"Exploring the Wilderness" by Craig Wolfrom , public domain

Craters of the Moon

National Monument & Preserve - Idaho

Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve is in the Snake River Plain in central Idaho. It is along US 20 (concurrent with US 93 and US 26), between the small towns of Arco and Carey, at an average elevation of 5,900 feet (1,800 m) above sea level. The protected area's features are volcanic and represent one of the best-preserved flood basalt areas in the continental United States. The Monument and Preserve encompass three major lava fields and about 400 square miles (1,000 km2) of sagebrush steppe grasslands to cover a total area of 1,117 square miles (2,893 km2). All three lava fields lie along the Great Rift of Idaho, with some of the best examples of open rift cracks in the world, including the deepest known on Earth at 800 feet (240 m). There are excellent examples of almost every variety of basaltic lava, as well as tree molds (cavities left by lava-incinerated trees), lava tubes (a type of cave), and many other volcanic features.

location

maps

Travel Map of Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve (NM & PRES) in Idaho. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).Craters of the Moon - Travel Map

Travel Map of Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve (NM & PRES) in Idaho. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Map of Seasonal Closures between Dec 1 - Apr 30 in Wood River Valley in the Shoshone Field Office area in Idaho. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).Wood River Valley - Recreation Map

Map of Seasonal Closures between Dec 1 - Apr 30 in Wood River Valley in the Shoshone Field Office area in Idaho. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Visitor Map of Craters of the Moon National Monument (NM) in Idaho. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).Craters of the Moon - Visitor Map

Visitor Map of Craters of the Moon National Monument (NM) in Idaho. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Official Visitor Map of Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve (NM & PRES) in Idaho. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Craters of the Moon - Visitor Map

Official Visitor Map of Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve (NM & PRES) in Idaho. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the Laidlaw Park Driving Tour at Craters of the Moon National Monument (NM) in Idaho. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).Craters of the Moon - Laidlaw Park Driving Tour

Map of the Laidlaw Park Driving Tour at Craters of the Moon National Monument (NM) in Idaho. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Trails Map of the Mackay Mine Hill Tour in the BLM Challis Field Office area in Idaho. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).Mackay Mine Hill Tour - Trails Map

Trails Map of the Mackay Mine Hill Tour in the BLM Challis Field Office area in Idaho. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units and Regions

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Heritage Areas

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Visitor Map of Lost River Ranger District of Salmon-Challis National Forest (NF) in Idaho. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).Salmon-Challis Visitor Map - Lost River 2023

Visitor Map of Lost River Ranger District of Salmon-Challis National Forest (NF) in Idaho. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).

Official State Map of Idaho. Published by visitidaho.org.Idaho State - Idaho State Map

Official State Map of Idaho. Published by visitidaho.org.

brochures

A Guided Tour of the Largest Kipuka at Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve (NM & PRES) in Idaho. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).Craters of the Moon - Laidlaw Park: Sagebrush Oasis

A Guided Tour of the Largest Kipuka at Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve (NM & PRES) in Idaho. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Rare Plants of Idaho. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).BLM Idaho - Rare Plants of Idaho

Rare Plants of Idaho. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Native Garden Guide for Southestern Idaho. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).BLM Idaho - Native Garden Guide

Native Garden Guide for Southestern Idaho. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

A Field Guide to Plants of the Boise Foothills. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).BLM Idaho - Plants of the Boise Foothills

A Field Guide to Plants of the Boise Foothills. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

