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Imperiled Alpine Plants: Dwarf Willow

BY Stephanie Coppola

Salix herbaceae, Marcy June 15

The New York Natural Heritage Program has identified highly imperiled plants across New York State, including several found in the Adirondack High Peaks region. ADK’s summit stewards help protect twenty-seven imperiled and highly imperiled plant species. Over the next few weeks, we will introduce you to five plant species at high risk of extirpation in New York State. These 10,000 year old native plant species would cease to exist anywhere in the state if it wasn’t for the work of the summit stewards.

Coming in at number two is Dwarf Willow. A tiny willow tree, this plant was once found in several locations in the Adirondacks, until it was trampled to the brink of extinction. Summit Stewards identified what may be the only remaining population in 1998 and continue to guard the location.

3 things you can do to protect imperiled plants in New York State:

  1. Teach others to travel and camp on durable surfaces. On the summits, stewards ask people to “Do the Rock Walk.”
  2. Encourage people hiking in the High Peaks to “Carry a Rock” to the summit of Marcy, Algonquin, Wright or Colden, where stewards will place them for restoration work.
  3. Support ADK’s Summit Stewardship Program. Volunteers and donations make the difference for all the imperiled plants. http://www.adk.org/summitsteward2016

Without Summit Stewards, some of the most vulnerable plants on New York’s highest summits could become extinct.