Technical Report

Rare Plant Associations, Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, Sutton Recreation Area, and Heceta Sand Dunes ACEC/ONA

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  • In 2011, USFS requested the services of Portland State University's Oregon Biodiversity Information Center (ORBIC) to update its assessment of rare plant associations that occur on coastal sand dunes. The study area in this report includes dune habitats on the Siuslaw National Forest's Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area (NRA), the Sutton Recreation Area (RA) north of Florence, and BLM's Heceta Dunes Area of Critical Environmental Concern/ Outstanding Natural Area (ACEC/ONA) adjacent to the Sutton unit. The report focuses on plant associations occurring on sand dunes and does not include rare plant or animal habitat issues. Nine of the ten rare plant associations identified in the dunes in 1993 are recommended for continued inclusion in conservation planning. Large-patch associations are currently in good condition, but small-patch associations are being infilled by a combination of plant succession and invasive species. Repeat photography using aerial and ground-based imagery is recommended as a way to gauge the rate of change in dune communities. Prescribed fire is recommended to monitor rejuvenation effects on two shore pine woodland associations that are most at risk of infilling. Vegetation mapping based on remote sensing will enable more accurate assessment of vegetation features, and facilitate modeling of management scenarios and effects of seal level rise, earthquakes, and tsunamis.
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  • US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service
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