https://www.nps.gov/crmo/index.htm https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Craters_of_the_Moon_National_Monument_and_Preserve Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve is in the Snake River Plain in central Idaho. It is along US 20 (concurrent with US 93 and US 26), between the small towns of Arco and Carey, at an average elevation of 5,900 feet (1,800 m) above sea level. The protected area's features are volcanic and represent one of the best-preserved flood basalt areas in the continental United States. The Monument and Preserve encompass three major lava fields and about 400 square miles (1,000 km2) of sagebrush steppe grasslands to cover a total area of 1,117 square miles (2,893 km2). All three lava fields lie along the Great Rift of Idaho, with some of the best examples of open rift cracks in the world, including the deepest known on Earth at 800 feet (240 m). There are excellent examples of almost every variety of basaltic lava, as well as tree molds (cavities left by lava-incinerated trees), lava tubes (a type of cave), and many other volcanic features. Craters of the Moon is a vast ocean of lava flows with scattered islands of cinder cones and sagebrush. We invite you to explore this "weird and scenic landscape" where yesterday's volcanic events are likely to continue tomorrow. Visitor Center and Loop Drive are located 18 miles southwest of Arco, Idaho on U.S. Highway 20/26/93, 24 miles northeast of Carey, Idaho on U.S. Highway 20/26/93, 84 miles from Idaho Falls, and 90 miles from Twin Falls. Physical address is 1266 Craters Loop Road(Lat/Long: 43° 27.711'N/113° 33.7) Access to the main visitor use area is via a paved highway. Unpaved roads provide additional access to the BLM monument and NPS Preserve but should only be utilized by four wheel drive and high clearance vehicles. Robert Limbert Visitor Center When open, stop by the visitor center for maps and the Craters of the Moon Natural History Association bookstore, and of course: your passport stamp! 18 miles southwest of Arco, Idaho on U.S. Highway 20/26/93, 24 miles northeast of Carey, Idaho on U.S. Highway 20/26/93, 84 miles from Idaho Falls, and 90 miles from Twin Falls. The visitor center and Loop Road are not reached by any unpaved roads. Do not rely on GPS navigation to find your way to the visitor center. Lava Flow Campground The Lava Flow Campground is a 42-site campground accessible by automobile from May through November. All sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Some sites will accommodate large RVs, but no hookups are available. Campground Fee - Regular Season 15.00 Fee per night for a single campsite. This fee is charged during the regular season when water is available, typically from May through October. Campground Fee - Regular Season (with Senior or Access Pass) 7.50 Discount applies only to Senior and Access Pass holders. There is no discount for America the Beautiful passholders. Fee per night for a single campsite. This fee is charged during the regular season when water is available, typically from May through October. Campground Fee - Shoulder Season (with Senior or Access Pass) 4.00 Discount applies only to Senior and Access Pass holders. There is no discount for America the Beautiful passholders. Fee per night for a single campsite. This fee is charged when water is unavailable in the campground, typically in April and November. Campground Fee - Shoulder Season 8.00 Fee per night for a single campsite. This fee is charged when water is unavailable in the campground, typically in April and November. Campground Fee - Winter 0.00 In winter (typically December through March) the campground is walk-in only. No fee is charged at this time. There is no access to the campground for RVs and other vehicles. No water is available. Lava Flow Campground A tent is nestled among black volcanic rock and shrubby plants. The Lava Flow Campground offers a unique camping experience and is conveniently located near the park visitor center and popular trails. Campground Amphitheater an amphitheater with benches, projection counter, and a roofed stage In the summer, evening programs may be offered at the amphitheater. Tents at the Campground three tents on a hill of black lava rocks with a dark hill covered with trees in the distance The Lava Flow Campground offers 42 sites nestled among the black lava rocks between the visitor center and North Crater. RV Camping at Lava Flow Campground an RV parked in a pull through campsite among sagebrush, a second RV is at the neighboring site Some sites offer pull-through parking for trailers and RVs. Site 25 with Monoliths campsite with picnic table and grill against a dark rocky landscape and cinder cones Campsites offer stark views of the unique volcanic landscape. Bird's Eye View of the Lava Flow Campground trailers, RVs, and other vehicles parked at different sites at a small campground among lava rocks This campground offers the experience of camping on one of the youngest lava flows in the park. Back-in Campsites two adjacent campsites with paved parking pads and picnic tables Campsites vary in size and may be back-in or pull-through. A Sea of Lava A close-up shot of a folded, waving sea of lava rock, with mountains in the far distance. Craters of the Moon features the largest young lava field in the lower 48 states, encompassing the entire Great Rift volcanic zone. Wildflowers on the Moon Small purple flowers and larger white flowers with reddish stems grow out of black volcanic rock Spectacular floral displays occur at Craters each spring, including this dwarf monkeyflower and bitterroot. Stargazing at Craters The Craters entrance sign sits below a starry night sky, with the milky way brightly-lit. Craters of the Moon was designated an International Dark Sky Park in 2017, making it one of the best places in the country to stargaze. Exploring the Craters A figure stands inside a large lava tube on a pile of rubble, lit by a round opening overhead. Many visitors come to Craters to explore its unique and fragile lava tubes. Explore Craters on Foot A paved trail winds up around the side of a spatter cone. Trails at Craters, like the Spatter Cone Trail, allow visitors to explore young volcanic features like spatter cones, cinder cones, and lava fields. A Weird and Scenic Landscape A panoramic view across the Craters landscape, bisected by a winding road. Craters of the Moon features unexpectedly stunning views, such as this panoramic vista from the top of Inferno Cone. American Pika as an Indicator Species for Detecting Climate Change Pikas live in the expansive lava flows of Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve—an atypical habitat in a harsh environment. Here we have a spectacular opportunity to learn more about how this species may respond to climate change over time. American pika resting on a rock Listening to the Eclipse: National Park Service scientists join Smithsonian, NASA in nationwide project A solar eclipse is visually stunning, but what will it sound like? NPS scientists will find out by recording sounds in parks across the USA. An NPS scientist installs audio recording equipment in a lush valley at Valles Caldera NP. NPS Structural Fire Program Highlights 2014 Intern Accomplishments Park Air Profiles - Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve Air quality profile for Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve. Gives park-specific information about air quality and air pollution impacts for Craters of the Moon NM & Pres as well as the studies and monitoring conducted for Craters of the Moon NM & Pres. Lava tube sculpture and flowers Pikas in Peril The National Park Service stewards pika populations in more than a dozen parks and seeks to understand the vulnerability of pikas and other mountain species to climate change. Pikas in Peril, funded in 2010, was a collaborative research program directed by scientists from the National Park Service, Oregon State University, University of Idaho, and University of Colorado-Boulder. Profile of a pika on rough, dark red lava rock. © Michael Durham Wildland Fire in Douglas Fir: Western United States Douglas fir is widely distributed throughout the western United States, as well as southern British Columbia and northern Mexico. Douglas fir is able to survive without fire, its abundantly-produced seeds are lightweight and winged, allowing the wind to carry them to new locations where seedlings can be established. Close-up of Douglas fir bark and needles. Wildland Fire in Sagebrush Sagebrush will burn when the surrounding grasses are dry. With strong winds, fire spreads rapidly with flames sometimes reaching over 30 feet high. While fire easily kills sagebrush, the other plants resprout from protected roots producing lush forage for wildlife and livestock. Close-up of sagebrush leaves Explore Your Southern Idaho National Parks Discover southern Idaho's hidden treasures, including Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, City of Rocks National Reserve, Minidoka National Historic Site, and Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument. A group of people joyfully cut the ceremonial ribbon outside the new Minidoka visitor center. Visiting Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve Explore one of North America's most unique and scenic volcanic landscapes, where lava flows and cinder cones meet a vast sagebrush desert. Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve offers excellent opportunities for hiking, camping, and stunning night skies. The dark silhouette of a person standing on a rocky slope, in front of a bright starry sky. Parks, pikas, and physiological stress: Implications for long-term monitoring of an NPS climate-sensitive sentinel species Baseline values of physiological stress can be incorporated into monitoring plans for pikas, providing park managers with additional information related to the vulnerability of this climate-sensitive model species that occurs within a large number of western parks. American pika (Copyright Dick Orleans) NPS Geodiversity Atlas—Craters Of The Moon National Monument & Preserve, Idaho Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve is one of the premiere volcanic sites in the National Park System. It is located on the eastern Snake River Plain in Idaho and preserves the “weird and scenic landscape” of three young lava fields located along the Great Rift System. The monument cinder cones, spatter cones, young basaltic lava flows, and lava tubes. volcanic landscape Series: Geologic Time Periods in the Cenozoic Era The Cenozoic Era (66 million years ago [MYA] through today) is the "Age of Mammals." North America’s characteristic landscapes began to develop during the Cenozoic. Birds and mammals rose in prominence after the extinction of giant reptiles. Common Cenozoic fossils include cat-like carnivores and early horses, as well as ice age woolly mammoths. fossils on display at a visitor center Series: Southern Idaho National Parks Newspaper: Summer 2020 Many visitors rush through Idaho on their way to the world’s first national park, Yellowstone. Most are unaware that a small portion of this national park as well as four other national park units are also located in southern Idaho. The other National Park Service sites and monuments in this region are relatively unknown to locals and visitors alike, but they contain some of the state's hidden treasures. A panoramic shot of Craters of the Moon National Monument at sunrise. Series: Park Air Profiles Clean air matters for national parks around the country. Photo of clouds above the Grand Canyon, AZ Quaternary Period—2.58 MYA to Today Massive ice sheets advanced and retreated across North America during much of the Quaternary, carving landscapes in many parks. Bering Land Bridge National Preserve contains geologic evidence of lower sea level during glacial periods, facilitating the prehistoric peopling of the Americas. The youngest rocks in the NPS include the lava of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and the travertine at Yellowstone National Park, which can be just a few hours old. fossil bone bed and murals of mammoths Cenozoic Era The Cenozoic Era (66 million years ago [MYA] through today) is the "Age of Mammals." North America’s characteristic landscapes began to develop during the Cenozoic. Birds and mammals rose in prominence after the extinction of giant reptiles. Common Cenozoic fossils include cat-like carnivores and early horses, as well as ice age woolly mammoths. fossils on display in a visitor center The Northwestern Bat Hub: Banding Together for Bat Monitoring Across the West The first detection of white-nose syndrome in the American West in 2016 highlighted an urgent need to better understand the distribution and ecology of around twenty species of bats in Western states. To do this, ecologists in several Inventory & Monitoring Networks and National Parks joined with the USGS and ten other university and agency partners to expand the North American Bat Monitoring Program to sites across the West and develop the Northwestern Bat Hub. Close-up of a western mastiff bat in a gloved hand. Blanket Cave National Youth Park—Activity Enjoy a