Bistorta bistortoides is a perennial herb in the buckwheat and knotweed family Polygonaceae. The species name remains unresolved. Bistorta bistortoides is distributed throughout the Mountain West in North America from Alaska and British Columbia south into California and east into the Rocky Mountains. Bistorta bistortoides grows from foothills to above the timberline, although plants growing above 7,500 feet are smaller and reach more than 12 inches in height. Plants in other areas may reach over half a meter–1.5 feet tall. The leaves are leathery and up to 40 centimeters long, are basal on the stem; the dense cylindrical to oblong inflorescence is packed with small white to pinkish flowers, each a few millimeters wide and with protruding stamens. American bistort was an important food plant used by Native Americans living in the Mountain West, the roots are edible either raw or fire-roasted with a flavor resembling chestnuts; the seeds can be used to make bread. They were roasted and eaten as a cracked grain.
Media related to Bistorta bistortoides at Wikimedia Commons Jepson Manual Treatment – Polygonum bistortoides United States Department of Agriculture Plants Profile Polygonum bistortoides – Callphotos Photo gallery, University of California
Artemisia tridentata called big sagebrush, Great Basin sagebrush or sagebrush, is an aromatic shrub from the family Asteraceae, which grows in arid and semi-arid conditions, throughout a range of cold desert and mountain habitats in the Intermountain West of North America. The vernacular name "sagebrush" is used for several related members of the genus Artemisia, such as California sagebrush. Big Sagebrush and other Artemisia shrubs are the dominant plant species across large portions of the Great Basin; the range extends northward through British Columbia's southern interior, south into Baja California, east into the western Great Plains of New Mexico, Colorado and the Dakotas. Several major threats exist to sage brush ecosystems, including human settlements, conversion to agricultural land, livestock grazing, invasive plant species and climate change. Sagebrush provides food and habitat for a variety of species, such as sage grouse, pronghorn antelope, grey vireo, pygmy rabbit, mule deer.
Artemisia tridentata is the state flower of Nevada. Much discussion and disagreement revolves around the question of how to divide the species into varieties and subgenera; the following subspecies are accepted by some authors. A. tridentata subsp. Tridentata A. tridentata subsp. Vaseyana A. tridentata subsp. Wyomingensis – Found in the drier portions of the sagebrush steppe. Shrub density is less than 1 plant/m2, with little herbaceous cover surrounding the shrub. A. tridentata subsp. Xericensis A. tridentata subsp. Spiciformis A. tridentata subsp. Parishii – Big sagebrush is a coarse, many-branched, pale-grey shrub with yellow flowers and silvery-grey foliage, 0.5–3 m tall. A deep taproot 1–4 m in length, coupled with laterally spreading roots near the surface, allows sagebrush to gather water from both surface precipitation and the water table several meters beneath. Big sagebrush, over a meter tall is an indicator of arable land, because it prefers deep, basic soils. Sagebrush is long-lived once it makes it past the seedling stage, can reach ages of over 100 years.
The species has a strong pungent fragrance due to the presence of camphor and other volatile oils. The taste is bitter and, together with the odor, serves to discourage browsing by many herbivores, it is an evergreen shrub. The leaves—attached to the branches at the axillary nodes—are wedge-shaped, 1–3 cm long and 0.3–1 cm broad, with the wider outer tips divided into three lobes. The leaves are covered with fine silvery hairs. Artemisia tridentata flowers in the late summer or early fall; the small yellow flowers are in long, loosely arranged tubular clusters. The fruits are seed-like, have a small amount of hairs on the surface; the Cahuilla used to gather large quantities of sagebrush seed, grind it to make flour. Big sagebrush can reproduce through sprouts, which shoot up from the underground rhizome; the sprouts are an extension of the parental plant while seedlings are individualistic to any other plant. Among these two strategies, the seedlings need more moisture for early survival; this is due to the sprouts being connected to healthy and associated plants while the new seedlings will start anew.
