Feasibility Study for the Restoration of Native Terrestrial Plants in the Vicinity of the Niagara Gorge

Niagara Power Project  FERC No. 2216

January, 2008

 

Prepared for: New York Power Authority

Prepared by: TRC Engineering, LLC.and Riveredge Associates, LLC.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

1.0†††††† INTRODUCTION

1.1†††††† Background

1.2†††††† Objectives

1.3†††††† Study Area

2.0†††††† METHODS

2.1†††††† Agency Consultation

2.2†††††† Literature Review

2.3†††††† Field Surveys

3.0†††††† RESULTS

3.1†††††† Historical Baseline

3.2†††††† Current Conditions

3.2.1†††† Calcareous Cliff Community

3.2.2†††† Calcareous Talus Slope Woodland

3.2.3†††† Commercial

3.2.4†††† Limestone Woodland

3.2.5†††† Oak-Hickory Forest

3.2.6†††† Outdoor Recreation

3.2.7†††† Successional Shrubland

3.3†††††† Identification of Potential Sites for RTE Plant Restoration

3.3.1†††† Literature Review

3.3.2†††† Field Surveys

3.4†††††† Relative Percentage of Non-native Species in the Niagara Gorge

3.5†††††† Identification of Potential Threats to Native Plants

3.5.1†††† Recreation in the Gorge

3.5.2†††† Park/Trail Management

3.5.3†††† Storm Drain/ Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Discharge

3.5.4†††† Alien Invasive Species

3.5.5†††† Gull Nesting Colony

4.0†††††† DISCUSSION

4.1†††††† Feasibility of RTE Plant Restoration

4.2†††††† Feasibility of Natural Community-Level Restoration

4.2.1†††† Large-Scale Community-Level Restoration

4.2.2†††† Small-Scale Restoration

4.3†††††† Identification of Potential Sites for Small-Scale Native Plant Restoration

4.4†††††† Possible Plant Materials Sources

4.4.1†††† Transplantation

4.4.2†††† Seed/Corm Collection

4.4.3†††† Nursery Propagation

4.5†††††† Identification of Best Management Practices

4.5.1†††† Plant Restoration Team

4.5.2†††† Park/Trail Management

4.5.3†††† Phragmites (and Other Non-native Species) Management

4.5.4†††† Introduction/Management of Supporting Hydrology

4.5.5†††† Treatment/Management of Storm Water Run-off and Storm Drain/CSO Discharge

4.5.6†††† Public Awareness Education

5.0†††††† REFERENCES

APPENDIX A:† Figures 1 through

Figure 1:† Niagara River Gorge Native Vegetation Assessment

Figure 2:† Niagara River Gorge Native Vegetation Assessment

Figure 3:† Niagara River Gorge Native Vegetation Assessment

Figure 4: Niagara River Gorge Native Vegetation Assessment

Figure 5: Niagara River Gorge Native Vegetation Assessment

Figure 6: Niagara River Gorge Native Vegetation Assessment

Figure 7: Niagara River Gorge Native Vegetation Assessment

Figure 8: Niagara River Gorge Native Vegetation Assessment

Figure 9: Niagara River Gorge Native Vegetation Assessment

APPENDIX B:† List of Native Plant Nurseries

 


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

As part of the Niagara Power Project Comprehensive Relicensing Settlement Agreement, NYPA agreed to conduct a post-licensing study of the feasibility of protecting and restoring state-listed rare, threatened, and endangered (RTE) terrestrial native plants and non-listed native plants in the vicinity of the Niagara Gorge.  Unless specifically described, the term ďnative plantsĒ as used in this document is meant to include both native RTE plants and non-listed native plants.

The feasibility of restoration and protection of various native plants was assessed based on available information from peer reviewed literature, publications, discussions with knowledgeable individuals and agencies, site-specific data collected during May and September 2007, and professional judgment and working knowledge of habitat in the vicinity of the Niagara gorge.  This report describes potential constraints to undertaking certain restoration and protection efforts, and provides an assessment of overall project feasibility.  The feasibility of options was ranked from poor to good and was based on factors such as the potential for implementation success, potential of removing and or/controlling non-native plant species (particularly alien invasive species) in the vicinity of the gorge, desirability of planting native vegetation propagated by nurseries, implementation safety, the need and extent for long-term monitoring and/or maintenance, and risk.

The restoration of some specific species of RTE plants at certain discrete locations in or near the Niagara gorge is feasible, but not necessarily desirable due to concerns over the introduction of new genetic material.  Community-level native plant restoration throughout the Niagara gorge and gorge rim is not feasible, primarily due to the continued influx of alien invasive species over such a large geographic area with difficult access.  However, pilot-level restoration efforts may be possible and could be successful on a smaller scale in selected areas with important physical and biological features.  Even on a small scale, native plant restoration will require a long-term, dedicated, cooperative effort among local, state, and Canadian provincial agencies in conjunction with recognized local experts and non-governmental organizations (NGOíS) and institutions.  These efforts would not likely be successful without a significant commitment of staff, resources, and volunteers from cooperating entities.


1.0     INTRODUCTION

The Niagara Power Project (NPP or Project) in Lewiston, Niagara County, New York, is one of the largest non-federal hydroelectric facilities in North America.  The Project is constructed on the Niagara River (River), which is a 37-mile strait that connects Lakes Erie and Ontario, and forms the boundary in this region between the United States and Canada.  In 1957, operation of the Project was licensed by the Federal Power Commission to the Power Authority of the State of New York (now the New York Power Authority, or NYPA) for a term of 50 years.  The Project first produced electricity in 1961.  A new operating license for the Project was issued in 2007.

As part of the Niagara Power Project Comprehensive Relicensing Settlement Agreement, NYPA agreed to perform an investigation of the feasibility of protecting and restoring listed rare, threatened, and endangered (RTE) terrestrial plants and non-listed native plants (hereinafter refereed to as ďnative plantsĒ unless specifically described or listed) in the vicinity of the Niagara Gorge.  NYPA contracted TRC Engineering, LLC (TRC) and Riveredge Associates, LLC (Riveredge) to perform this study.

It should be noted that, in keeping with the policy of the New York Natural Heritage Program (NYNHP), the specific locations of RTE plants are considered sensitive and are not discussed in this document.  The release of information which identifies the locations of rare species may lead to the collection or disturbance of the plants at those locations.  Location information in this document is limited to the general context of occurrence (for example the name of the state park where a given species may occur) that could not be used to specifically locate, collect or disturb the plant discussed.

1.1             Background

Niagara Falls and the Niagara gorge have a long history of development, industry, and tourism that spans almost 200 years.  The spectacular cataracts of the falls and the Niagara River attracted industry with hydropower and tourists with hotels, casinos, and commercial development.   By around 1865, Niagara Falls had become the most popular tourist attraction in the United States. The tourists were a large unorganized constituency (Eckel, 1986).  By the early 1900s, over a million visitors came to see the Falls each year.  Visitors who wrote of their experiences deplored the environmental abuses, and the painter Frederick Church "warned of the rapidly approaching ruin of the scenery," (Todd, 1982 in Eckel, 1986).

To make the Falls more accessible to millions of tourists and to facilitate transportation between Buffalo and Toronto, railroads were built along both sides of the Niagara gorge.  In New York, both an upper and lower railroad bed was constructed along the gorge.  From 1895 to 1937, tourists traveled from Lewiston to Niagara Falls along the lower Niagara River on The Great Gorge Railway.  Over 100 years ago, the railroads and the tourists they carried drastically modified the natural environment of the gorge.  Native vegetation was cleared, rock was blasted, and the gorge vegetation was replaced with a variety of alien species.  Botanists and plant collectors rode the railways and collected the rarest plants in the area.  By the late 1800s, some of the rarest plants in and near the gorge may have been locally eliminated and several species of non-native and alien plants had been introduced and planted (Day, 1888 in Eckel, 2002).

Today, tourism and development continue, and almost 30 million visitors come to see the Falls (American and Canadian sides, collectively) each year.  As such, tourist facilities and development are extensive on both sides of the Falls and gorge.  This high degree of human activity and environmental modification has affected the local species composition; vegetation currently includes many alien invasive species.  Only remnants of the gorge and rim forests are evident in a few isolated pockets located away from the primary tourist attractions.  Presently, most extant RTE native plants in the vicinity of the Niagara Falls are associated with Goat Island (Niagara Reservation State Park) and the Niagara Gorge (Whirlpool State Park) downstream to and including Earl W. Brydges Artpark State Park.