fun activity and learn about caves even when you can't get out to a park. In this activity you will build your own cave and learn how to make it like a "real" natural cave. Find out about cave formations and wildlife, and how to be safe and care for caves. New "Blanket Cave National Youth Parks" are springing up all across America! Join the fun! cartoon drawing of a childs and a park ranger exploring a cave Exploring Craters of the Moon: A Ranger's Top 10 Tips A ranger's top 10 tips for exploring Craters of the Moon. Newenee: The Shoshonean Peoples of Southern Idaho Explore the connections between the Shoshonean peoples and the public lands of southern Idaho. Photo of a spatter cone under a starry night sky Strombolian Eruptions Stombolian eruptions look like volcanic firework displays. Explosions eject glowing volcanic bombs into the air that then fall around the crater. volcanic eruption with glowing lava seen at night Volcanic Craters Craters are present at many volcanic vents. The size and shape of volcanic craters vary a great deal from volcano to volcano, and they even change during the lifespan of an active volcano. Craters can become filled by lava domes or lava flows, and new craters may form during subsequent eruptions. cinder cone crater Volcanic Vents A volcanic vent is the opening where eruptions occur. Lava, tephra (volcanic ash, lapilli, or bombs), fragmented rock, and/or volcanic gases may be emitted. Vents may be located at the summit or flanks of a volcano and may exist as elongated fissures. erupting lava Changing Patterns of Water Availability May Change Vegetation Composition in US National Parks Across the US, changes in water availability are altering which plants grow where. These changes are evident at a broad scale. But not all areas experience the same climate in the same way, even within the boundaries of a single national park. A new dataset gives park managers a valuable tool for understanding why vegetation has changed and how it might change in the future under different climate-change scenarios. Green, orange, and dead grey junipers in red soil, mountains in background Lava Tree Mold Fossils Tree mold impressions are trace fossils that develop within lava flows. tree mold fossil appears as a round hole in lava rock with still glowing lava and wood embers inside Shield Volcanoes Shield volcanoes are typically very large volcanoes with very gentle slopes made up of basaltic lava flows. Mauna Loa and Kilauea in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park are shield volcanoes. diagram of a shield volcano with lava features Cinder Cones Cinder cones are typically simple volcanoes that consist of accumulations of ash and cinders around a vent. Sunset Crater Volcano and Capulin Volcano are cinder cones. photo of a dry grassy field with a cinder cone in the distance Lava Lakes Lakes of molten or solidified lava are usually only found in pit craters or calderas (both are types of collapse features) on shield volcanoes. Lava lakes may occasionally occur within other vent areas, or sometimes even on pooled lava flows. Long-lasting lava lakes typically only form in places where there is good connectivity with a shallow magma reservoir. photo of a lava lake taken with a thermal camera Series: Volcanic Features Volcanoes vary greatly in size and shape. Volcanoes also may have a variety of other features, which in turn, have a great range in diversity of form, size, shape, and permanence. Many volcanoes have craters at their summits and/or at the location of other vents. Some craters contain water lakes. Lakes of molten or solidified lava may exist on some volcanoes. Fumaroles and other geothermal features are a product of heat from magma reservoirs and volcanic gases. photo of a lava lake in a summit crater Series: Volcano Types Volcanoes vary in size from small cinder cones that stand only a few hundred feet tall to the most massive mountains on earth. photo of a volcanic mountain with snow and ice Monogenetic Volcanic Fields Monogenetic volcanic fields are areas covered by volcanic rocks where each of the volcanic vents typically only erupt once. Monogenetic volcanic fields typically contain cinder cones, fissure volcanoes, and/or maars and tuff rings. They also usually encompass large areas covered by basaltic lava flows. oblique aerial photo of a lava flow that extended into a body of water Fissure Volcanoes Fissure volcanoes erupt from elongated vents (fissures) rather than a central vent. The lava flows in Craters of the Moon National Monument were erupted from fissures. aerial photo of a line of volcanic cones and lava flows Series: Volcanic Eruption Styles Categories in this traditional classification are based on the eruption styles of particular volcanoes. These magmatic eruption styles are listed in the order of increasing explosivity. volcanic eruption with glowing lava Volcanic Necks and Plugs Volcanic necks are the remnants of a volcano’s conduit and plumbing system that remain after most of the rest of the volcano has been eroded away. photo of a riverside rocky spire with mountains in the distance Kīpukas Kipuka are pockets of older land surfaces surrounded by younger lava flows. Kipukas are often stand out as more vegetated areas and may be older lavas or other bedrocks and surface deposits. aerial photo of a kipuka with trees surrounded by fresh lava flows Staff Spotlight: Alexander Kim Meet Alexander Kim, the museum curator for all of the South Idaho parks, which includes Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument, Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, and Minidoka National Historic Site! Alexander Kim smiling in front of a dinosaur exhibit Volcanic Ash, Tephra Fall, and Fallout Deposits Volcanic ash, pumice, and tephra ejected in volcanic eruptions ultimately falls back to Earth where it covers the ground. These deposits may be the thin dustings or may be many tens of feet (meters) thick near an eruptive vent. Volcanic ash and tephra can present geohazards that are present great distances from the erupting volcano. photo of a bluff with exposed fine-grained volcanic ash and pumice. Inflation Structures, Lava-Rise Plateaus & Inflation Pits At least five units of the National Park System contain inflation structures such as lava-rise plateaus and inflation pits. Inflation is the process that occurs when lava continues to be supplied within a solidified crust of a basaltic lava flow, causing the flow surface to be lifted upward. Inflation can cause lava flows to substantially thicken and create other features such as tumuli, inflation pits, and