National Park Service

Northeast Temperate Network (NETN)

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The small whorled pogonia, a member of the orchid family, is a threatened species that grows in select places near the Appalachian Trail. USFWS photo.
The small whorled pogonia, a member of the orchid family, is a threatened species that grows in select places near the Appalachian Trail. USFWS photo.
  • Determine trends in rare, threatened, and endangered plant species along the Appalachian Trail corridor.

Status:

approved

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The Appalachian National Scenic Trail is a treasured national icon. This extended footway traverses the Appalachian uplands of the eastern United States for more than 2100 miles from Georgia to Maine, providing a unique and rich opportunity for outdoor enjoyment and appreciation of natural and cultural resources.

This program focuses monitoring efforts on Rare, Threatened, and Endangered (RTE) plant species occurrences within the Trail corridor, defined as land within 500 feet on either side of the Trail, and any adjacent land acquired by the Appalachian Trail Park Office. Since it is not possible to monitor all of the more than 1700 Natural Heritage occurrences that have been documented within this region, plant species occurrences are selected for monitoring using a prioritization method developed by program staff. Rare species are an important Trail resource. In 2004, the NPS I&M Network convened a meeting of Trail resource managers and monitoring staff to prioritize "Vital Signs" for resource monitoring. Priority Rare, Threatened or Endangered (RTE) Species as a "Category 2" were selected to be monitored after higher priority "Category 1" Vital Sign monitoring.

Most of the rare species occurrences are plants. While rare plants are found in every Trail state, notable hotspots or clusters of rare species occur in the Presidential Range of the White Mountains of NH, the Mt. Rogers-Whitetop area of southwest VA, and the Roan Mountain area along the border of NC and TN.Most endangered rare plants are threatened by multiple causes.


NETN Rare Plant Materials

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Northeast Temperate Network Staff Contacts for Rare Plant Monitoring

Name Title/Position Phone Number Email Address
Aaron Weed Program Manager 802-457-3368
ex. 237
aaron_weed@nps.gov
Fred Dieffenbach Environmental Monitoring Coordinator - Appalachian NST 802-457-3368 ex 236 fred_dieffenbach@nps.gov
Adam Kozlowski Data Manager 802-457-3368 ex 240 adam_kozlowski@nps.gov
Ed Sharron Science Communication Specialist 802-457-3368 ex 223 ed_sharron@nps.gov
Last Updated: October 17, 2017 Contact Webmaster