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Summer 1999 Newsletter


Date Event
June 13 American River Festival, Auburn
June 19 Loney Meadow Field Trip
June 21 TNF Weed Day
June 23 Chapter Meeting on Alpine Plants
June 26-27 Julie Carville Lake Tahoe Wildflower Trip
July 7 Pole Creek (Truckee) Field Trip
July 11 Loch Leven Lakes Field Trip
July 16-18 Women in Nature Outdoor Skills Program
July 24 Carson Pass Field Trip
Aug. 25 Chapter Meeting on Garden Design Using Natives
Sept. 18 Autumn Plant Sale, Grass Valley
Sept. 22 Chapter Meeting on Northern Nevada Wildflowers


Alpine Plants of the World

by Joe Medeiros, Botanist, Sierra CollegeWednesday, June 23, 7 p.m.

Nevada County Library, Nevada City

Between the twisted subalpine forests and the land of permanent snow exists the alpine tundra-- a diverse suite of plant families highly evolved to withstand the harsh conditions of the mountains. How do these miniature plants survive the cold? the short growing seasons? the shallow soils? the shortage of pollinators? What strategies do they have for survival where other plants cannot grow? Join Sierra College botanist Joe Medeiros for this slide-illustrated lecture of alpine plant species throughout the world. With a focus on the Sierran alpine flora, Joe will compare structures and strategies with alpine species in the Swiss Alps, the Andes, Australia's Kosiusko, New Zealand's Southern Alps and even on Mt. Kenya, a tropical alpine paradise.

To get there: The library is located at 980 Helling Way, Nevada City. At the intersection of Hwy. 49 and 20 in Nevada City, turn west toward Downieville on Hwy. 49. After approximately one mile, turn right at the Nevada County Government Office Buildings complex. Follow signs to the library.


Auburn, Sunday, June 13, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

The 8th annual Confluence Festival of Protect American River Canyons (PARC) will be held at American River Overlook Area (behind the Gold Country Fairgrounds) in Auburn this coming Sunday. The festival features a river village atmosphere filled with information booths, nature and river art activities, as well as recreational activities and river safety demonstrations for kids and adults. Live entertainment and an auction are also planned.

Redbud Chapter member and Sierra College botanist Shawna Martinez will lead a native plant and wildflower hike down the historic Western States Trail beginning at 9 a.m. Starting at 10:30 a.m., Rick de la Tour of Dry Creek Herb Farm will lead a walk to identify canyon herbs and their uses. At 11 a.m. a Wild Canyon Animal Program will be presented. Auburn's Gary Estes will present a short history of the Auburn dam site and its faults throughout the day.

What a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the magnificent American River!!


Kate McBride did a wonderful job of getting us successfully through another plant sale. A million thanks, Kate!!!. Chet Blackburn also worked his magic again to conjure up a wonderful wildflower display, and Shauna Martinez led a very interesting and informative hike on the Sierra College Nature Trail. Marie Krause did a masterful job of publicizing the event. And of course, Carolyn Chainey-Davis did her usual million things to keep our Chapter going and prospering.

Our Chapter would like to especially thank the faculty and staff of Sierra College, Cornflower Farms, Golden Pond Water Plants,The Flower Mill, Emerald Hill Gardens, the Sierra College Horticulture Club, Susan Wells/Dragon Prints, Jean Wilson, Raley's of Grass Valley and Tahoe Tree Nursery for participating in or aiding our plant sale effort.

We also owe a great deal of gratitude to the Chapter members who pitched in uncomplainingly where it was needed. You are greatly appreciated. Thanks to Jonellen Goddard, Ruth Eckenburg, Nancy Bascom, Jean Witzman, Mary Chrisman, Sherron Egner, Monica Finn, Floyd Sampson, Sharlane Blaise, Solveig Lardner, Lynne Hurrell, Zoe Robison, Maureen Walsh, Joe Medeiros, Nancy Gilbert, Kathy Van Zuuk, Marcia Braga, Karen Callahan and Bobbi Wilkes.


Pole Creek on Wednesday, July 7th

South of Truckee on Hwy. 89

Tahoe Chapter CNPS member Paul Cushing will be leading a hike in the lovely Pole Creek area. Located on Hwy. 89 near the Big Chief Lodge (6.3 miles south of Truckee), Pole Creek is a protected area for Tahoe's Federally and State listed Lahontan Cutthroat Trout. The area has rock gardens, meadows, a vernal pool, fern gardens and a multitude of other wonders. Hike begins at 9:30 a.m. Call Paul at (530) 581-4354 for information and to reserve a spot.

Carson Pass on Saturday, July 24th

Meiss Lake & Little Round Top (Hwy. 88)

Our Chapter is most fortunate to again have a field trip led by Dr. Art Shapiro of UC Davis, a renowned butterfly expert. The alpine vegetation at Kit Carson Pass is the most thoroughly studied and mapped in California. The north side of Hwy. 88 is much less visited than the south, but is actually more interesting--and has the advantage in a wet year like this of opening up and blooming a month earlier. It is a series of volcanic mudflows (lahars) overlying granite--all the highest peaks are volcanic. There is a double treeline, with ancient junipers on dry sites and whitebark pines on wet ones. The area is a complex mosaic of dry alpine rock gardens (which should be at their best), wet meadows, patches of subalpine forest with extensive krumholtz, and areas of cold air drainage with boggy vegetation. Expect a good selection of composites, Astragalus, Eriogonum, Penstemon, Potentilla, Ivesia andSedum. An added bonus is that the most characteristic Sierran alpine butterfly, the Ivallda Arctic, which flies only every other year, should be out in force. The views should be breathtaking; bring your camera. The hike is moderately strenuous, and portions may be wet and/or slushy-snowy. Bring water and lunch. You may want repellent against the snowmelt mosquitoes, which may be aggressive in the lower spots. Questions; A.M. Shapiro, (530) 752-2176, fax 752-1449.