inflation clefts to form. photo of volcanic landscape covered with broken lava rock Lava Flow Surface Features Surface features on a lava flow may reveal important information of the specific dynamics that occurred during the eruption and emplacement of the flow. photo of lava rock with a rippled surface of ropey lava Studying the Past and Predicting the Future Using Rat Nests In the western United States, packrat middens are one of the best tools for reconstructing recent environments and climates. These accumulations of plant fragments, small vertebrate remains, rodent droppings, and other fossils can be preserved for more than 50,000 years. Packrat middens have been found in at least 41 National Park Service units. Photo of a wood rat. Series: Park Paleontology News - Vol. 14, No. 2, Fall 2022 All across the park system, scientists, rangers, and interpreters are engaged in the important work of studying, protecting, and sharing our rich fossil heritage. <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/fossils/newsletters.htm">Park Paleontology news</a> provides a close up look at the important work of caring for these irreplaceable resources. <ul><li>Contribute to Park Paleontology News by contacting the <a href="https://www.nps.gov/common/utilities/sendmail/sendemail.cfm?o=5D8CD5B898DDBB8387BA1DBBFD02A8AE4FBD489F4FF88B9049&r=/subjects/geoscientistsinparks/photo-galleries.htm">newsletter editor</a></li><li>Learn more about <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/fossils/">Fossils & Paleontology</a> </li><li>Celebrate <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/fossilday/">National Fossil Day</a> with events across the nation</li></ul> Photo of a person sitting while using a laboratory microscope. Series: Geologic Time—Major Divisions and NPS Fossils The National Park System contains a magnificent record of geologic time because rocks from each period of the geologic time scale are preserved in park landscapes. The geologic time scale is divided into four large periods of time—the Cenozoic Era, Mesozoic Era, Paleozoic Era, and The Precambrian. photo of desert landscape with a petrified wood log on the surface Guide to the Henry G. Peabody Photograph Collection Finding aid for the Henry G. Peabody Collection Operational Buildings at Three Idaho Parks to be Rehabilitated through GAOA Funding to Improve Employee Safety and Operations Three Idaho National Parks, with funding through the Great American Outdoors Act, will rehabilitate park operational buildings. This project will correct serious facility deficiencies to improve park operations at Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument, and Minidoka National Historic Site. a one story stone garage bay in black and white. Capturing Pronghorn Migration at Craters of the Moon Wildlife biologists at Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve have a unique opportunity to understand pronghorn migration through the park. Pronghorns are one of the West’s iconic animals and have one of the longest land migrations in North America. A narrow migration corridor in Craters of the Moon allows for the use of trail cameras to capture pronghorns during their annual movements. The data from this study supports management decisions at the park. A group of pronghorns travel across sagebrush-covered lava flows. Outside Science (inside parks): Space Walk on Craters of the Moon This episode takes us to Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve where researchers are studying the park to better understand other planets. A researcher studies the inside of a lava tube A New Look at Lava Volcanologist Erika Rader's first thought about visual near-infrared spectroscopy equipment was, "I don't understand this and therefore I don't believe it works, but planetary scientists use it a lot so maybe I should give it a think." Soon after, she wanted to share the technology with others. Two people walk across a dark hardened lava field with snowy peaks in the background NPS Establishes NPSage Initiative to Restore Sagebrush-Steppe Ecosystems Artemisia species, commonly known as sagebrush, are far from being the only species on the landscape. The sagebrush biome is composed of a rich mosaic of thousands of diverse plant species, which are largely driven by differences in climate, soil and elevation. These distinct sagebrush plant and animal communities occur in approximately 70 park units across the western U.S— all of which are experiencing significant threats from wildfire and droughts. Two NPS staff knealing next to plants growing in a nursery 50 Nifty Finds #30: So Funny It Hurt Humor is a form of commentary that often reveals serious truths. Cartoonists combine artistic talents with razor-sharp wits to shine light on political and social issues. In most cases, those artists are external observers. In the National Park Service (NPS), employees in the 1960s to 1980s drew cartoons, published in official newsletters, that provide unique insights into NPS organizational culture, working conditions, and employees' concerns—many of which still exist today. A ranger showing a coloring book to a visitor saying that they care about children's education Project Profile: Develop Native Plant Capacity for Sagebrush Parks The National Park Service will establish a native seed collection and plant propagation facility on the Oregon State University (OSU)-Cascades Campus, in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, and private industry. a sagebrush steppe environment adjacent to a yellow aspen grove on a hillside Project Profile: Build Resilient Sagebrush Neighborhoods The National Park Service will implement nature-based solutions to rapid, fire driven, transformations that are occurring in parks across the sagebrush biome, using the Resist-Accept-Direct (RAD) framework and the Sagebrush Conservation Design. The National Park Service will achieve lasting benefits through partnerships and pooling funding sources. Work will occur in eight parks across the Intermountain and Pacific West Regions. a sagebrush bush and a bag full of sagebrush seeds Bats at Craters of the Moon Craters of the Moon hosts at least nine species of bats year-round with several others passing through the area. a bat with a light brown body and a dark brown face, ears, and wings on a wall Pikas at Craters of the Moon The high desert is the last place you'd expect to find a cold-loving animal like the pika. a pika sitting on black lava rocks Life Among the Lava Flows Text a hillside covered in sagebrush and other shrubs with foothills in the distance
