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Discover and appreciate the Nevada Native Plant Society

Joanne Skelly
For the Appeal

Are you curious about Nevada’s native plants? Would you like an opportunity to see them in the wild accompanied by an expert? You may want to check out the Nevada Native Plant Society.

This nonprofit corporation provides information on Nevada’s more than 2,800 native plants to create interest in and appreciation for these plants and their preservation.

Supported by members’ dues and gifts, the society offers informative lectures each month at their meetings in Reno on a variety of topics, such as the capability of native plants to survive the cheatgrass invasion; the rare plants of White River Valley; and the various invasive weeds programs in northern Nevada.

The meetings and lectures are held 7-9 p.m., the first Thursday of the month, February through November, in the lab across the courtyard from the University of Nevada, Reno’s Herbarium at 920 Valley Road.

At the April 3 meeting, Jason Alexander, will speak about new and interesting findings from recent fieldwork in Nevada on milkvetch, Astragalus, a member of the pea family.

A very provocative presentation on May 1 is also worth attending. Robin Tausch, of the USDA Forest Service, will present, “150 Years of Change in Sagebrush-Pinyon-Juniper Vegetation: Composition, Fuel Loads, and Fire Patterns.” Tausch is a nationally recognized expert on pinyon-juniper woodlands. This lecture will be followed by a field trip to the Pine Nut Range with Tausch on May 3.

Another excellent reason for getting involved in the society is their field trips. Last year, they went to see the bristlecone pines in the White Mountains of Mono County, Calif.

They hiked and viewed the native vegetation in Lamoille Canyon in Elko County’s Ruby Mountains. They observed the riparian splendor at Pole Creek near Squaw Valley.

Closer to home, they trekked through Smith and Dayton Valleys in Lyon County, Eagle Valley in Carson City, and Washoe County’s Hungry Valley.

Their Web site is a valuable resource for information about events. It provides listings of recommended reading and access to the society’s newsletters and publications.

There are various links to a number of sites, including one with photographs of native plants.

Anyone interested in learning more about conserving, growing, or just seeing and appreciating the wild plant species of Nevada and the adjacent areas are encouraged to join and participate in the Nevada Native Plant Society.

For more information, see their Web site, http://heritage.nv.gov/nnps.htm, or call President Ann Pinzl, 883-0463.

For more information, e-mail skellyj@unce.unr.edu or call me at 887-2252. You can “Ask a Master Gardener” by e-mailing mastergardeners@unce.unr.edu or call your local University of Nevada Cooperative Extension office. Check out many useful horticulture publications at http://www.unce.unr.edu.

• JoAnne Skelly is the Carson City/Storey County Extension educator for University of Nevada Cooperative Extension.