1.2             Objectives

The original general objectives of this investigation were to: (1) determine the feasibility of protecting and restoring native terrestrial RTE plants in specific areas that exhibit preferred habitat characteristics for such plants (i.e., seeps), (2) identify RTE species for which protection and restoration would have the greatest potential for success, (3) identify candidate sites where protection and restoration measures could be implemented, and (4) assess the feasibility of restoring native plants at the natural community-level.

Agency and NGO consultation and extensive literature review later resulted in the identification of tasks that could be performed in order to meet the above-mentioned objectives.  These included the following:

(1)                       establish a historical baseline of native plant occurrence in the study area;

(2)                       establish current conditions in the study area including an assessment of the relative percentage of alien invasive plants in the gorge;

(3)                       identify potential threats to native plant species;

(4)                       assess the feasibility of restoring native plants at the natural community-level versus the pilot-level (small-scale), and identify candidate sites where small-scale protection and restoration measures could be implemented;

(5)                       identify species for which protection and restoration would have the greatest potential for success and identify potential means of obtaining plants for restoration efforts (including an assessment of possible establishment of a nursery specific to restoration of Niagara gorge vegetation);

(6)                       define potential best management practices for restoration efforts (including examination of vegetation management methods as a means of restoring native plant communities and assessment of the use of biological methods for controlling Phragmites in the gorge)

 

As mentioned, agency consultation, literature review and field survey efforts were the primary means of gaining the information needed to meet these objectives.  These efforts are further described in Section 2.0 Ė Methods.

1.3             Study Area

The general study area for this effort included Goat Island (Niagara Reservation State Park) and the Niagara Gorge downstream to and including Earl W. Brydges Artpark State Park.  Terrestrial habitats examined in this study included areas above the gorge rim, woodland, shrub, and grassland habitats associated with Goat Island and Artpark, and the calcareous cliff and talus slope habitats located within the Niagara gorge.  The study area is depicted on Figures 1 through 9 in Appendix A.


2.0             METHODS

As described in Section 1.2, this study addresses various objectives en route to determining the feasibility of restoring native plants in the Niagara gorge.  Each objective has been addressed based on information gained as a result of three major initiatives including:  agency consultation, literature searches and field surveys.  Each of these major initiatives is described below.

2.1             Agency Consultation

Scientists from NYPA, Riveredge, and TRC met with staff scientists with the New York Natural Heritage Program (NYNHP) on June 21, 2007 to discuss the general purpose and goals of this study and to discuss the feasibility of restoring native plants to the gorge area.  NYPA personnel showed a PowerPoint presentation and described the rationale behind pursuing this feasibility study.  This consultation provided background information on the vegetation of the gorge, and guided the development of field surveys and additional investigations.  Information obtained as a result of this meeting was also applied to the various assessments performed as part of this study.  However, this report contains no sensitive NYNHP location data, nor any NYNHP digital data.

2.2             Literature Review

Reasonably available literature and mapping regarding existing and historical plant species and habitat types in the study area were examined as part of this study.  This effort was performed subsequent to agency consultation, and prior to any fieldwork being conducted.  Literature that was reviewed included (but was not limited to): reports prepared as part of the relicensing effort for the Niagara Power Project; reports and other documents prepared by the Niagara Frontier Botanical Society; information from the Buffalo Museum of Science; reports prepared by local botanists and researchers familiar with the Niagara Gorge; the most recent rare plant species lists and occurrence records as maintained by NYNHP, and information on potential vegetation restoration efforts and possible plant material sources.  Land use and cover type mapping from Beak (2002) was used for all map figures in this report.

2.3             Field Surveys

Field surveys involved two major components: aerial reconnaissance and ground surveys.  The methods employed for each of these efforts are described, below.  The data obtained as a result of these surveys was used in concert with the results of agency consultation and literature review to address the various objectives of this study.

Aerial Reconnaissance

Aerial reconnaissance was performed via helicopter on May 15, during leaf-off conditions.  The purpose of this flight was to preliminarily identify and map possible groundwater seeps that could serve as candidate locations for restoring RTE plants.

Ground Surveys

For several days after the May 15 helicopter flight, biologists from TRC and Riveredge performed follow-up ground surveys to verify the occurrence of seeps that were identified during the aerial reconnaissance effort.  This effort involved walking the entire American side of the gorge with the exception of a short, inaccessible section located just upstream of the whirlpool rapids.  Biologists verified/mapped seeps with a pen tab computer.  In addition, notes were taken to document vegetation species, soil/talus conditions, and the general size of the seeps.  The resultant data were incorporated into the project GIS.

Additional field surveys were performed in September.  These field surveys involved establishing transects and collecting vegetation within randomly selected sample plots.  Plots were established such to characterize vegetation above the gorge rim, and in the cliff and talus habitats of the gorge.  All species within the sample plots were documented onto standardized data forms.  The purpose of this effort was to identify dominant and non-dominant vegetation within the sample plots to determine the ratio of native to non-native plants in the study area.  Vegetation data were collected within a total of 37 sample plots during the September 2007 surveys.  The breakdown of sample plot locations is as follows:

        Two plots at Art Park, one on Scovilleís Knoll and one on the spoil piles;

        Three plots of the gorge calcareous cliff community;

        Fourteen plots of talus woodland community, and two of talus-associated successional old-field and shrub habitat types;

        Twelve plots of successional old field, shrub, and woodland habitats of the gorge rim;

        Two plots at DeVeaux Woods; and

        Two plots at the limestone woodland habitat at Goat Island.

 


3.0             RESULTS

The results of agency consultation, literature review and field surveys were used to: establish a baseline on the historic condition of vegetation in the Niagara gorge; define the current condition of the vegetative communities in the Niagara gorge; and define potential threats to native plant species in the study area.  The resultant information is presented in the following subsections.  In turn, this knowledge has been applied to address the remaining objectives of this study, including (but not limited to) assessment of the feasibility of plant restoration and identification of best management practices.  These subjects (and others) are addressed in Section 4.0 Discussion.

3.1             Historical Baseline

The purpose of determining a historic baseline is to assist in establishing possible restoration goals for the Niagara gorge.

Much of our current knowledge of the flora of the Niagara gorge and vicinity stem from the detailed and comprehensive work of Eckel (1986, 1988, 2001, 2002, 2003a, 2003b, 2003c, 2004).  Eckel reviewed over 25,000 plant specimens collected during the last two centuries and conducted field surveys to provide new information on rare plants of the Niagara gorge and vicinity (Eckel 2001, 2002).  Rare plants of the four state parks along the Niagara Gorge (Niagara Reservation, Whirlpool, Devilís Hole, and Earl W. Brydges Artpark State Parks) were documented and summarized by NYNHP in 2000 (Evans et al., 2001).  New Yorkís rare plant records are continuously updated and the rare plant status list is published annually (Young, 2007).  Rare plants of the Niagara gorge area are listed in Table 3.1-1.  This list was compiled from Eckel (2001, 2002), Evans et al. (2001) and other sources.

While several rare species are still present in and near the Niagara gorge, several other species have disappeared and are considered historical (Young, 2007).  This local extirpation of species may be due, in part, to over-collection some 100 years ago (see Section 1.1).  In 1888, Day noted (as summarized by Eckel, 2002) that some species possibly had already been extirpated at that time.  Evans et al. (2001) listed 17 species that occurred in the vicinity of Goat Island and the gorge, but are now considered historical (Table 3.1-2).

Of the 17 historical species (Evans et al., 2001; Young, 2007) (Table 3.1-2), four are considered extirpated in New York State.  Species extirpated from the state (i.e., they are thought to no longer occur in New York State) are assigned a state rank of SX by NYNHP (Young, 2007) (Table 3.1-2).  The other 13 species still occur in New York in other locations, and these species have been assigned a legal status code by NYSDEC such as endangered (E) or threatened (T) (Young, 2007) (Table 3.1-2).  Two of these species still occur in either Niagara or Erie Counties, but not in the State Parks along the Niagara gorge (Evans et al., 2001; Young, 2007).