Laidlaw Park: Sagebrush Oasis A Guided Tour of the Largest Kipuka at Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, Idaho Kipuka (key-poo-kuh) is a Hawaiian term for an area of older land that is completely surrounded by younger lava flows Points of Interest 1. Little Park is an area known as a kipuka—a topographically higher island of older land and vegetation which has been completely surrounded by younger lava flows. Kipukas are important because they can provide a picture of vegetation that may be thousands of years old. Paddleford Flat and Laidlaw Park are two other kipukas. 2. Piss Ant Butte is a cinder cone formed by the forceful ejection of frothy, gas-filled lava. While airborne, the lava bits cool rapidly to form a light, porous, glassy rock called cinder. The cinders from Piss Ant Butte have been excavated as a source for local road building materials. 3. Big Blowout Butte is the vent area of a shield volcano that formed about 210,000 years ago. This 1,500’ by 150’ deep vent was the source of an enormous amount of molten volcanic material as it surfaced from the earth’s crust. Big Blowout Butte has produced two significant lava flows—one to the south and another to the west. 4. Snowdrift Crater is the top of a low angle shield volcano that formed nearly 500,000 years ago. Snowdrift rises about 800 feet above the sagebrush plains below, is nearly threequarters of a mile long and over 180 feet deep. The bowlshaped crater holds snow during the winter and retains moisture year-round. It supports a large stand of quaking aspens and a cast of wildlife including deer, elk, antelope and many bird species. 5. Laidlaw Volcano is one of the tallest, largest, and most imposing of the shield volcanos located within the boundaries of Craters of the Moon National Monument. It stands over 900 feet tall and extends outward for several miles. The volcano formed through a series of eruptions approximately 425,000 years ago. The erupted lava was particularly fluid, creating flows over great distances across the landscape. This volcano was large enough to divert younger flows and resulted in the formation of the largest kipuka in the monument, Laidlaw Kipuka. 7. Lava Point represents the southern-most point of the Grassy lava flow. The lava source is Grassy Cone—a cinder cone located near the Craters of the Moon National Monument Visitor Center. Grassy Cone erupted nearly 7,800 years ago and its lava flows extend almost 30 miles. These flows flank both the eastern and western margins of Laidlaw Volcano, resulting in the largest kipuka in the monument. 6. South Park Well is the site of the last remaining trapper cabin on Craters of the Moon National Monument. The area has a long history of hunting and trapping dating back to early American Indians. This cabin was used by more recent peoples as a shelter from harsh weather conditions. The Bureau of Land Management stabilized the structure in 2013. 8. Bear Den Butte is a large cinder cone which sits atop the vent of a larger shield volcano. The cone is about 600 feet across, nearly 60 feet deep and is the highest point in Minidoka County. It is a relatively young feature compared to other shield volcanos in the area, dating to approximately 60,000 years. The flows at the flanks of the shield volcano contain an extensive system of lava tubes that can be traced for miles. Geologic History YOUNG VOLCANOS AND THEIR LAVA Paddleford Flat FLOWS Kipuka Little Park The most recent Kipuka eruptions at Craters of the Moon Nearly 7-10 million years ago, Idaho was located over the area now occupied by Yellowstone National Park. As the Earth’s crust inched to the southwest over a hotspot, massive volcanic eruptions occurred which damaged and weakened the crust. Leftover heat from the hotspot along with Basin and Range stretching forces caused massive amounts of lava to pour out over the landscape through rift zones, pushing down the crust, flattening the region and creating the vast Snake River Plain. Today, the crust continues to pull apart creating a series of fissures. The largest of these is the 52-mile long Great Rift, the deepest rift of all 7 continents. Laidlaw Kipuka Gre NORTH at t Rif Rift Zone Faults Volcano Over the past 13,000 years, there have been eight major eruptive events. Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve protects these lava flows and the entire length of the Great Rift. c. 2,100 years old Blue Dragon Flow c. 2,200 years old Wapi Flow & Kings Bowl c. 4,000 years old Minidoka Flow c. 6,000 years old Sawtooth Flow c. 6,500 years old Little Park Flow c. 7,300 years old Grassy Flow c. 10,200 years old Pronghorn Flow c. 12,100 years old Carey Flow c. 15,100 years old oldest, non-vegetated lava flow Desert Safety Laidlaw Park is a remote backcountry area with no staff or services. Before leaving, ensure that you take water, sunscreen, first-aid kit, map (BLM 100k or USGS quad), GPS unit, long pants and sturdy
U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management | Idaho Rare Plants of Idaho Front cover: Astragalus amnis-amissi, flowers, Lynn Kinter (IDNHP) U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management | Idaho Rare Plants of Idaho Idaho State Office 1387 S. Vinnell Way Boise, ID 83709 Written by Michael Mancuso, Anne Halford and Karen Colson March 21, 2019 Copies available from the BLM Idaho State Office BLM DISTRICT AND FIELD OFFICES IN IDAHO SCALE: 0 50 100 miles LEGEND DISTRICT BOUNDARY DISTRICT OFFICE LOCATION with colocated field office Coeur d'Alene Field Office Field Office Boundary Field Office Location Washington Public Land: BLM-Administered NORTH COEUR D’ALENE DISTRICT Cottonwood Field Office M on ta na Salmon Field Office Challis Field Office IDAHO FALLS DISTRICT Upper Snake Field Office BOISE DISTRICT Owyhee Field Office ii Shoshone Field Office TWIN FALLS DISTRICT Bruneau Field Office Nevada Wyoming Oregon Four Rivers Field Office Jarbidge Field Office Pocatello Field Office Burley Field Office Utah CONTENTS 1 INTRODUCTION Idaho Distribution Maps Taxonomy Conservation Category and Rank Definitions Glossary of Acronyms Used in the Field Guide 5 BLM DISTRICT AND FIELD OFFICE SPECIES GUIDE 9 13 17 21 25 31 35 41 45 49 53 57 63 69 73 77 81 85 89 93 99 105 109 115 119 123 SPECIAL STATUS PLANT SPECIES Abronia mellifera var. pahoveorum Allium aaseae Astragalus ambyltropis Astragalus amnis-ammissi Astragalus anserinus Astragalus aquilonius Astragalus asotinensis Astragalus atratus var. inceptus Astragalus jejunus var. jejunus Astragalus mulfordiae Astragalus oniciformis Astragalus packardiae Astragalus sterilis Calamagrostis tweedyi Carex aboriginum