|Cusick's lupine inflorescence|
|Herbarium specimen collected|
|BLM Botanist, Roger Ferriel, assisting IAE crew|
Population monitoring on permanent transects began in 1993 and has continued to occur intermittently. Fences were erected at three populations to exclude human disturbance from portions of the population. This season, Vale District BLM Botanist Roger Ferriel joined the IAE crew to assist at several monitoring sites. At each monitoring location, data was recorded regarding plant height, diameter and perpendicular width, the number of inflorescences and evidence of herbivory. Population density and plant health have varied considerably over the years, most likely due to climatic variation. Threats to the Cusick’s lupine populations include small population size, invasive species, and human disturbance (off-road vehicle use and illegal dumping). Although the populations do not appear to be in immediate danger, continued disturbance by humans could potentially degrade the limited habitat available to this lupine species. Since little information exists about cultivation of this species, seeds were collected from three populations to be used in future germination trials. A subset of these seeds will be sent to the Rae Selling Berry Seed Bank to be stored in case reintroduction projects are needed to mitigate unforeseen anthropogenic or natural population disturbances.
|Cusick's lupine habitat (foreground) at ORV Hill monitoring site|