Endangered (E) native plants in New York are those species in danger of extirpation throughout all or a significant portion of their ranges within the state and requiring remedial action to prevent such extinction (Young, 2007).  Listed plants are those species with five or fewer extant sites, or fewer than 1,000 individuals, or restricted to fewer than four U.S.G.S. 7 1/2 minute series topographic maps, or species listed as endangered by the United State Department of Interior in the Code of Federal Regulations.

Threatened (T) native plants in New York are those species that are likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of their ranges in the state.  Listed plants are those with six to fewer than 20 extant sites, or 1,000 to fewer than 3,000 individuals, or restricted to not less than four or more than seven U.S.G.S. 7 1/2 minute series maps, or species listed as threatened by the United State Department of Interior in the Code of Federal Regulations.

Data suggest that several of the RTE plants that currently occur or have historically occurred within the study area are/were typically found in areas where moisture is present.  This moisture may be from groundwater seeps along the calcareous cliff face, surface water runoff, or the spray zone near the falls.


Table 3.1-1:  Extant T&E Plants in the Vicinity of the Niagara Gorge

 


 

Scientific Name

Common Name

NYS Legal Status

1

Carex garberi

Elk sedge

E

2

Gentianopsis virgata

Lesser fringed gentian

E

3

Iris virginica var. shrevei

Southern blueflag

E

4

Liatris cylindracea

Slender blazing-star

E

5

Lysimachia quadriflora

Four-flowered loosestrife

E

6

Oligoneuron ohioense

Ohio goldenrod

T

7

Pellaea glabella

Smooth cliff brake

T

8

Poa sylvestris

Woodland bluegrass

E

9

Physocarpus opulifolius var. intermedius

Ninebark

E

10

Symphyotrichum oolentangiense var. oolentangiense

Sky-blue aster

E

11

Zigadenus elegans ssp glaucus

Mountain death camas

T

 

            Taxonomy and legal status codes (E=Endangered, T=Threatened) from Young (2007)

 


Table 3.1-2:  Historical Threatened and Endangered Plants from the Vicinity of the Niagara Gorge

 


 

Scientific Name

Common Name

NYS Legal Status or State Rank

1

Agastache nepetoides

Yellow giant-hyssop

T

2

Aplectrum hyemale

Puttyroot

E

3

Boechera stricta

Drummondís rock-cress

E

4

Calamintha arkansana

Calamint

SX

5

Carex retroflexa

Reflexed sedge

E

6

Castilleja coccinea

Scarlet Indian-paintbrush

E

7

Cornus drummondii

Rough-leaf Dogwood

E

8

Draba arabisans

Rock-cress

T

9

Hypericum kalmianum

Kalmís St. Johnís wort

SX

10

Monarda clinopodia

Basil-balm

E

11

Muhlenbergia capillaris

Long-awn hairgrass

SX

12

Phlox pilosa ssp. pilosa

Downy phlox

E

13

Polygala incarnata

Pink milkwort

SX

14

Potamogeton alpinus

Northern pondweed

T

15

Pterospora andromedea

Giant pine-drops

E

16

Sphenopholis pensylvanica

Swamp oats

E

17

Triglochin palustre

Marsh arrow-grass

T

 

Legal status codes (E=Endangered, T=Threatened) and state ranks (SX) from Young (2007)

Species list and taxonomy following NYNHP (Evans et al., 2001; Young, 2007)

 

 


3.2             Current Conditions

Human impacts over the past 200 years (see Section 1.1) have drastically altered the extent and composition of historic vegetative communities in the Niagara gorge.  Review of existing literature indicates that very little of the original forest cover remains on the American side of the River.  Most of the woodland at the base of the Gorge is replacement woods, regenerating after denudation for the Gorge railway (Eckel, 1986).  In addition to Eckel, others have noted the presence of non-native species, including alien invasive species, in the vicinity of the gorge and Goat Island (e.g. Evans et al., 2001).

Nonetheless, Eckelís catalogue of the flora of the Niagara gorge and vicinity of Niagara Falls (Eckel 2001, 2002) noted that the area is exceptionally rich in species.  Many of the rare plant records from this area stemmed from collecting locations at Goat Island, Three Sisters Islands, Luna Island, Terrapin Point,  Whirlpool State Park, DeVeaux (College) Woods, Devil's Hole, Lewiston, and other sites (Eckel, 2001).  Despite the years of development and tourism, Eckel (1990, 2002) noted that the number and diversity of rare species in the vicinity of the Niagara gorge is still exceptional for New York State.  Literature suggests that many extant RTE plant species in the gorge are associated with moisture, principally with groundwater discharge (seeps) from the calcareous cliff face.  Evans et al (2001) expressed similar findings, noting that the combination of misting, wet seepage areas interspersed with dry open rock faces and calcareous bedrock produces the greatest assemblages of rare plants within New York State.

Vegetative community and land-use types (as described by Reschke 1990 and LUNR (1970) that have been documented and mapped in the study area are described in detail, below.  These descriptions include lists of some of the more common plants associated with each vegetative community or land use type.

3.2.1                                    Calcareous Cliff Community

Reschke (1990) describes characteristic species as Pellaea atropurpurea (purple cliff brake), Cystopteris bulbifera (bulblet fern), Saxifraga virginiensis (early saxifrage), Juniperus virginiana (eastern red cedar), and Thuja occidentalis (northern white cedar).  Other species commonly observed during field surveys included Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy), Centaurea maculosa (spotted knapweed), Melilotus alba (white sweet clover), and Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper).

3.2.2        Calcareous Talus Slope Woodland

Characteristic trees include Acer saccharum (sugar maple), Fraxinus americana (white ash), Ostrya virginiana (eastern hop hornbeam), Quercus alba (white oak), Juniperus virginiana (eastern red cedar), and Thuja occidentalis (northern white cedar).  Shrubs may be abundant if the canopy is open and may include Cornus rugosa (round-leaf dogwood), Viburnum rafinesquianum (downy arrowwood), Zanthoxylum americanum (prickly-ash), and Staphylea trifolia (bladdernut).  Herbaceous vegetation may be quite diverse, including such characteristic species as Cystopteris bulbifera (bulblet fern), Athyrium filix-femina (=A. asplenioides, lady fern), Elymus hystrix (bottlebrush grass), Polygonatum pubescens (Solomonís-seal), Asarum canadense (wild ginger), Actaea pachypoda (white baneberry), Thalictrum dioicum (early meadow-rue), Sanguinaria canadensis (bloodroot), Solidago caesia (blue-stem goldenrod), and Aster divaricatus (white wood aster).  Rock outcrops may have ferns such as Asplenium rhizophyllus (=Camptosorus rhizophyllus, walking fern) and Asplenium trichomanes (maidenhair spleenwort) (Reschke 1990).

In addition to the descriptions and species presented above, Eckel (2002) documented that many other plant species are common to this community type.  In addition, many areas in this community type are best described as replacement forest of the original forest that was cut.  As observed during the fieldwork portion of this investigation, many areas in this community type are dominated by a combination of native and non-native plant species.  Other documented common trees, saplings, and shrubs included Acer negundo (box elder), Acer platanoides (Norway maple), Aeculus hippocastanum (horse chestnut), Tilia americana (basswood), Ulmus rubra (slippery elm), Prunus avium (bird cherry), Populus deltoides (eastern cottonwood), Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock), Salix babylonica (weeping willow), Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac), Lonicera tatarica (tartarian honeysuckle), Physocarpus opulifolius (ninebark), Prunus virginiana (choke cherry), Sambucus pubens (red-berried elder), Rhamnus cathartica (buckthorn), and Crataegus spp. (hawthorns).  Vines and herbaceous plants included Parthenocissus vitacea (Virginia creeper), Vitis riparia (river grape), Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy), Solidago flexicaulis (zig zag goldenrod), Dryopteris marginalis (marginal wood fern), Arisaema triphyllum (Jack-in-the-pulpit), Geranium robertianum (herb Robert), Solanum dulcamara (bittersweet nightshade), Allaria officinalis (garlic mustard), Rubus odoratus (purple flowering raspberry), and Eupatorium rugosum (white snakeroot).

