2012 Annual Meeting Announcement

2012 WYNPS/APS Annual Meeting – June 22-25, 2012 in Laramie, Wyoming

Friday–UW Berry Biodiversity Conservation Center
Board meeting 1-3
Registration 3-5
Green roof and Herbarium tours!
Happy hour and hors d’oeuvres 5-6
6 pm – Speaker – Dennis Knight

Saturday – fieldtrip (scroll down for info)
Early morning – gather for fieldtrips
Return from trips around 4 or 5 pm
Happy hour 5:30-6:30
6:45-7:30 banquet – University of Wyoming Union 7:30 Speaker – Craig Freeman, Penstemon author in Flora of North America

Sunday – field trip (scroll down for info)
Early morning – gather for field trips
Return from trips around 4 or 5
WYNPS Board Meeting over dinner!

Monday – fieldtrip (scroll down for info)
Optional field trip to Penstemon haydenii in Ferris Dunes (a repeat of a very popular 2007 hike event)

There are two registration levels, with or w/o the Saturday banquet. The banquet choices will be either roast chicken or grilled salmon. Registration is restricted to members of the American Penstemon Society and/or Wyoming Native Plant Society – APS is handling registration! They accept checks or Money Orders (no cash please). You can also register online thru APS (http://apsdev.org/aps/meetings.html ). Fees cover facilities, etc.

There are three weekend field trips offered (June 22-24), plus an additional field trip to a Penstemon haydenii site on Monday. Registration is required for the June 22-24 events!

Dodge Mountain – This trip will take us north of Laramie on Hwy 30, to just beyond the village of Rock River. Turning right onto Fetterman Rd, we’ll head past Wheatland Reservoir #3 to Dodge Mountain, which is not a mountain, but a hill on the western flank of the Laramie Range, home to Sphaeromeria simplex and many other cushion plants like Eriogonum acaule.  Sphaeromeria simplex, aka Laramie false sagebrush, is a SE Wyoming endemic restricted to limestone. Penstemons at this site include P. eriantherus and P. radicosus. We’ll pass Wheatland Reservoir #2, and take a different route back to Hwy 30. There is a possibility that we’ll be able to stop by an active dinosaur quarry on our way out.

Laramie Range – For this excursion, we’ll head into the hills east of Laramie to visit Vedauwoo, an impressive exposure of 1.4 billion year old granite, and points beyond. Our stop at Vedauwoo will include a hike at Turtle Rock, which includes Penstemon procerus, P. strictus and P. virens. We hope to also see P. eriantherus var. cleburnei. Backroads south will lead us past P. rydbergii to Hwy 287, where we’ll turn towards Colorado and the summit of Pumpkin Vine Pass, to look for P. glaber var. alpinus. Turn around, and we’ll head north again to Stevenson Rd, and turn off to visit the ranch of Dan Tinker and Gail Stakes. Here we can stretch our legs, find P. secundiflorus, P. eriantherus var. eriantherus, and others. If we’re fortunate, we’ll see P. angustifolius var. caudatus, which typically blooms in May and early June, and/or P. larcifolius var. exilifolius, which usually blooms in July.

Snowy Range and Saratoga – The Snowy Range is a must-see destination when in the Laramie area. A paved road crosses the range, reaching an elevation of about 10,800 ft. The highest peak, Medicine Bow Peak, is a hair over 12,000 ft. Our route will take us from Laramie on Hwy 130 to Centennial (population 100). We’ll make a few stops just above Centennial to see P. secundiflorus, P. strictus, P. radicosus and a beautiful roadcut display of P. virens. Penstemon whippleanus is common in the Snowies, but we’ll only see it if there’s a low-elevation plant in bloom. Libby Flats overlook at the top of the highway will give us an opportunity to view several more mountain ranges in the distance, and alpine forget-me-nots at our feet. Expect lots of snow and cool breezes up there! Cruising down the west side of the Snowies, we may even see P. palmeri (not a native!) on our way to Saratoga. This Penstemon gibbensii population is not only farther east than other known populations of the species, it is the only one to bloom in June. Plus, the plants are on ridges above the North Platte River, and the view is panoramic. From there, we go north to pick up I-80, and speed back to Laramie.

Monday optional trip to Ferris Dunes – The Wyoming Native Plant Society is sponsoring a Monday field trip to the Ferris Dunes, to view Penstemon haydenii, blowout penstemon, Wyoming’s only federally listed Endangered plant species. The discovery of P. haydenii in Wyoming in 1996 may actually represent its re-discovery in the footsteps of F.V. Hayden over a century earlier. We will travel west from Laramie to Sinclair, then north, past Kortes Dam on the North Platte River, to the segment of river affectionately known to anglers as Miracle Mile. From there we head west, with special permission to cross private property on two-track roads, towards the eastern edge of the Ferris Mountains and the open sand dunes that constitute blowout penstemon habitat. This is a long trip, but worth your time, for the large-flowered and aromatic penstemon, the unusual dune vegetation, and the grand landscape of mountains and sand. From Laramie to Sinclair is 94 miles, all interstate highway. The distance from Sinclair to the Ferris Dunes is shorter (50-60 miles), but will take nearly two hours. Once there, you will be within a short walk of the nearest plants, or you can really stretch your legs to visit plants on steep slopes habitat.