Carex idahoa Castilleja christii Chaenactis cusickii Eriogonum capistratum var. welshii Howellia aquatilis Lepidium papilliferum Mentzelia mollis Mirabilis macfarlanei Monardella angustifolia Oenothera psammophila Oxytropis besseyi var. salmonensis iii 127 137 141 145 151 157 163 167 Phacelia inconspicua Pinus albicaulis Polemonium elusum Silene spaldingii Spiranthes diluvialis Stanleya confertiflora Thelypodium repandum Trifolium owyheense 170 180 182 ASSOCIATED SPECIES LIST ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS AND REFERENCES ILLUSTRATIONS iv INTRODUCTION Idaho Bureau of Land Management (BLM) staff need information about Special Status Plant Species to assist with field surveys, setting data collection priorities, making conservation management decisions, and assessing conservation actions. To meet this need, the Idaho BLM State Office has initiated a project to produce an on-line field guide to Idaho BLM Special Status Plant Species. The purpose of this webbased field guide is to help users recognize and identify Special Status Plant Species in the field. The first installment includes 35 Special Status Plant Species. Additional taxa are planned for the future. The guide provides one-stop access to general description, field identification tips, and similar-looking species summaries, as well as basic taxonomic, conservation status, distribution, habitat, and phenology information. The field guide also includes an Idaho distribution map and color images for each species. The field guide is intended to assist agency, academic, consultant, and other biologists charged with conducting field surveys or other conservation-related work for Special Status Plant Species in Idaho. The field guide can also serve members of the public and citizen scientists interested in learning more about Idaho BLM Special Status Plants Species. The guide’s digital, on-line format allows for ready down-loading of hard copies that can be taken into the field or shared with colleagues. Making the guide available in a digital format will enable the species account information to reach a wider audience and be available more quickly compared to print media. The digital format also makes it easier to add more species accounts in the future and to update information about the species already in the guide in a more timely and inexpensive manner. Idaho Distribution Maps Idaho distribution maps in the field guide are based on Element Occurrence locations for each species in the Idaho Fish and Wildlife Information System database (Idaho Department Fish and Game 2018). Distributions are mapped at the Township scale; each Township depicted on the map contains one or more Element Occurrence locations. Occupied Townships are shaded red on the distribution maps. 1 Taxonomy Scientific plant names in the field guide follows the Flora of the Pacific Northwest, 2nd Edition (Hitchcock and Cronquist 2018). Nomenclature for species not included in this book follows the Intermountain Flora (Cronquist et al. 1972, Cronquist et al. 1977, Cronquist et al. 1984, Cronquist 1994, Barneby 1989, Cronquist et al. 1997, Holmgren et al. 2005, Holmgren et al. 2012). Conservation Category and Rank Definitions The field guide includes BLM conservation category and NatureSe
U.S. Department of the Interior BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE Native Garden Guide for Southwestern Idaho NATIVE GARDENS FOR IDAHO PARTNERSHIP Boise School District Bureau of Land Management (BLM) City of Boise College of Western Idaho Garden City Garden Club Golden Eagle Audubon Society Idaho Department of Fish and Game Mancuso Botanical Services Steppe Environmental U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) West Ada School District WRITTEN BY Holly Hovis, BLM Kristin Lohr, USFWS CONTRIBUTING AUTHORS Anne Halford, BLM Chris Taylor, Boise School District Dave Hopper, USFWS Dusty Perkins, College of Western Idaho Judy Snow, Garden City Garden Club Karen Colson, USFWS Kristin Gnojewski, City of Boise, Parks and Recreation Lynell Sutter, Steppe Environmental Micah Lauer, West Ada School Distsrict Michael Mancuso, Mancuso Botanical Services Sean Finn, Golden Eagle Audubon Society DESIGN Antonia Hedrick, BLM AUGUST 2019 U.S. Department of the Interior BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE Native Garden Guide for Southwestern Idaho IDAHO STATE OFFICE 1387 S. Vinnell Way Boise, ID 83709 208-373-4000 Blank Page or good place for Photo Monarch on showy milkweed, A. Hedrick Table of Contents Native Garden Guide 1 INTRODUCTION 2 SECTION A How to Get Started Forming a Team 5 SECTION B Funding and Grants 7 SECTION C Garden Design Design Tips Native Gardens in Southwest Idaho Public Perception Bird Habitat Garden Pollinator Habitat Garden Monarch Garden Sensory Garden Outreach 39 SECTION D Implementation Calculations Site Preparation Material Resources 47 SECTION E Maintenance Maintenance Schedule Maintenance Plan Example 52 SECTION F Master Plant List back cover RESOURCES Sage International Charter School Garden Introduction Welcome to the Native Garden Guide for Southwestern Idaho. This guide was created to help novice gardeners create waterwise, wildlifefriendly gardens using plants suitable for southwest Idaho. The information in this guide will assist backyard gardeners, urban planners, schools, and businesses transform their landscapes into native gardens. All plants listed in this guide are native to Idaho or to adjacent states with the same growing conditions. The purpose of this guide is to: • provide steps for developing and maintaining native gardens • provide examples of garden designs • provide lists of locally adapted native plants • aid in conserving water and attracting birds and pollinators • identify partners, local resources and funding opportunities Why Native Plants? Urban gardens can provide important habitat for animals such as birds and native pollinators (bees, butterflies, moths, hummingbirds). These gardens can be used for nesting, foraging, shelter, and as stopovers during spring and fall migration. Native plants are adapted to the growing conditions in our area, thus requiring less water than introduced plants. They also support more insects, including native pollinators, than nonnative plants. This means more habitat for native bees and more food for insecteating birds! Who needs a bird feeder when you have a native garden? Arrowleaf balsamroot, A. Hedrick 1 Section A How to Get Your Garden Started Some basic steps will help you in creating your garden. Your garden planning time will depend on the size of your garden and the