3.2.3        Commercial

Common plant species observed in the land-use cover type included native (natural occurring) and horticultural trees and shrubs, and typical species of lawns and disturbed areas.  These included Tilia americana (basswood), Quercus rubra (red oak), Platanus occidentalis (sycamore), Viburnum recognitum (arrowwood), Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed), Bromus inermis (brome grass), Verbascum thapsus (common mullein), Hypericum perforatum (common St. Johnswort), Poa compressa (Canada bluegrass), Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass), and Taraxacum officinale (common dandelion).

3.2.4        Limestone Woodland

Dominant tree species can include Thuja occidentalis (northern white cedar), Pinus strobes (white pine), Picea glauca (white spruce), Abies balsamea (balsam fir), Ostrya virginiana (hop hornbeam), Acer saccarum (sugar maple), Carya ovata (shagbark hickory), Quercus alba (white oak), Quercus macrocarpa (bur oak), Quercus rubra (red oak), and Tilia Americana (basswood).  The shrub stratum can be variable and generally becomes more dense where canopy is open and soils are deeper.  Shrub species can include Cornus racemosa (gray dogwood), Lonicera dioica (wild honeysuckle), Rhamnus alnifolia (alder-leaf buckthorn), Ribes cynos-bati (prickly gooseberry), Rubus spp. (raspberries), Staphylea (bladdernut), Amelanchier spp. (juneberry), and Toxidendren radicans (poison ivy).  The herb layer can include Carex eburnea, C. pensylvanica, C. platyphylla (Sedges), Dryopteris marginalis (marginal wood fern), Botrychium virgianum (rattlesnake fern), Pteridium aquilinum (bracken fern), Waldsteinia fragariodes (barren strawberry), Aster macrophyllus (big-leaf aster), Fragaria virginiana (wild strawberry), Sanicula marilandica (black snakeroot), Geranium robertianum (herb-robert), Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower), Smilacina racemosa (false Solomonís-seal), Thalictrum dioicum (early meadow-rue), Trilium grandiflorum (white trillium), and Solidaga caesia (blue-stem goldenrod).  In addition, Polypodium virginianum (rock polypody), and Asplenium trichomanes (maidenhair spleenwort) can often by found growing on shaded rock surfaces and in crevices (Reschke 1990).

Other common species observed in this community type at Goat Island included Fraxinus americana (white ash), Ulmus americana (American elm), Acer platanoides (Norway maple), Acer negundo (box elder), Salix alba-fragilis (white willow), and Populus deltoides (cottonwood) trees and saplings.  Shrubs, vines, and herbaceous plants included Cornus alternifolia (alternate-leaved dogwood), Rubus odoratus (purple-flowering raspberry), Sambucus pubens (elder), Rhamnus cathartica (buckthorn), Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper), Morus alba (white mulberry), Lindera benzoin (spicebush), Prunus virginiana (choke cherry), Sambucus canadensis (common elderberry), Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac), Vitis riparia (riverbank grape), Allaria officinalis (garlic mustard), Arisaema triphyllum (jack-in-the-pulpit), Eupatorium rugosum (white snakeroot), Geum canadense (white avens).  In addition, patches of Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife) and various species of sedges and grasses were observed in areas subject to inundation by river water.

3.2.5        Oak-Hickory Forest

Dominant tree species can include Quercus rubra (red oak), Quercus alba (white oak), Quercus velutina (black oak), Carya glabra (pignut hickory), Carya ovata (shagbark hickory), and Carya ovalis (sweet pignut).  Common associated tree species include Fraxinus Americana (white ash), Acer rubrum (red maple), and Ostrya virginiana (eastern hop hornbeam).  The shrub stratum can be quite variable and can include Cornus florida (flowering dogwood), Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel), Amelanchier arborea (shadbush), Prunus virginiana (choke cherry), Viburnum acerifolium (maple-leaf virburnum), Vaccinium angustifolium, V. pallidum (blueberries), Rubus idaeus (red raspberry), Cornus racemosa (gray dogwood), and Corylus cornuta (beaked hazelnut).  Common herbaceous plants include Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla), Smilacina racemosa (false Solomonís seal), Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge), Desmodium glutinosum, D. paniculatum (tick-trefoil), Cimicifuga racemosa (black cohosh), Prenanthes alba (rattlesnake root), Solidago bicolor (white goldenrod), and Hepatica Americana (hepatica) (Reschke 1990).

3.2.6        Outdoor Recreation

Much of the land that comprises this land-use type along the upper river (including the eastern third of Goat Island) is made-land with various species of horticulturals and native and non-native pioneer species.

Plants documented in this land-use type on the western end of Goat Island, the gorge rim, and Art Park included Tilia americana (basswood), Quercus rubra (red oak), Viburnum recognitum (arrowwood), Cornus amomum (silky dogwood), Amelanchier spp. (shadbush), Picea glauca (white spruce), Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed), Bromus inermis (brome grass), Verbascum thapsus (common mullein), Hypericum perforatum (common St. Johnswort), Poa compressa (Canada bluegrass), Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass), and Taraxacum officinale (common dandelion).

3.2.7        Successional Shrubland

Typical shrub species include Cornus racemosa (gray dogwood), Juniperus virginiana (eastern red cedar), Rubus spp. (raspberries), Crataegus spp. (hawthorne), Amelanchier spp. (serviceberries), Prunus virginiana (choke cherry), Prunus Americana (wild plum), Rhus glabra, R. typhina (sumac), Viburnum lentago (nanny-berry), Viburnum recognitum (arrowwood), and Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose).  In the investigation area this habitat type occurs upslope of the calcareous cliff communities along the lower Niagara River (Reschke 1990).  Shrub species documented during fieldwork were consistent with those listed above.

3.3             Identification of Potential Sites for RTE Plant Restoration

3.3.1        Literature Review

Literature was reviewed to gain an understanding of the historical and current presence of RTE plants in the gorge and where they likely occurred, or occur today.  Literature suggests that many extant RTE plant species in the gorge are associated with moisture, principally with groundwater discharge (seeps) from the calcareous cliff face.  In addition, historical records also indicate that many RTE plant species likely occurred in seeps. 

Much of our current knowledge of the flora of the Niagara gorge and vicinity stem from the detailed and comprehensive work of Eckel (1986, 1988, 2001, 2002, 2003a, 2003,b, 2003c, 2004).  Eckel reviewed over 25,000 plant specimens collected during the last two centuries and conducted field surveys to provide new information on rare plants of the Niagara gorge and vicinity (Eckel 2001, 2002).  Eckelís work was updated by NYNHP in 2000 (Evans et al., 2001).  Rare plant records for the gorge continue to be updated by Young (2007) for the NYNHP.

Eckelís catalogue of the flora of the Niagara gorge and vicinity of Niagara Falls (Eckel 2001, 2002) noted that the area is exceptionally rich in species.  Many of the rare plant records from this area stemmed from collecting locations at Goat Island, Three Sisters Islands, Luna Island, Terrapin Point,  Whirlpool State Park, DeVeaux (College) Woods, Devil's Hole, Lewiston, and other sites (Eckel, 2001).

3.3.2        Field Surveys

A helicopter flight and ground reconnaissance were preformed in order to observe, verify, and map significant groundwater seeps in the Niagara gorge.  A number of potential groundwater seeps were identified during the helicopter flight.  These were identified through the observation of areas that appeared to be wet such as portions of the calcareous cliff face, flowing water, and erosion features that appeared to have been formed by water.  Over a dozen such features were observed from Art Park to the Canadian Falls (Horseshoe Falls).  These features were photographed, sketched onto field maps, and their general locations recorded with a hand-held GPS unit.  This information was used to locate and verify these features during the ground reconnaissance effort.

Following the helicopter flight, the majority of the gorge was examined on foot.  As previously stated, the exception was a short, inaccessible stretch just upstream of the Whirlpool Rapids that was too steep and dangerous to examine.  Specifically, biologists from Riveredge and TRC walked from Art Park to the Maid of the Mist observation tower and assessed and mapped groundwater discharge seeps and documented vegetation.  This effort revealed that the majority of the seeps that had been preliminarily identified during the helicopter flight were actually discharges from, or erosional features caused by flow from, storm drain discharge pipes located along the top of the gorge cliff face.  Some of these were discharging water at the time of the survey and it was evident based on the observed ďgullyĒ erosion that they likely discharge high-energy flow during rainstorms or snow melt.