Artemisia tridentata grows in arid and semi-arid conditions, throughout the Intermountain West of North America. Sagebrush is not a desert plant, but rather a resident of the steppe, in areas that receive 18–40 centimeters of annual precipitation. Big sagebrush and other Artemisia species are the dominant plants across large portions of the Great Basin, covering some 422,000 square miles in 11 western U. S. states and Canadian provinces. Sagebrush provides food and habitat for a variety of animal species, such as sage grouse, grey vireo, pygmy rabbit, mule deer. Sagebrush creates habitat for many species of grasses and herbs. Besides providing shade and shelter from the wind, the long taproot of sagebrush draws water up from deep in the soil, some of which becomes available to these surrounding shallow-rooted plants; the terpenoid compounds in big sagebrush are thought to ward off herbivores. These oils, at high concentrations, are toxic to the symbiotic bacteria in the rumen of some ruminants like deer and cattle.
Pronghorn are the only large herbivore to browse sagebrush extensively. Damage to sagebrush plants caused by grazing herbivores results in the release of volatile chemicals, which are used to signal a warning to nearby plants, so that they can increase the production of repellent chemical compounds; this plant-to-plant communication can take place at distances of up to 60 cm. Several major threats exist to sage brush ecosystems, including human settlements, conversion to agricultural land, livestock grazing, invasive plant species and climate change; the cattle industry burns large areas of sagebrush habitat to make way for grazing animals. Due to large periods of time where sagebrush was the primary shrub, many species have become adapted to this habitat; the burning of the shrubs leads to habitat loss of many species and can be detrimental to the ecosystem as a whole. Furthermore, the destruction of native grasses and forbs by grazing and fire creates conditions where invasive plants colonize the area.
The invasive species which has destroyed the largest amount of sagebrush habitat is cheatgrass
Juniperus occidentalis is a shrub or tree native to the western United States, growing in mountains at altitudes of 800–3,000 metres and down to 100 metres. The Juniperus occidentalis shoots are of moderate thickness among 1-1.6 mm diameter. The leaves are arranged in opposite decussate whorls of three; the juvenile leaves are needle-like. The cones are berry-like, 5–10 mm in diameter, blue-brown with a whitish waxy bloom, contain one to three seeds; the male cones are 2–4 mm long, shed their pollen in early spring. The cones are an important food for several birds, including American robin, Clark's nutcracker and cedar waxwing; the plants bear galls caused by the juniper tip midge Oligotrophus betheli. There are two Juniperus occidentalis varieties, treated as subspecies by some botanists: Juniperus occidentalis var. occidentalis Western Juniper. Southeast Washington and central Oregon, southwest Idaho, northeastern California and extreme northwest Nevada, north of 40° 30' N latitude, east of the Cascade Range.
A shrub or small tree 4–15 m tall. Exceptionally tall specimens can be found in the John Day area of Oregon well in excess of 26–28 m tall where they compete for sunlight among ponderosa pines at the bottom of some deep side canyons. Howerver, on barren ground 4 -- 15 m with a bushier growth habit is more common. Cones 7–10 mm diameter. About 50% of plants are monoecious with both sexes on the same plant, 50% dioecious, producing cones of only one sex. Juniperus occidentalis var. australis Sierra juniper. California and westernmost Nevada, south of 40° 30' N latitude in the Sierra Nevada and San Bernardino Mountains. A medium-sized tree 12–26 m tall with a stout trunk up to 3 m diameter. Cones 5–9 mm diameter. Most plants about 5 -- 10 % are monoecious; the Bennett Juniper in the Stanislaus National Forest of California is considered the oldest and largest example at 3000 years old, with a height of 26 m and a diameter of 3.88 m. Juniperus occidentalis occurs on dry, rocky sites where there is less competition from larger species like ponderosa pine and coast Douglas-fir.
