Restoration and Recovery of Federally Endangered Harperalla
Harperella (Ptilimnium nodosum (Rose) Mathias) is the only federally endangered plant in the National Capital Region, which makes it a top conservation priority for the region and the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park (CHOH) where it occurs. The first goal of this proposed project is to implement tasks as recommended by the 1990 U.S. Fish and Wildlife recovery plan that are necessary for restoration and recovery: assessment of population size and demography, collection and conservation of seeds, germination and seedling growth experiments, reintroduction, and determination of microenvironmental parameters in harperella populations in CHOH and nearby areas in western Maryland and adjacent West Virginia. The second goal is to provide scientific support for resource management decisions affecting harperella. This work will aid the re-establishment of a federally endangered plant.
At the time this study began in 2002, very little was known of the details of harperella's life cycle or its ecophysiological needs. Now, based on a better understanding of these parameters, 3 sites within the park will be selected for transplanting and study. The three sites will be within the Valley and Ridge physiographic province of the park.
Seeds will be planted into two 1x1 meter square plots at a depth of about 2 to 3 inches. Minimal soil disturbance is expected. Due to the sensitive nature of this project, exact site locations cannot be identified at this time.
This project has been reviewed for impacts to natural and cultural resources by the park's Interdisciplinary Team. The project does not pose any serious or long-term effects to environmental, historical, cultural, archeological, or visual resources. It meets Categorical Exclusion #E.2 - Restoration of noncontroversial native species into suitable habitats within their historic range.
For further information about this project, please contact Marie Frias Sauter, Natural Resources Specialist, at 1850 Dual Highway, Suite 100, Hagerstown, MD 21740.