This effort also revealed that there are several groundwater seeps that occur between Art Park and the NPP that could be candidate sites for a small-scale (pilot-level) restoration.  The reasons for this are 1) these are broad-front, low-energy seeps that appear to provide consistent flow, 2) they are fairly accessible, and 3) they are associated with talus of various grain size and accumulated soil that could serve as a planting medium.  Between the NPP and the Whirlpool, there are a number of seeps; however, they generally occur much higher on the gorge cliff face and are largely inaccessible.  The portion of the gorge between the Whirlpool and the Maid of the Mist Observation Tower is much drier and very few seeps of any significant size were observed during the field surveys.  The seeps that were observed were high up on the face of the gorge cliff, were inaccessible, and generally were not associated with significant talus or soil accumulation.

3.4             Relative Percentage of Non-native Species in the Niagara Gorge

During consultation with NGOís, it was recommended that NYPA determine the relative percentage of non-native plants in the gorge.  Therefore, an effort was undertaken to sample vegetation within randomly selected sample plots, document dominant and non-dominant vegetation by strata (i.e., trees, saplings, shrubs, herbs), and calculate the percentages of native and non-native plants.  For purposes of this report, the distinction between native and non-native plants is as follows:

        Native plants are those that are known to be native to the north eastern and mid-western United States and adjacent Canada;

        Non-native plants are those that are known to be from areas outside of the north eastern and mid-western United States and adjacent Canada.   

Analysis and review of quantitative sample plot data collected during September field surveys revealed the following general information: of the dominant vegetation documented in the sample plots, the overall percentages of native to non-native vegetation species were 76 and 24 percent, respectively; of the non-dominant vegetation, the overall percentages of native to non-native vegetation species were 75 and 25 percent, respectively.  These numbers are averages of all plots.  The overall percentages of native versus non-native plant species varied from sample plot to sample plot, particularly when comparing more mature habitat samples such as talus woodland to early-successional habitat such as old field.  One notable trend was the increased presence of Norway maple in the southern end of the Niagara gorge when compared to the northern portion.  Overall, for dominant plant species, sample plot composition of native plants ranged from 25 to 100 percent; whereas, sample plot composition of non-native plants ranged from zero to 75 percent.  For the non-dominant plant species, sample plot composition of both native and non-native plants ranged from zero to 100 percent.   

A detailed discussion of alien invasive plant species and their impact on vegetation in the Niagara gorge is presented in Section 3.5.

3.5             Identification of Potential Threats to Native Plants

This task was accomplished through the review of existing literature and direct observations during the field surveys.  The two greatest threats to the rare plants and natural communities of the Niagara gorge are human disturbance and the introduction of alien invasive species (Evans et al. 2001, Eckel 1990).  In addition, a large nesting colony of Ring-billed Gulls (Larus delawarensis) located at the base of Goat Island poses a threat to vegetation in that area.  Human disturbance (including recreation, park maintenance, storm water runoff, etc.), alien invasive species, and the impacts of the Goat Island gull colony are discussed, below.  The potential impacts of bank erosion along the lower river clay banks where Oligoneuron ohioense occurs on private property are not considered here.

3.5.1        Recreation in the Gorge

NYNHP (Evans et al. 2001) noted that the single greatest threat to RTE plants of the Niagara gorge is the impact of recreationists.  Recreational activities such as hiking, site seeing, biking, and fishing (accessing fishing areas) are extremely common due to the urban nature of the area, high population density (tourists and residents), and accessibility.

The soils of the Niagara gorge are thin and easily disturbed, and rare native plants may be trampled.  Human traffic has contributed to soil erosion and compaction both on and off designated trails.  In some areas the soils have been completely lost and only bare rock remains.  Larson et al. (2000) reported that recreational activities on the Niagara escarpment affected the recruitment, productivity, and survival of cedars along the gorge, some of which are over 1,500 years old.  In addition, recreationists or collectors are suspected of being responsible for the disappearance of several RTE plants that once grew along the edges of hiking trails in the state parks of the gorge.  At Whirlpool State Park, several historical RTE species no longer occur; this is likely due, in part, to picking or collection.  Trailside occurrences of the state-listed (endangered) plants Carex garberi and Gentianopsis procera disappeared between 1990 and 2001.  The showy blue flowers of the gentian attract collectors, and these plants may have been picked or collected out of existence at this site.  These two species still occur at other sites in the Niagara gorge and at Niagara Reservation State Park.

Rare plants on Goat Island may also be affected by recreation and tourism.  Elk sedge occurs in the Niagara Reservation State Park at Goat Island (NYNHP, 2007).  Threats to this species include invasive species, trampling, and alteration of the habitat.  Habitat alterations such as scraping of the cliffs for safety concerns and natural erosion were identified by NYNHP as potential threats (NYNHP, 2007).  Evans et al (2001) noted that any removal of rock along the cliff face affects the cliff community by potentially removing vegetation and suitable rooting substrate.

3.5.2        Park/Trail Management

As noted above, the most immediate threats to rare species and communities in the Niagara gorge are trampling and degradation due to recreational overuse.  Park and trail management activities that could affect rare plants and communities include control of rockfalls, not closing unofficial trails, and landscaping with aggressive alien invasive species, particularly those that are habitat pioneering species.

Park management also tends to include various degrees of landscaping.  This, in turn, can lead to the introduction of non-native and potentially invasive plant species.  The impacts of horticultural introductions are further discussed in Section 3.5.4 - Alien Invasive Species.

3.5.3        Storm Drain/ Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Discharge

NYNHP (Evans et al. 2001) noted that stormwater runoff from city streets and parking lots may introduce various types of chemicals and petroleum products into the calcareous talus slope woodland community at the base of the cliff.

Due to the areaís extensive development, channelization of surface water runoff has occurred along the entire length of the gorge.  The presence of roads and highways changes drainage patterns and contributes road salt and sand to surface water runoff.  While some areas of the Niagara gorge have reduced moisture regimes, other areas experience high amounts of runoff from melting snow or rain.  These changes have modified the plant species composition of some areas.

A number of CSOs are found in the gorge and several are in severe disrepair.  During the September 2007 surveys, garden tomato and cucumber plants were observed growing near and in the raw sewage discharge from one or the CSOs.  It is possible that tomato and cucumber seeds were deposited into the gorge from this CSO.

Salt runoff from the Robert Moses Parkway and runoff from storm sewers and discharge pipes along the gorge walls and in the talus slope may account for the curious development of common reed (Phragmites australis) in the rubble associated with seeps, often high up on the cliff face, especially in the poorer shale exposures in the northern part of the gorge, where highway interchanges occur as noted by Eckel 2003b.

3.5.4        Alien Invasive Species

According to Eckel, the planting of non-native trees and shrubs on the edges or rim of both sides of the Niagara gorge represents a serious threat to the integrity of the gorgeís natural communities (Eckel 2003b).  NYNHP expressed similar thoughts in a report to OPRHP (Evans et al. 2001).  Eckel (2003b) noted that the planting of introduced Eurasian species in Buffalo occurred as early as 1886 and this practice continues today.  Not all alien species in the gorge are the result of planting.  Some are inadvertently distributed through a variety of human activities.

Parts of the gorge are rapidly filling with alien species such as marsh sow-thistle (Sonchus uliginosus), bitter nightshade (Solanum dulcamara), garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata), and other weeds and shrubs (Eckel 1990).  Alien species that pose the greatest threat to the integrity of native communities are common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica), Tartarian honeysuckle (Lonicera tatarica), garlic mustard, black locust (Robinia pseudo-acacia) and Norway maple (Acer platanoides).  NYNHP noted that these species have devastating effects on the natural environments in which they become established and recommended that the spread of exotic species in the gorge be monitored and controlled (Evans et al. 2001).  Riveredge and TRC observed common reed in similar areas as described by Eckel.  In addition, purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) has been observed along the shoreline of the lower Niagara River and along portions of hiking trails located in the gorge.

