Skip to main content

Calendar of Experiences, Activities and Events

Red Barn Event - Protecting Rare Plant Species

Tuesday, February 13, 2024
7:00 pm8:00 pm
HYBRID EVENT: WRI's Red Barn 347 Division Street, Leavenworth, WA 98826 or livestream via Youtube

Streaming link:

This is a FREE event with a donation basket at the door, offered jointly by the Wenatchee Valley Chapter of the Washington Native Plant Society and the Wenatchee River Institute.

Doors open at 6:30pm for a community social with beer and wine available for purchase. The presentation will start at 7:00pm.

Permanently protected areas, such as National and State parks, Wilderness Areas, and nature preserves are often selected because of their aesthetic appeal or historical and recreational value to humans, rather than their biological attributes. As a result, there can be a mismatch between protected lands and where important elements of biological diversity occur, especially for rarer species with limited ranges or specialized habitats. Gap Analysis is an analytical tool developed in the late 1980s to assess how well species or vegetation communities are represented in the network of protected lands in a state or nation (i.e. “gaps”). Gap studies can be valuable to identify particular species and habitat types that are absent or inadequately represented in the existing system of protected areas to then identify new protected areas that might fill those holes. I will discuss the use of gap methods to assess the protected status of rare plants in Washington and how it might be applied to all plant species, as was done in Wyoming.

Walter Fertig is the collections manager of the Marion Ownbey Herbarium at Washington State University in Pullman and was formerly the state botanist for the Washington and Wyoming natural heritage programs.