notch State Park for lunch. After exploring some of the caves and enjoying the natural air conditioning coming out of the crevices, the crew climbed up the caves to a ledge with a great view of the notch to enjoy lunch. After lunch we headed to Smuggler’s Notch State Park where we surveyed just for invasive plants and found only one small patch of honeysuckle. At the end of the day we got together and found out what we would be doing for our small team projects which will take place in about a week. We will work in groups of two or three with various land trusts and other organizations on projects such as natural community inventory, management plans, and outreach materials.
Reed and Jessie explore a cave at Smuggler's Notch while Ben enjoys a snack
Jon climbs his way up to the lunch spot at Smuggler's Notch
The crew enjoys lunch on a ledge at Smuggler's Notch
Beautiful view at Smuggler's Notch

DAY 4:
Friday was an office day in which we finished up our first full draft of the soil disturbance monitoring report for the Green Mountain National Forest. We also made first contact with our organizations for our small team projects as well as started putting together site descriptions for all of the state parks and campgrounds that we visited. After weeks of collecting data in the field, we are excited to see the fruits of our labor in the form of tangible reports.

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