Horticultural material planted on the gorge crest rim in both New York and Ontario for landscaping purposes contributes to this alien flora; for example, lilac (Syringa vulgaris) has been planted at Devilís Hole State Park.  Seeds of horticultural plants may be spread from the Canadian side of the gorge via the prevailing winds.  One such example is Catalpa speciosa (catalpa), which was once limited to the Canadian gorge crest, but is now established on the U.S. side of the gorge and at Goat Island.  Eckel (2002) and Evans et al. (2001) noted that the cliff and talus slope receive a rain of seeds from exotic species that have been planted along the rim of the gorge and that have been inadvertently introduced during construction, road building, and various other earth moving activities near the cliff edge.

Although the establishment of the most invasive of all the exotic species in the gorge is not the result of planting or landscaping on the gorge rim (e.g. Tartarian honeysuckle, garlic mustard, common reed, common buckthorn), there are notable exceptions.  The planting of Norway maple in parks on both sides of the gorge has resulted in this speciesí expansion at the south end of the gorge.  Eckel (2002) noted that this species is overrunning the botanically important area of Dufferin Islands in the Ontario park adjacent to the cataracts.  Although park management has indeed resulted in the establishment of horticultural species, it also should be noted that at least 50 alien species were already established on Goat Island at about the same time the Niagara Reservation Park was first established, and the introduction and planting of native and non-native flora was already underway (Day, 1888 in Eckel, 2002).

3.5.5        Gull Nesting Colony

A large colony of nesting Ring-billed Gulls exists at the base of Goat Island.  This colony has grown rapidly in recent years, to the point where it could be a threat to rare plants growing on the talus slope between the American and Canadian Falls.  This colony increased from 4,669 nests in 2003 to 7,786 nests in 2007: an increase of 66% in just four years.  In addition, 176 Double-crested Cormorant nests were counted in 2007.  Most cormorant nests are in the trees, but some are on the ground.

The droppings of colonial waterbirds can kill vegetation and modify the species composition of plant communities in bird nesting colonies through acidification of the soil and introduction of seeds in droppings.  For example, a large number of garden tomato plants were observed growing in this colony.  The seeds were likely introduced to the talus slope community in the droppings of gulls.  Near the Canadian falls, gulls are nesting on the large boulders along the river margin.  The cliff, talus slope, and boulders located in this area serve as important habitats for rare native plants.  If the continued nesting of gulls in this area changes habitat conditions, this colony could represent a direct threat to the survival of rare plants in the Niagara gorge.


4.0             DISCUSSION

4.1             Feasibility of RTE Plant Restoration

There are several issues that must be considered when assessing the feasibility of native plant restoration in an area such as the Niagara gorge.  These include determining appropriate expectations and targets based on historical data; locating or creating appropriate habitats in a human-altered environment; assessing the potential for success in a heavily trafficked environment; finding appropriate stock for replacing extirpated species; and determining the feasibility of propagating extant species that are rare.

The first difficulty encountered in this assessment is determining an appropriate target based on the historic distribution and abundance of rare plants.  Historic data (summarized by Eckel, 2002) provides a species list, but little information on abundance.  One clue to abundance is the number of sites where a species was documented; it appears that the species that are considered rare today were likely also relatively rare in the late 1800s.

In general, it appears that there is potentially suitable habitat for the restoration of extirpated species (Evans et al., 2001).  However, it must also be recognized that the area of the Niagara gorge has been drastically altered by human development in the past 200 years.  Some habitat types may be less abundant than they once were, and others may be permanently changed.  For this reason, expectations and targets for restoration must account for these landscape-level differences.  Furthermore, restoration in the Niagara gorge would, in some cases, be undertaken in areas visited by hikers, fishermen, and other recreationists.  Such traffic by recreationists could complicate or preclude restoration success.  Therefore, any restoration effort must consider this variable when determining locations for restoration attempts, particularly for RTE species.

Another unique challenge is presented relative to the restoration of species that were well documented at one time, but have since been locally extirpated.  A good example of potential conflicts is illustrated by the possibility of attempting to restore Hypericum kalmianum (Kalm's St. John's-wort) to the area of the Niagara gorge.  This species was known from the vicinity of Goat Island, and was noted repeatedly by botanists during the mid to late 1800s (Eckel, 2002).  Later, Zenkert (1934, in Eckel, 2002) reported it had not been observed at the Falls in recent years (the early 1930s).  The Goat Island location was and is the only known location of occurrence for this species in New York State.  Young (2007) lists the species as extirpated.  This plant is available from commercial native plant nurseries, including nurseries in states where the species is state-listed as endangered (e.g., Illinois).  Some of the commercially available material has been genetically engineered through the breeding of particularly hardy individuals at Iowa State University.  It is likely that these hardy individuals would survive if planted on Goat Island.  Given this background, it must be decided if restoring Kalm's St. John's-wort to Goat Island (and to New York) using genetically different material is a suitable and desirable goal.

Restoring Kalm's St. John's-wort to New York is illustrative of the genetic concerns associated with species restoration, although it may be one of the more extreme cases.  Most of the historical species listed by Evans et al. (2001) (Table 3.1-2) still have extant populations in other areas of the state.  Two species are known from Erie or Niagara Counties (Young, 2007).  Nonetheless, having extant populations in the state is no guarantee of genetic relatedness.  Present-day plant distributions are the combined result of forces acting over geological time scales such as glaciers, and forces acting over much shorter and more recent time scales such as horticultural escapes.  Any species-specific restoration efforts will need to examine genetic concerns on a case by case basis.

Extant species may potentially be propagated using seeds or corms (roots) from local individuals.  Problems arise when such individuals are extremely rare, sensitive, or difficult to reach safely (as is the case in some areas of the gorge).  Potential plant material sources and associated pros and cons are further discussed in section 4.3 Possible Plan Material Sources.

In summary, due to changes in habitat conditions, regional changes in species abundances, and genetic constraints, it is likely that some RTE species cannot or should not be restored.  In addition, it may not be reasonable to restore a showy species in an area where it would be disturbed or picked.  Meanwhile, it is likely that feasible restoration opportunities do exist for some species and in some locations.  Overall, restoration and management considerations should be addressed on a case by case basis.  Species-specific and site-specific management recommendations should be made based on a review of present threats and all best available information at the time of (but prior to) the inception of restoration efforts.

4.2             Feasibility of Natural Community-Level Restoration

The concept of natural community-level restoration involves the reduction or elimination of non-native plants and restoring native species in specific habitat or community types.  Examples germane to this project include areas such as the talus slope woodland and calcareous cliff communities of the gorge.  Natural community restoration in the Niagara gorge could be approached in two ways: 1) restoration of natural communities throughout the vicinity of the gorge (large-scale), and 2) small-scale (pilot-level) restoration efforts at discrete, selected sites.  Each of these approaches and their feasibility are discussed below.

4.2.1        Large-Scale Community-Level Restoration

As discussed previously, analysis of vegetation sample plot data revealed that approximately 25 percent of the plants in the vicinity of the Niagara gorge are non-native.  Among this percentage is a number of species considered to be particularly invasive including garlic mustard, marsh sow-thistle, bitter nightshade, common buckthorn, Tartarian honeysuckle, black locust, and Norway maple.  Many of these species are ubiquitous in the vicinity of the gorge and can displace native vegetation.  De Gruchy et al. (2001) suggest that restoration of the talus slope at Niagara Falls, Canada would likely not occur without human intervention.  However, the level of intervention is not known or has not been thoroughly researched.  Nuzzo (1991) and Berger (1993) state that restoration is unlikely to succeed without control or removal of the more aggressive non-native alien species such as garlic mustard that currently dominate the site.  This human intervention would also include extensive cooperation between local, state, and provincial agencies and governments on the American and Canadian sides of the river. 

Community-level restoration would require an intensive, long-term effort with a high level of associated risk.  There are numerous inherent risks associated with the attempting to restore ecosystems in the study area.  These include the dangers associated with doing work in the gorge (e.g., steep slopes, loose talus, falling rocks, extreme heights, the common presence of plants such as poison ivy, etc), and the inaccessibility of most of the calcareous cliff community.  In addition, data suggesting that community-level restoration could be successful are lacking.

