Long-term Research Helps Park Understand Rare Plant
Chapin Mesa milkvetch is an endemic plant species found on Chapin Mesa and nearby Park Mesa. The park along with the Colorado Natural Heritage Program (CNHP) has been studying this plant species since 2001.
In 2019 the high amount of winter precipitation provided us a good opportunity to repeat a count of plants along 197 transects established in 2001. These transects were first established by CNHP prior to the wildfire in 2002 that burned a large percentage of Chapin Mesa milkvetch habitat within the park.
We found that Chapin Mesa milkvetch is declining in the burned areas whereas the population is stable in the intact, unburned pinyon-juniper habitat. In addition, there is very poor recruitment of seedlings in the burned areas; we counted 6,079 seedlings in the unburned, intact habitat and 4 seedlings in the burned habitat.
This work conducted by the park biologists and CNHP is important in understanding how to properly manage for the species and the importance of protecting the old-growth pinyon-juniper habitat of this rare plant.
Mesa Verde Voices Podcast
Mesa Verde Voices is a podcast that connects the past with the present through stories about people, places, and agriculture in the American Southwest.
The podcast is available on iTunes or for download at mesaverdevoices.org.
Season II episodes are ready for download; Season III is in production.
Through Challenging Times
The Mesa Verde Museum Association (MVMA) office and bookstores have been closed since March 17, to support public health and safety. The Association’s offices and bookstores will remain closed until park administrators determine it is safe to open the Visitor Center, the Museum, and other park facilities.
I want to assure you that MVMA is strong and secure, our staff members are healthy, and we will be ready to welcome you to our stores again as soon as we are able. Our administrative staff is working from home to meet the day-to-day needs of the Association, and to continue our mission to support the Park and its visitors. When we re-open, we will have measures in place to ensure your health and safety.
In the meantime, we hope you will stay connected as we continue to bring Park news and stories to you at home – through our website www.mesaverde.org, our online store, Facebook posts, the e-newsletter, and through the ever-popular Mesa Verde Voices podcasts mesaverdevoices.org. We hope there will be something for everyone to enjoy.
Thank you for helping to keep Mesa Verde’s story alive while we remain closed. Our work is made possible by your support and that of other Members. We are very grateful for your continuing interest in these uncertain times.
We look forward to seeing you once this very strange period is over, to celebrate our shared love of Mesa Verde National Park.
With warmest wishes for your health and good spirits.
Teri L. Paul