As part of the Forest Service Celebrating Wildflowers program, several plant walks are planned on the Tahoe National Forest. If you are interested in these walks, call 478-6243 or 265-4531 for details. Please call a few days before the scheduled date to make sure the weather has cooperated and the walks are still on schedule. These are free walks that are open to the public.

Loney Meadow,Grouse Ridge

Botantist Kathy Van Zuuk will lead a hike in this spectacular montane meadow on June 19th. Located at 6,000 ft. elevation, the meadow has a gentle stream and one of the finest groves of quaking aspen in the area.

Loch Leven Lakes,High Sierra

Botanist Blaze Baker will lead a hike on July 11 to one of the Tahoe National Forest's most popular hiking destinations. The trail winds from a trailhead near the Big Bend exit on Interstate 80 to a cluster of five subalpine lakes. Among the attractions are vistas of ridge and valleys, high alpine meadows and glaciated mountain terrain.


Lake Tahoe, Sat. & Sunday, June 26 & June 27, 9 a.m. -4 p.m.

This North Tahoe Art Center-sponsored workshop is for all who love the magic and beauty of wildflowers. In this class you'll be guided through Tahoe's stream-side gardens and wet meadows and into wooded glens and sun-filled rock gardens. With stories about the flowers and through plant identification, basic botany and herbal lore, Julie will take you into the deep richness of flowers. And through non-threatening and meaningful processes she will guide you to contact that creative well-spring within you, helping you to develop through word and image your own personal unique connection with flowers and the back-country. After these two days, you may never look at flowers, or yourself, in the same way again. Course fee is $90. Contact the North Tahoe Art Center at (530) 581-2787, which is open Tues, Wed & Thurs 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Julie, who is an inspiration to anyone who loves wildflowers, also leads custom classes, classes you organize with your friends! Let her help you plan where to go, when and what you would like the class to cover. A great way to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, or just the joy of sharing a great day or weekend with good friends. Call Julie at (530) 265-2721 or e-mail at $45/person with 10 person minimum.


Hidden Lakes, Donner Summit, July 16-18

Women in Nature is an outdoor skills program that helps women gain greater independence and confidence. This program being held at Hidden Lakes, a private nature preserve near Donner Summit, in July is offering 10 different courses, including Watching Wildlife, Outdoor Photography, Map and Compass, Introduction to Kayaking and Introduction to Backpacking, The program has outstanding and inspiring instructors, including our own Julie Carville. So you know it will be great. Other instructors are Cathy Anderson-Meyers, Julie and Monte Hendricks and Vic Maris. For more information about this great opportunity call (530)878-0710 or e-mail at Or check out

TNF Volunteers Needed

The Tahoe National Forest is sponsoring a "Weed Day" on Monday, June 21st. This is a hands-on event where you can actually participate in weed eradication. The project area is located above Boca Reservoir out of Truckee. Musk or nodding thistle, a dreaded "A rated" noxious weed, is the target. In addition to helping to eliminate this weed, there will be presentations on noxious weeds. Gloves, a shovel or other digging tools are needed. If you are interested, call Kathy Van Zuuk at 478-6243.

Joint Conservation Effort

The Redbud Chapter has recently entered into a cost-sharing agreement with Carol Witham and the Forest Service to develop a conservation strategy for sticky Pyrrocoma (Pyrrocoma lucida). This much needed effort will help to conserve this rare plant. Your help is needed! If you are interested in helping to survey potential habitat for this plant, contact Richard Hanes at477-0643.

New Wildflower Books

A number of new and very tempting wildflower books covering our glorious spot on Earth have appeared recently. All are highly recommended.

  • Wildflower Walks and Roads of the Sierra Gold Country by Toni Fauver with illustrations by Martha Kemp

  • Sierra Nevada Wildflowers by Elizabeth L. Horn

  • Plants of the Tahoe Basin: Flowering Plants, Trees and Ferns by Michael Graf

California Plants Web Site

An excellent Web source of photos and information on California Plants can be had here. There are approximately 20,000 photos of native and non-native plants growing in the wild in California, including photos of most of the plants in Nevada and Placer counties.

Arboretum Volunteers Needed

The Sierra College Natural History Museum in Rocklin, which has been very supportive of our Chapter, is expanding its Arboretum and is in need of a few more Friends. Their goal is to create a variety of native California habitats--the Central Valley, the Coast, the Sierra--on the Rocklin campus. Plans include the construction of a vernal pool wetland, the restoration of a meandering creek waterway, and the development of specialized garden areas and plantings. There is also a critical need to install and update an automated irrigation system. For more information on the plans or how you can help, phone (916) 789-2975 or e-mail All donations are tax-deductible.

I live not in myself, but I become a portion of that around me; and to me high mountains are a feeling, but the hum of human cities torture.

--Lord Byron

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Last updated
June 11 1999, Aug 10 1999