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Great Lakes Article:

Help sought to count rare thistles
Green Bay Press-Gazette

The public will have an opportunity to help the state track the status of a rare native plant that grows in Great Lakes sand dunes at Whitefish Dunes State Park Saturday.

Pitcherís thistle - commonly called dune thistle - is listed as both a federal and state threatened species. The largest known populations of Pitcherís thistle in Wisconsin are in Door County.

The thistle is found only along the coastal dune environment of the Great Lakes region. It grows only in the area between the open sandy beach and fully vegetated dunes. The plantís survival is threatened by human encroachment on its habitat.

In 2001, 6,603 of 7,800 Pitcherís thistle plants counted statewide were found at Whitefish Dunes State Park. In 2002, more than 9,000 plants were counted at Whitefish Dunes.

People interested in participating in the count on Saturday should register by calling Carolyn Rock with the state Department of Natural Resources at (920) 823-2400.

There will be orientation sessions for people interested in participating at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the park. People may participate in the morning, afternoon, or both times. The Friends of Whitefish Dunes will provide beverages and snacks throughout the day, along with lunch.

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