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Buck Creek Serpentine Barren Field Trip

September 25 @ 8:00 am - 3:30 pm

            Gary Kauffman, 2019

Event: Buck Creek Serpentine Barren

Location: Buck Creek, Clay County NC

Date: Saturday September 25th

Leader:  Gary Kauffman, Botanist, Great Smokies National Park

Hike:  Moderate


SCNPS will sponsor an all-day field trip to Buck Creek Preserve to one of the rarest plant communities in the world. Participants will meet at 8:00 am in the Ingles parking lot, 1049 E Main St, Westminster, SC 29693. Due to COVID 19 concerns, participants will carpool arriving at Buck Creek around 10:00 am. We will arrive back at Ingles around 3:30 pm. Please dress appropriately and bring lunch and water.

Our trip will be led by Gary Kauffman, botanist/ecologist and program manager for the National Forests in NC. The National Forests in NC cover 1.2 million acres across 4 forests, the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests in the mountains, the Uwharrie National Forest in the Piedmont, and the Croatan National Forest in the Coastal Plain. Since 2002 Gary has coordinated the invasive plant program across the 4 forests. Additionally, Gary initiated and continues to serve as the Forest Botanical Products Specialist. Other duties include planning revisions at the forest level, restoration of rare plant populations and rare plant communities, and NEPA compliance for forest projects.

Located along Buck Creek in Clay County NC, Buck Creek Serpentine Barren is the largest and floristically the most distinctive of the Southern Appalachian serpentine barrens occurring in the southern Nantahala Mountains. Two G1-ranked communities have developed over the ultramafic rock (dunite). In 1995, after a 50-year absence of fire, restoration burns began the journey back for these fire-dependent communities. During the past 25 years restoration burns have been implemented across three separate burn blocks, totaling over 300 acres, to alternate the frequency of fire allowing a temporal refugia for butterflies and moths species. The resulting structural changes have perpetuated a diverse assemblage of species including many state-listed (disjunct or peripheral) plants and animals. These taxa include 2 state records and three new species to science.

Limit: 15 people, RSVP, Contact: Rick Huffman 864-901-7583 [email protected]

Chris Sermons 864 992 6987 [email protected]


September 25
8:00 am - 3:30 pm
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