Since restoration does not appear to take place naturally without human intervention, active remediation, removal of species, and seeding or planting will be required in order to achieve the restoration target (de Gruchy et al. 2001).  The removal of non-native plant species may be possible in areas where few such species exist, but may be extremely difficult or visually impacting in areas where large numbers of non-native plants (such as Norway maple) comprise a significant component of the vegetative community.  Furthermore, removal of canopy species such as Norway maple could result in the aridification of the understory, potentially hindering restoration efforts until native maples or other species reached canopy status.

Given these constraints, community-level restoration throughout the Niagara gorge and gorge rim is not likely feasible.  The continued influx of alien invasive species over such a large geographic area (including lands in the general vicinity of both the American and Canadian sides of the gorge) with difficult access makes community-level restoration unlikely to be successful regardless of level of effort.  Therefore, the feasibility of community-level restoration is low.

4.2.2        Small-Scale Restoration

Although large-scale (gorge-wide) community level restoration is not likely feasible, small-scale (pilot-level) restoration may be possible in selected areas with important physical and biological features that could increase the potential success of such a difficult undertaking.  Furthermore, small-scale restoration efforts undertaken at selected sites may be useful to obtain data on the potential for success at additional, possibly larger, or longer term restoration efforts.

Potential options for protecting or restoring selected RTE species and native plant communities are listed in table 4.0-1 below.  The general methods, benefits, constraints, and feasibility are outlined in this table.  The pursuit of these or other strategies for restoring rare native plants and native vegetation to the Niagara gorge and gorge rim would require a long-term, dedicated, cooperative effort among several local, state, and provincial government agencies on both sides of the Niagara River, in conjunction with recognized local experts and a number of local and regional not-for-profit organizations and institutions.  Restoration efforts, even on a limited scale, would not be successful without a unified, cooperative approach and vision, fully supported by an on-the-ground commitment of staff, resources, and volunteers from cooperating entities.

4.3             Identification of Potential Sites for Small-Scale Native Plant Restoration

A number of groundwater seeps were identified during the May and September field surveys.  Several of these seeps, particularly those located in the area between Art Park and the NPP, could be candidate sites for a small-scale (pilot-level) restoration.  Factors that qualify these sites as potential restoration locations are that they are broad-front, low-energy seeps that appear to provide consistent flow; they are fairly accessible; and they are associated with talus of various grain size and accumulated soil that could serve as a planting medium.

Candidate sites for small-scale restoration efforts could include the limestone woodland of Goat Island, selected sites in the vicinity of Art Park and Devilís Hole, or other habitats in the vicinity of the gorge.  The ideal sites would be relatively accessible (for both work and educational purposes), relatively safe to work at, and would have requisite habitat characteristics such as sufficient groundwater seepage to support certain target species.  Restoration options could include researching and implementing chemical, physical, and biological control for non-native and alien invasive species, working with stakeholders to plant only native vegetation at state and municipal parks, and planting rare native vegetation propagated from nurseries (although this option may not be desirable for reasons described on Section 4.1).

There are a number of seeps between the NPP and the Whirlpool, however, they generally occur high up on the gorge cliff face and are largely inaccessible.  The portion of the gorge between the Whirlpool and the Maid of the Mist Observation Tower is relatively dry compared to other areas of the gorge, and very few seeps of any significant size were observed.  The seeps that were observed in this area were high up on the face of the gorge cliff, were inaccessible, and generally were not associated with significant talus or soil accumulation.

4.4             Possible Plant Materials Sources

Restoration of native plants could be accomplished through the purchase of native plants from commercial sources, the collection of seeds or corms of wild plants, or the nursery propagation and planting of selected species.  Each of these strategies, and associated advantages and disadvantages, are discussed in detail, below.

4.4.1        Transplantation

There is a growing trend towards landscaping with native plants.  This is due, in part to the fact that many native plants thrive without watering, chemical pesticides, or fertilizers, thus reducing maintenance costs.  As such, many native plants, including threatened and endangered species, are available commercially from native plant nurseries.  Unfortunately, the growing demand for native plants is also a cause for concern.  Some native plants, particularly woodland flowers, are difficult to grow in a nursery.  The excavation of wild plants for sale may be a threat to remaining populations of rare native plants.

Native plants purchased from nurseries are almost always from a different geographic region than the area where they will be planted.  Introducing genetic variants of species, especially threatened and endangered species, from regions where they are more common generally is not acceptable to most resource agencies.  The level of concern over this practice increases with the rarity of the plant and the distance of the source.  Purchasing seeds or plants of native species from distant geographic regions for use to restore plants and communities in the Niagara gorge would generally not be condoned nor supported by NYNHP.  However, some relatively common native species could likely be found from nearby sources and could be used for landscaping park areas.  Rare species, and all threatened and endangered species, are not likely available from commercial sources within these genetic constraints.  If they were to be used for native plant community restoration in the Niagara gorge, the species of plants and their sources would need to be reviewed on a case by case basis by qualified plant scientists.

4.4.2        Seed/Corm Collection

The collection of seeds or corms from existing native plants in the Niagara gorge could be applied to establish these species in new locations.  Seeds and corms collected from extant native species could be directly dispersed, or they could be taken to a nursery for propagation and be transplanted at a future time.

Some species could be propagated relatively easily using these methods, and others could be quite difficult.  For example, seed collection from large trees, such as oaks and hickories, would be relatively easy.  However, rare species may be difficult or impossible to reach where they grow on cliffs or immediately adjacent to the falls or the river.

4.4.3        Nursery Propagation

Nursery propagation of native species could be used to produce immature plants that could be planted in suitable habitats in the gorge.  The best source for these native plants would be from the Niagara gorge or rim of the gorge.  Biologically, the source material could be acquired from either side of the lower Niagara River.  As a long-term restoration strategy, a nursery would likely need to be established in the vicinity of the gorge for this purpose.  Alternatively, an existing nursery could be identified and potentially contracted to propagate native plants of the vicinity of the Niagara gorge.  A list of nurseries that may propagate native plants is located in Appendix B.

4.5             Identification of Best Management Practices

Several best management practices (BMPs) were identified as components of potential strategies for restoring and protecting native vegetation in the gorge.  These include:

        Creation of a plant restoration team to plan and oversee various native plant restoration/protection strategies;

        Park/Trail Management Options;

        Management of supporting hydrology for species that generally prefer consistent moisture such as that provided by groundwater seepage;

        Treatment/Management of discharge from storm drains into the gorge;

        Education to increase public awareness of restoration and protection of native plants in the vicinity of Niagara Falls and the gorge.

These are more fully discussed in the following sections.

4.5.1        Plant Restoration Team

The success of any native plant restoration and protection program would be contingent on the creation of a management team committed to the planning, implementation, and monitoring of such a program.  This team would consist of biologists and environmental managers from a variety of entities, including NYNHP, NYSDEC, OPRHP, NYS Invasive Plants Council, NYPA, Riverkeeper, local city parks, county parks, and other interested stakeholder groups.  The responsibilities of this team would include technical feasibility assessments of conceptual native plant restoration and protection options, establishment of restoration goals, project design, implementation oversight, success monitoring, and development of any adaptive management strategies.

4.5.2        Park/Trail Management

The 2007 field surveys revealed that there are several recreational trails in the gorge that are closed to the public for various reasons.  These closures may be temporary or permanent.  Permanent closure could benefit native plants, particularly RTE species.  Permanent closure would likely result in less recreational foot traffic, possibly reducing the probability of native plants being picked or trampled.  Some closures are due to occurrence of falling rock from adjacent cliff faces.  It has been suggested by NYNHP that allowing rock to naturally break off of the cliff face and fall into the gorge could benefit certain native plant species that typically require this type of natural disturbance.

Other park/trail management BMPs could include: working with the ecological staff of the OPRHP and other stakeholders to ensure that native plants are used for landscaping purposes in areas above the gorge such as the vicinity of the Discovery Center and Goat Island; and examining mowing activities to ensure that they do not affect known occurrences of RTE plants such as blue sky aster.

Park management and maintenance practices would also need to adhere to a gorge-wide invasive-species management plan, if such a plan were ever established.