In exposed positions at high altitude, they can assume a krummholz habit, growing low to the ground when mature with a wide trunk. Hybrids with Juniperus osteosperma are found. Adams, R. P.. Junipers of the World: The genus Juniperus. Trafford Publishing ISBN 1-4120-4250-X Chase, J. Smeaton. Cone-bearing Trees of the California Mountains. Chicago: A. C. McClurg & Co. p. 99. LCCN 11004975. OCLC 3477527. LCC QK495. C75 C4, with illustrations by Carl Eytel - Kurut, Gary F. "Carl Eytel: Southern California Desert Artist", California State Library Foundation, Bulletin No. 95, pp. 17-20 retrieved Nov. 13, 2011 Conifer Specialist Group. "Juniperus occidentalis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2006. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 12 May 2006. Gymnosperm Database: Juniperus occidentalis Gymnosperm Database: Juniperus occidentalis var. australis Flora of North America: Juniperus occidentalis Oregon State University: Western Juniper fact sheet
Last Glacial Period
The Last Glacial Period occurred from the end of the Eemian interglacial to the end of the Younger Dryas, encompassing the period c. 115,000 – c. 11,700 years ago. This most recent glacial period is part of a larger pattern of glacial and interglacial periods known as the Quaternary glaciation extending from c. 2,588,000 years ago to present. The definition of the Quaternary as beginning 2.58 Ma is based on the formation of the Arctic ice cap. The Antarctic ice sheet began to form earlier, in the mid-Cenozoic; the term Late Cenozoic Ice Age is used to include this early phase. During this last glacial period there were alternating episodes of glacier retreat. Within the last glacial period the Last Glacial Maximum was 22,000 years ago. While the general pattern of global cooling and glacier advance was similar, local differences in the development of glacier advance and retreat make it difficult to compare the details from continent to continent. 13,000 years ago, the Late Glacial Maximum began.
The end of the Younger Dryas about 11,700 years ago marked the beginning of the Holocene geological epoch, which includes the Holocene glacial retreat. From the point of view of human archaeology, the last glacial period falls in the Paleolithic and early Mesolithic periods; when the glaciation event started, Homo sapiens were confined to lower latitudes and used tools comparable to those used by Neanderthals in western and central Eurasia and by Homo erectus in Asia. Near the end of the event, Homo sapiens migrated into Australia. Archaeological and genetic data suggest that the source populations of Paleolithic humans survived the last glacial period in sparsely wooded areas and dispersed through areas of high primary productivity while avoiding dense forest cover; the last glacial period is sometimes colloquially referred to as the "last ice age", though this use is incorrect because an ice age is a longer period of cold temperature in which year-round ice sheets are present near one or both poles.
Glacials are colder phases within an ice age. Thus, the end of the last glacial period, about 11,700 years ago, is not the end of the last ice age since extensive year-round ice persists in Antarctica and Greenland. Over the past few million years the glacial-interglacial cycles have been "paced" by periodic variations in the Earth's orbit via Milankovitch cycles; the last glacial period is the best-known part of the current ice age, has been intensively studied in North America, northern Eurasia, the Himalaya and other glaciated regions around the world. The glaciations that occurred during this glacial period covered many areas in the Northern Hemisphere and to a lesser extent in the Southern Hemisphere, they have different names developed and depending on their geographic distributions: Fraser, Wisconsinan or Wisconsin, Midlandian, Würm, Mérida, Weichselian or Vistulian, Valdai in Russia and Zyryanka in Siberia, Llanquihue in Chile, Otira in New Zealand. The geochronological Late Pleistocene includes the late glacial and the preceding penultimate interglacial period.
Canada was nearly covered by ice, as well as the northern part of the United States, both blanketed by the huge Laurentide Ice Sheet. Alaska remained ice free due to arid climate conditions. Local glaciations existed in the Rocky Mountains and the Cordilleran Ice Sheet and as ice fields and ice caps in the Sierra Nevada in northern California. In Britain, mainland Europe, northwestern Asia, the Scandinavian ice sheet once again reached the northern parts of the British Isles, Germany and Russia, extending as far east as the Taymyr Peninsula in western Siberia; the maximum extent of western Siberian glaciation was reached by 16,000–15,000 BC and thus than in Europe. Northeastern Siberia was not covered by a continental-scale ice sheet. Instead, but restricted, icefield complexes covered mountain ranges within northeast Siberia, including the Kamchatka-Koryak Mountains; the Arctic Ocean between the huge ice sheets of America and Eurasia was not frozen throughout, but like today was only covered by shallow ice, subject to seasonal changes and riddled with icebergs calving from the surrounding ice sheets.
