Sue Fruchey counting plants
Botanists with the Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Forest Service recently visited the Linville Gorge area of Pisgah National Forest to monitor the threatened mountain golden heather and it’s response to recent fire. The plant is adapted to fire, which biologists believe helps control the plant’s competitors. A significant threat at heavily-visited sites is simple trampling by hikers and rock climbers unaware of the plant under their feet and its significance.
One way you can help mountain golden heather is joining countless hikers in heeding area-closed signs on public lands, which often mark fragile habitats or species easily damaged by foot traffic.
Photo credit: Gary Peeples/USFWS