number of interested individuals. A backyard garden can be easily planned and implemented within a few months. A community garden that serves many people may take up to one year of planning prior to installation. Basic Steps for a School or Community Garden 1. Form a team 2. Solicit input from staff, partners, or community 3. Create design 4. Present design to person approving garden 5. Develop schedule and coordinate with contractors or maintenance staff 6. Write grant proposals 7. Raise funds 8. After funding is awarded, refine plant list based on availability and order plants 9. Clear site of existing vegetation 10. Install hardscaping such as boulders and seating 11. Add topsoil if needed 12. Install irrigation 13. Plant 14. Protect plantings with temporary fencing 15. Install interpretive signs 16. Develop and implement garden maintenance plan Go team! Basic Steps for a Home Garden 1. Decide what your garden priorities are (water savings, pollinators, monarch butterflies, birds etc.). 2. Decide how much time you have to spend on a garden (little time = fewer plants that require less work). 3. Choose a design from this guide and adapt it to your space or create your own from the provided plant lists. 4. Figure out the cost of the garden. If you lack the funds, look for fall sales, grow plants from seed, or look for plant donations from fellow gardeners. 5. Clear the area to be planted. 6. Add compost and topsoil, if needed. 7. Install irrigation, if needed. 8. Plant. 9. Keep a planting plan. It helps with maintenance. 10. Mark your plants so you can tell the difference between what you p
A Field Guide to Plants of the Boise Foothills i ii Acknowledgements This field guide evolved through discussions of its need and usefulness with members of the Healthy Hills Initiative. It quickly developed into a group effort. Special thanks go to the following entities: Ada Soil and Water Conservation District www.AdaSWCD.org Healthy Hills Initiative www.HealthyHills.org Southwest Idaho Resource Conservation and Development Council www.IdahoRCD.org Boise State University www.BoiseState.edu Bureau of Land Management: Idaho State Office www.blm.gov/id/st/en.html Cover and title page photo generously donated by Michael Lanza, The Big Outside. www.TheBigOutside.com The authors of this field guide would like to thank the following people for kindly offering their professional advice: Nancy Cole, Antonia Hedrick, Scott Koberg, Bill Moore, Nancy Shaw, Roger Rosentreter, and Brett VanPaepeghem. Thanks to following people who contributed outstanding plant photographs: Matt Fisk, Matt Lavin, Ian Robertson, and Clinton Shock. iii A Field Guide to Plants of the Boise Foothills Jamie Utz Michael Pellant Jessica Gardetto Edited by Corey Gucker First edition, 2013 iv Contents Introduction to the foothills ............. 6 - 9 How to use this field guide ….………..… 10 Key to symbols ……………...……………….… 11 Plant profiles …………....…………..… 12 - 159 Shrubs/Trees …….………….… 12 - 23 Forbs ……….………………….… 24 - 121 Grasses ……………………….. 122 - 159 Glossary …………………….………….. 160 - 162 References ……………….………...…. 163 - 164 Index ......................................... 165 - 169 by common name........... 165 - 167 by scientific name........... 168 - 169 5 Introduction to the Boise Foothills Location The foothills north of Boise, Garden City, and Eagle make a beautiful backdrop for the urban areas below. This ecosystem provides city residents unparalleled recreational opportunities, serves as important wildlife habitat, provides clean water to residents, and supports the local economy. The foothills are also home to a wide variety of plants that have important ecological and economic roles. Native plants have naturally evolved with and adapted to the local foothills climate and soils. Nonnative plants are species that were introduced (accidentally or purposefully) to the foothills ecosystem. Both types of plants are important to understanding and appreciating the foothills. This guide provides the user with a tool to identify some of the more common native and nonnative plants found in the lower portion of the Boise Foothills (Figure 1). 55 21 16 44 20 26 84 Figure 1. The blue line on the map above indicates a general boundary that was used to select the plants featured in this field guide. 6 Environment Vegetation in the foothills is a product of the soils, slope, aspect, elevation, and the local climate. Soils are important because their texture, depth, nutrients, and other characteristics govern the types of plants found in this ecosystem. Additionally, aspect (i.e. the direction the slope of a hill faces), elevation, and precipitation are all factors that influence the presence and proportions of foothills plants. Disturbances such as wildfires and off-road vehicle or off-trail use can negatively affect this environment by reducing native plants and encouraging the entry or increase of nonnative invasive plants. Native Plants Plants native to the foothills evolved to withstand hot and dry summers, cold winters, periodic droughts, and infrequent wildfires. A healthy native foothills plant community is dominated by big sagebrush and bitterbrush with a diverse understory of grasses, forbs (wildflowers), lichens, and mosses (Figure 2). Foothills plant communities also contain several rare native plants, which are sparsely distributed and adapted to unique habitats. Figure 2. A healthy foothills plant community is a diverse mixture of shrubs, forbs, and grasses. Healthy native plant communities are resilient to natural disturbances and provide good watershed protection and wildlife habitat. 7 Nonnative Plants Most of the nonnative plants found in the Boise Foothills are of European or Asian origin. Some nonnative plants have desirable characteristics and were purposefully planted to meet land management objectives. However, other undesirable nonnative invasive plants have spread accidentally into the foothills, causing ecological and economic damage. These invasive plants compete with native plants for space, water, and nutrients. Several invasive grasses, exemplified by cheatgrass (Figure 3), increase the frequency and size of wildfires in the foothills, threatening homes and intact native plant communities. The negative impacts of some invasive plants are so severe that they are assigned the classification of noxious weed. A noxious weed is designated by the state of Idaho as any plant having the potential to cause injury to public health, livestock, crops, or other land or property. Figure 3. This photo shows cheatgra

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