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
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.