BEN # 279

Adolf Ceska aceska at
Mon Dec 31 22:01:37 EST 2001

BBBBB    EEEEEE   NN   N             ISSN 1188-603X
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BBBBB    EEEEE    NN N N             BOTANICAL
BB   B   EE       NN  NN             ELECTRONIC
BBBBB    EEEEEE   NN   N             NEWS

No. 279                              December 31, 2001

aceska at                Victoria, B.C.
 Dr. A. Ceska, P.O.Box 8546, Victoria, B.C. Canada V8W 3S2


The  joint  meeting  of  Botany BC + Botany Washington will take
place from June 16 to June 19, 2002 at the  Selkirk  College  in
Castlegar, British Columbia. Watch for further announcements.

From: Joy Mastrogiuseppe [carex at]

The  Juniper  Dunes Wilderness preserves the northernmost growth
of western  juniper, _Juniperus  occidentalis_ Hook.  (Cupressa-
ceae), some of which have been around for 150 years.

One of Washington's botanical delights is Juniper Dunes, a large
system   of   sand   dunes   in  southeastern  Franklin  County,
Washington, 10 miles north of Levey. The dunes, up  to  130  ft.
tall, are surrounded by private lands developed for agriculture.
The  U.S.  Bureau  of Land Management (BLM) has custody of about
17,000 acres of  the  dunes,  in  a  checkerboard  pattern  with
privately-owned  parcels.  Much of the dunes area is stabilized,
but roughly 10 square miles hold  more  active  dunes.  Most  of
these active areas are included in the ca. 7000 acres of the BLM
Juniper Dunes Wilderness.

The  junipers  of  Juniper  Dunes are western juniper, Juniperus
occidentalis, in  its  northernmost  concentrated  groves.  Few,
scattered  individuals  grow further north, e.g. at the "Delight
Dunes" in Adams County, and a specimen of  western  juniper  was
collected  during  the  early 1900's at Wawawai, along the Snake
River in Whitman County. This tree, unfortunately,  was  growing
below the current water level of the Lower Granite reservoir.

The   Juniper  Dunes  apparently  represent  a  portion  of  the
shoreline of a huge ancient  lake  that  occupied  south-central
Washington,  dating  back  to  the  Spokane Floods of the Pleis-
tocene. Ice dams across the Clarks Fork River in western Montana
broke during warmer periods of the Pleistocene, releasing  enor-
mous volumes of water into eastern Washington-the Spokane Floods
that  formed  the  channeled  scablands.  The lake was formed by
backwaters from Wallula Gap, which was too narrow to  allow  the
enormous  volumes  of  water  to  pass.  Layers of the fine silt
deposited can be seen in the sand, and these constitute a suffi-
cient moisture reservoir to support the growth of junipers.

The general vegetation of the Juniper Dunes is typical  of  very
sandy  Columbia  Basin habitats: a mixture of the big sagebrush-
needle and thread habitat type (HT) (_Artemisia tridentata-Stipa
comata_ HT) and the bitterbrush-needle and thread  HT  (_Purshia
tridentata-Stipa comata_ HT) (Daubenmire 1970). There are strong
components of rubber rabbitbrush (_Chrysothamnus nauseosus_) and
green  rabbitbrush  (_C.  visicidiflorus_).  Stands of bluebunch
wheatgrass (_Pseudoroegneria  spicata_),  and  Indian  ricegrass
(_Achnatherum  hymenoides_  subsp. _hymenoides_), are scattered.
Forbs here that are typical of very  sandy  habitats  are  white
sandverbena  (_Abronia mellifera_), Franklin sandwort (_Arenaria
franklinii_), sicklepod milkvetch  (_Astragalus  sclerocarpus_),
turpentine cymopterus (_Cymopterus terebinthinus_), hymenopappus
(_Hymenopappus    filifolius_   var.   _filifolius_),   prickly-
largespine pear cactus (_Opuntia erinacea_), sand-dune penstemon
(_Penstemon   acuminatus_),   lanceleaf   breadroot   (_Psoralea
lanceolata_),  and  sand  dock  (_Rumex  venosus_).  Other forbs
include  Carey  balsamroot  (_Balsamorhiza   careyana_),   wild-
hyacinth    (_Brodiaea    douglasii_),   larkspur   (_Delphinium
nuttallianum_), wild  flax  (_Linum  perenne_),  snow  buckwheat
(_Eriogonum  niveum_),  desertparsley  Indian-potato  (_Lomatium
macrocarpum_), and silverleaf phacelia (_Phacelia hastata_).

Access to the Juniper Dunes Wilderness is limited.  Because  the
wilderness is surrounded by private lands, there is currently no
strictly  legal  access.  Private  landowners often allow access
through their lands, but potential visitors must contact the BLM
Spokane office for permits (phone 509-456-2570).


Daubenmire,  R.F.  1970.  _Steppe  Vegetation  of   Washington._
   Washington Agricultural Experiment Station Technical Bulletin
   62. 131 p.


The  ancient  Greeks  often put this palindrome on fountains. It
translates as "Wash the sin as well as the face." A good sugges-
tion for all of us, sinners and  nonsinners,  as  we  begin  the
palindromic  year  2002.  In  this special year, I would like to
wish you all good luck, lots of happiness and  success  in  your
life and work.

With  passing  of  the old year, I would like to thank to all of
you who contributed to BEN with  your  notes  and  articles  and
shared  your experience with other BEN readers. BEN would not be
possible without your help. To all of you who always  wanted  to
submit  something  for BEN, I wish you the courage and fortitude
to sit down and bang off a few paragraphs on  the  keyboard  and
send it to me. I would be delighted to have your contributions!

The  Victoria  Telecommunity Network has continued to be a reli-
able host of our mailing system, Scott Russell has been a faith-
ful web master, and Jan Kirkby and others have  kept  untangling
my  English  into  a (more) readable form. Many thanks to all of

Enjoy this coming palindromic year--the next one will  not  come
until 2112!

                             Adolf Ceska aka Aksec Floda

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