Concurrent Session: Effective wetland restoration & mgmt techniques
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM Wed
Title: The documentation and exploration of Sprague Creek Peatland Scientific and Natural Area
Abstract: One of Minnesota's more unique Scientific and Natural Areas (SNA), Sprague Creek Peatland SNA, lies in northwest Minnesota along the Canadian border. This SNA is primarily forested peatland AND includes spring fens, a type of calcareous fen afforded special protection under Minnesota state law. The hydrology has been significantly altered by several significant ditch features that have been in place since 1910. The SNA will be undergoing hydrologic restoration as part of a larger hydrologic restoration of the historic Roseau Lake lakebed. As part of the effort, botanical staff from Midwest Natural Resources collected baseline vegetation monitoring data within the SNA. The data will be used to gauge changes in community structure as hydrologic restoration takes place. This initial effort involved mapping current native plant communities, establishing monitoring plots and transects, and documenting rare plant populations. I will discuss the proposed hydrologic restoration efforts, examine changes in community structure as compared to historic boundaries, explain the various baseline data collection methods implemented, and discuss some of the more unique species found in this spectacular natural area.
Bio: Scott Milburn is an academically-trained botanist with a bachelor's degree in botany from Iowa State University and a master's degree in biological sciences from the University of Mississippi. His professional focus is primarily botanical with more than 20 years of rare plant survey experience. He has a particular interest in cryptic species ranging from Botrychium to graminoids, vegetation of calcareous fens, and peatland ecology.