Wednesday, February 7, 2024

The MnDNR Summer Visit to Peatland Fens.

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Nature, Sustainability

Ed Hessler

The winter Scientific and Natural Areas Nature Notes Newsletter takes us to an area that few of us will ever see or visit. 
Here is introduction to the photoessay of the three areas visited by DNR specialists.

"This past summer SNA staff, along with DNR groundwater hydrologists and plant ecologists, got the opportunity to visit hard-to-reach spring fens found within some of our northern peatland SNAs. These sites are so difficult to reach staff had to be flown in by DNR helicopter, piloted by the fearless Grace Zeller. The goal of this project was to collect data on the documented spring fens embedded in remote northern peatlands to help clarify the technical criteria for spring fens. This was done by looking at the hydrology—what the water was doing—and the plant communities of the fens."

You can take this three day field trip without leaving any footprints, real, long-lasting ones, in these fragile ecosystems. 
For more information see this sheet about Minnesota's peatlands which includes a map of the state showing their distribution.

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