According to the sediment composition retrieved from deep-sea cores there must have been times of seasonally open waters. Outside the main ice sheets, widespread glaciation occurred on the highest mountains of the Alps−Himalaya mountain chain. In contrast to the earlier glacial stages, the Würm glaciation was composed of smaller ice caps and confined to valley glaciers, sending glacial lobes into the Alpine foreland; the [, the highest massifs of the Carpathian Mountains and the Balkanic peninsula mountains and to the east the Caucasus and the mountains of Turkey and Iran were capped by local ice fields or small ice sheets. In the Himalaya and the Tibetan Plateau, glaciers advanced particularly between 45,000 and 25,000 BC, but these datings are controversial; the formation of a contiguous ice sheet on the Tibetan Plateau is controversial. Other areas of the Northern Hemisphere did not bear extensive ice sheets, but local glaciers in high areas. Parts of Taiwan, for example, were glaciated between 42,250 and 8,680 BCE as well as the Japanese Alps
Veratrum is a genus of flowering plants in the family Melanthiaceae. It occurs in damp habitats across much of temperate and subarctic Europe and North America. Veratrum species are vigorous herbaceous perennials with poisonous black rhizomes, panicles of white or brown flowers on erect stems. In English they are known as corn lilies. Veratrum is not related to hellebores, nor do they resemble them. Veratrum species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Setaceous Hebrew Character. Distributed in montane habitats of temperate Northern Hemisphere, Veratrum species prefer full sunlight and deep, wet soils, are common in wet mountain meadows and near streambanks. Veratrum species contain toxic steroidal alkaloids that activate sodium ion channels and cause rapid cardiac failure and death if ingested. 2-deoxyjervine is found in the plant and is known to cause cyclopia. All parts of the plant are poisonous, with rhizomes being the most poisonous. Symptoms occur between thirty minutes and four hours after ingestion and include nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, headache, muscle weakness, hypotension, cardiac arrhythmia, seizures.
Treatment for poisoning includes gastrointestinal decontamination with activated charcoal followed by supportive care including antiemetics for persistent nausea and vomiting, along with atropine for treatment of bradycardia and fluid replacement and vasopressors for the treatment of hypotension. The toxins are only produced during active growth. In the winter months, the plant metabolizes most of its toxic alkaloids. Native Americans harvested the roots for medicinal purposes during this dormant period. Native Americans used the juice pressed from the roots of this plant to poison arrows before combat; the dried powdered root of this plant was used as an insecticide. Western American Indian tribes have a long history of using this plant medicinally, combined minute amounts of the winter-harvested root of this plant with Salvia dorii to potentiate its effects and reduce the toxicity of the herb; the plants' teratogenic properties and ability to induce severe birth defects were well known to Native Americans.
During the 1930s Veratrum extracts were investigated in the treatment of high blood pressure in humans. Patients treated suffered side effects due to the narrow therapeutic index of these products. Due to their toxicity and the availability of other less toxic drugs, use of Veratrum as a treatment for high blood pressure in humans was discontinued. Members of Veratrum are known both in western herbalism and traditional Chinese medicine as toxic herbs to be used with great caution, it is one of the medicinals cited in Chinese herbal texts as incompatible with many other common herbs because of its potentiating effects. Many root herbs ginseng, san qi, hai seng, will create and or exacerbate a toxic effect; the roots of V. nigrum and V. schindleri have been used in Chinese herbalism, where plants of this genus are known as "li lu". Li lu is used internally as a powerful emetic of last resort, topically to kill external parasites, treat tinea and scabies, stop itching; some herbalists refuse to prescribe li lu internally, citing the extreme difficulty in preparing a safe and effective dosage, that death has occurred at a dosage of 0.6 gram.
Accepted species United States Department of Agriculture Plants Profile Jepson manual treatment
The Alvord Desert is a desert located in Harney County, in southeastern Oregon in the western United States. It is southeast of Steens Mountain; the Alvord Desert is averages 7 inches of rain a year. Two mountain ranges separate it from the Pacific Ocean—the Coast Range, the Cascade Mountains. Along with Steens Mountain, these topographical features create a rain shadow; the Alvord Desert lies at an elevation of 4,000 feet. During the dry season the surface is flat enough to land small aircraft on; the women's world land speed record was set in 1976 by Kitty O'Neil at 512 miles/hour. The nearest community is Fields, population 86; the desert is named after General Benjamin Alvord, who served as commander of the U. S. Army's Department of Oregon during the American Civil War; the Alvord Desert experiences a cold desert climate. The area receives little rainfall throughout the year due to the rain shadow created by the Coast and Cascade mountain ranges as well the adjacent Steens Mountain; some eastern areas of the desert may receive as little as 5 inches of rain annually.
Winter temperatures in the Alvord Basin are moderated through airflow from the south that stops the temperature from dropping too heavily. While many areas in the Oregon High Desert dip below 0 °F through the winter months, the Alvord Desert sees these frigid temperatures. On average, highs will reach between 40 and 50 °F, with a few rare instances where the temperature fails to break 32 °F. At night, the temperature falls to between 20 and 30 °F, but will not fall much further unless Arctic air masses arrive; the basin sees a moderate amount of its rainfall in the winter months from storms coming off the Pacific Ocean while the strong winter jet stream is aimed at the Pacific Northwest. Storms that are strong enough to bring moisture to the Southeastern area of Oregon are related to tropical storms feeding from the Hawaiian Islands. Snow does sometimes occur in the rare instances when cold air from the arctic to the north meets a strong flow of moisture from the Pacific to the West. Spring is.
These storms attribute to the rainfall in April and June that form in the south and move their way north across the desert and surrounding sagebrush plains. Clear nights continue to bring cold overnight temperatures which drop to between 30 and 45 °F, but afternoon warming raises temperatures to between 50 and 60 °F in early spring and 70 and 80 °F in late spring; this warming can help trigger thunderstorms in combination with the unstable spring atmosphere. Extremes in temperature can still be seen at this time of year where temperatures have fallen to 0 to 10 °F in March, climbed to over 100 °F in early June. Rainfall turns the playa into a small lake, for a short time, makes travel across it difficult. Summer in the Alvord Desert has some of the hottest temperatures in the state of Oregon. High pressure sets in over the Pacific Northwest and the jet stream pushes north into Canada; this high pressure means little precipitation, averaging less than 1 inch throughout the summer months. Late day heat begins to set in by late June where highs reach between 85 and 90 °F.
In July the temperature climbs to between 90 and 100 °F. Night-time lows vary, with overnight temperatures dropping down between 60 and 65 °F throughout much of the basin. In some locations temperatures will only drop to between 65 and 70 °F. August remains hot with highs ranging between 90 and 100 °F and lows between 50 and 60 °F, though dropping towards the end of the month. Fall is moderate with high temperatures ranging between 60 and 80 °F and lows between 40 and 50 °F. Fall is one of the driest times of the year. Three primary geothermal areas are along the western edge as well as cold springs following NE to SW trending normal faults. On the western edge of the desert is Alvord Hot Springs. At the north is Mickey Hot Springs: an assortment of bubbling mud, pools and, occasional geyser. At the south is Borax Lake, a thermal spring complex. To the east is an unnamed natural hot spring, one of 40 or more along 25 miles of the Alvord fault. To the southwest is seasonal alkali Alvord Lake which once extended 100 miles north and south—covering the desert.
Several of the geothermal features in Alvord Desert Basin have been examined by a team of scientists and geologists from the University of Idaho, Boise State University, Idaho State University. Despite the barren nature of the playa, some opportunities for wildlife observation exist. Wild horses sometimes drink from the springs on the eastern edge of the desert. In areas where natural hot springs flow into the playa around the Alvord Hot Springs, one can find nesting long-billed curlew. Further out into the playa proper are numerous killdeer and snowy plover, along with the occasional American avocet; the outlet waters from the springs flow one mile into the desert, their reach delineates the bird habitat. The nearby Steens Mountain Wilderness contains populations of bighorn sheep, mule deer and pronghorn. Further west is the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, popular for birding; the current wo
Protected areas of the United States
The protected areas of the United States are managed by an array of different federal, state and local level authorities and receive varying levels of protection. Some areas are managed as wilderness, while others are operated with acceptable commercial exploitation; as of 2015, the 25,800 protected areas covered 1,294,476 km2, or 14 percent of the land area of the United States. This is one-tenth of the protected land area of the world; the U. S. had a total of 787 National Marine Protected Areas, covering an additional 1,271,408 km2, or 12 percent of the total marine area of the United States. Some areas are managed in concert between levels of government; the Father Marquette National Memorial is an example of a federal park operated by a state park system, while Kal-Haven Trail is an example of a state park operated by county-level government. As of 2007, according to the United Nations Environment Programme, the U. S. had a total of 6,770 terrestrial nationally designated protected areas. Federal level protected areas are managed by a variety of agencies, most of which are a part of the National Park Service, a bureau of the United States Department of the Interior.
They are considered the crown jewels of the protected areas. Other areas are managed by the United States Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service; the United States Army Corps of Engineers is claimed to provide 30 percent of the recreational opportunities on federal lands through lakes and waterways that they manage. The highest levels of protection, as described by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, are Level I and Level II; the United States maintains 12 percent of the Level II lands in the world. These lands had a total area of 210,000 sq mi. A confusing system for naming protected areas results in some types being used by more than one agency. For instance, both the National Park Service and the U. S. Forest Service operate areas designated National National Recreation Areas; the National Park Service, the U. S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management operate areas called National Monuments. National Wilderness Areas are designated within other protected areas, managed by various agencies and sometimes wilderness areas span areas managed by multiple agencies.
There are existing federal designations of historic or landmark status that may support preservation via tax incentives, but that do not convey any protection, including a listing on the National Register of Historic Places or a designation as a National Historic Landmark. States and local zoning bodies may not choose to protect these; the state of Colorado, for example, is clear that it does not set any limits on owners of NRHP properties. Federal protected area designations National Park System National Parks National Preserves National Seashores National Lakeshores National Forest National Forests National Grasslands National Conservation Lands National Monuments National Conservation Areas Wilderness Areas Wilderness Study Areas National Wild and Scenic Rivers National Scenic Trails National Historic Trails Cooperative Management and Protection Areas Forest Reserves Outstanding Natural Areas National Marine Sanctuaries National Recreation Areas National Estuarine Research Reserves National Trails System National Wild and Scenic Rivers System National Wilderness Preservation System National Wildlife Refuge System International protected area designations UNESCO Biosphere Reserves in the USA Every state has a system of state parks.
State parks vary from urban parks to large parks that are on a par with national parks. Some state parks, like Adirondack Park, are similar to the national parks of England and Wales, with numerous towns inside the borders of the park. About half the area of the park, some 3,000,000 acres, is state-owned and preserved as "forever wild" by the Forest Preserve of New York. Wood-Tikchik State Park in Alaska is the largest state park by the amount of contiguous protected land. S. National Parks, with some 1,600,000 acres, making it larger than the state of Delaware. Many states operate game and recreation areas. Lists of state parks in the United States: Alabama, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming List of U.
S. state and tribal wilderness areas Various counties, metropolitan authorities, regional parks, soil conservation districts and other units manage a variety of local level parks. Some of these are little more than picnic playgrounds. South Mountain Park in Phoenix, for example, is called the largest city park in the United States. Protected areas of American Samoa Protected areas of California Protected areas of Colorado Protected areas of Georgia Protected areas of Illinois Protected areas of Kentucky Protected areas of Michigan Protected areas of Ohio National Landscape Conservation System National Park Service National Wild and S