Best management practices for maintenance of the parks and trails in the vicinity of the Niagara gorge include installing fences to keep recreationists on trails; erosion control measures on trails such as waterbars; the closure of unauthorized trails; and the increased use of native plants for landscaping, particularly near the edge of the gorge.  In addition, surveys for rare plants should be conducted prior to the construction of any new trails or rerouting of existing trails, and before any cliff stabilization activities are conducted.  In particularly sensitive areas, control of non-native plant species and the selected removal of non-native species that contribute to the rain of non-native seeds into the gorge could be conducted.  Trimmings, cuttings, and clippings of non-native species from landscaping operations should be stored in a manner that prevents their dispersal into the gorge (e.g. covered dumpsters) and should be removed from the area.  Mowing operations, if any, that directly affect specific RTE plant species should be curtailed.  Efforts to only use clean, seed-free soil, sand, rock, and other landscaping materials should continue in order to avoid the inadvertent import of additional non-native plants into the Goat Island and gorge.

4.5.3        Phragmites (and Other Non-native Species) Management

            A plan could be developed for controlling the spread of alien invasive species and other non-native plants in the vicinity of the Niagara gorge.  This plan could include implementing safeguards to reduce the potential for parts of non-native vegetation from entering the gorge (e.g., ensuring that annual landscape plantings are disposed of at a local landfill, encouraging a reduction in non-native plantings used for landscaping along the gorge rim, etc.), exploring the selective use of herbicides, and exploring biological control options for stands of common reed in inaccessible areas of the gorge such as bedrock shelves associated with the cliff face.

According to Tewksbury et al. (2002), there are 26 invertebrate herbivores known to attack common reed in North America.  However, only several are thought to be native to North America, and the implications of deliberately releasing invertebrate herbivores to attempt biological control of common reed are unknown.

4.5.4        Introduction/Management of Supporting Hydrology

One potential strategy for enhancing habitat for certain RTE plants in the gorge involves introducing or managing supporting hydrology for species that require wet conditions.  Existing sources of hydrology that could be used for this purpose are primarily associated with broad-face groundwater seeps originating from the cliff face.  These are low energy seeps (trickling flows) that drain from cracks in the bedrock.  In addition, some larger, more significant seeps exist.  These were mapped in May 2007: their locations are depicted on Figures 1 through 9 in Appendix A.

One specific location that may be considered for such management is Devilís Hole.  The area around the access road and Devilís Hole has been highly modified due to development, road construction, and the remediation of the Hooker Hyde Park landfill.  Hooker Hyde Park is a 15-acre site that was used to dispose of approximately 80,000 tons of waste, some of it hazardous, from 1953 to 1975 (USEPA 2002).  Contaminants from the landfill flowed into Bloody Run Creek and down the Niagara gorge face into the river (USEPA 2002).  The remediation plan involved the excavation of Bloody Run and the use of extraction wells to maintain an inward groundwater hydraulic regime at the site (USEPA 2002). Remediation activities have altered surface water and groundwater flow, and have dried up the seeps on the face of the cliff (NYWEA 2000).  The cliff face and the talus slope woodland in the vicinity of Devilís Hole are now drier than they once were, and this may have changed the plant species composition of the community (Eckel 1990).  If water is a limiting factor at Devilís Hole and it is possible to reintroduce water to this site, efforts to protect or restore native plants may be more viable.

4.5.5        Treatment/Management of Storm Water Run-off and Storm Drain/CSO Discharge

There are a number of storm water discharge pipes and CSOs located on roads upslope of the gorge.  Storm water enters these drains and is discharged into the gorge via concentrated flow.  A reconnaissance-level bicycle survey along selected areas of the Parkway identified 35 surface water drains between Artpark and the Discovery Center.  In addition to concentrated flow discharges, it is likely that storm water surface run-off contributes to sheet-flow input into the gorge.

Eckel (2003b) noted that salt application to roads may have helped contribute to the presence of common reed in portions of the gorge, particularly those associated with groundwater seeps.  Treatment/management of storm water discharge would likely be an expensive BMP to implement.  It would involve extensive design and engineering and would likely require the diversions of storm water flow into a treatment system sufficient in size and design to treat the storm water.  A much more feasible option could involve working with the NYSDOT and municipal highway departments to discuss alternatives to the application of salt to roads during the winter.

4.5.6        Public Awareness Education

Public awareness and education may be a highly effective means of ensuring the success of restoration efforts in the Niagara gorge.  Programs could disseminate information regarding the ecological importance of native plants, the effects of non-native plants, the importance of keeping to established and marked trails to prevent the trampling of vegetation and inadvertent soil compaction and erosion, and the importance of not collecting plants to prevent the accidental picking of RTE plants.  Specific components of such efforts could include preparing pamphlets, posters, and erecting informational kiosks.  In addition, signage could be used to caution the public from entering particularly sensitive areas or future study sites.

Public education and awareness of rare plants and communities in the Niagara gorge could increase appreciation of the resource and assist with protection, conservation, and restoration efforts by fostering a sense of conservation partnership.  A summer trail steward program or lecture series might also be useful to educate the general public.

 


Table 4.0-1:  Potential Protection or Restoration Measures and their Feasibility

 

Protection or Restoration Measure

Potential Methods

Benefits

Constraints

Feasibility

Increase existing efforts to protect RTE plants in Parks

  Review locations of RTE species and sensitive native plants

  Review locations and types of Park maintenance activities

  Identify sensitive areas where park maintenance activities may affect rare native plants

  Modify Park maintenance activities to protect plants

  Modifying maintenance activities (e.g. mowing) may benefit some plants

  Reduce input of alien seeds or plants to gorge by reducing planting and by preventing landscaping clippings, trimmings, and cuttings from entering gorge

  Increased use of native plants provides a more natural setting

  Would require consensus from management team regarding the specific methods to be implemented

  Potential loss of color in flower beds if some showy horticultural species are no longer used

  Keeping RTE plant locations from becoming public information

Good

Establish new plants of extant RTE species in situ

  Transplant existing plants

  Collect seeds or corms from existing RTE species and propagate in nurseries for replanting

  Increase occurrences of rare native plants in gorge with material collected in situ

  Collecting material may inadvertently damage or injure existing rare plants and their habitat

  Difficulty finding and obtaining suitable sources for propagation or planting

  Some plant locations inaccessible

  May require nursery

Poor to Fair

Establish new plants of extant RTE species with outside material

  Purchase rare plants from nurseries and plant new material in suitable habitats

  Increase occurrences of rare native plants in gorge

  Finding RTE plants of same genetic strain

  Introduction of genetically different material could compromise existing populations

Poor

Establish native plant nursery program on or off site

  Nursery facilities could be constructed in park

  Nursery facilities off-site could be contracted for services

  Nursery could be used to supply native plants for landscaping

  Selected RTE species could be propagated and later transplanted

  Would require the identification of an existing nursery or a potential nursery location

  In order to get proper genotypes, some native plant parts would need to be removed from the vicinity of the gorge for propagation

  Native plants not from the vicinity of the gorge could have different genotypes that are unacceptable to the management team

Fair

Restore historical species using commercially available plant material

  Purchase plants from nurseries and plant in suitable habitats

  Restores extirpated species to gorge

  Introduction of genetically different material may not be permitted

Fair to Poor

Increase use of native vegetation in State Parks

  Use nursery stock or cuttings of existing native plants

  Can provide source of native plant ďseed rainĒ into the gorge

  Need to locate a nursery with proper genetic strains

  May be considered undesirable if genetic strains differ than gorge plants

Good

Reduce recreational impacts

  Close unauthorized trails

  Upgrade existing trails with waterbars, fencing, signs

  Initiate trail steward program

  Keep hikers on trails and educate public

  Reduce trampling, picking, and erosion

  Direct contact with public beneficial

  Would require on-going maintenance of trails

  Could make hikers aware of sensitive RTE plant locations

Good

Control selected species of alien invasive species where practicable

  Selectively remove aggressive non-native species from vicinity of gorge and gorge rim

  Reduce input of alien seeds or plants to gorge

  Some large Norway maple provide shade for plants and people; removal causes aridification

  Alien invasive plants are widespread and abundant

Poor at large scale, but

Fair at small scale at selected locations

Eliminate selected high energy outfalls from road drainages

  Use flow restriction or diffusion devices on outfalls

  Eliminate perched outfalls

  Reduce erosion

  Provide low energy water for plants on cliff face

  Road runoff may contain salt and other chemicals potentially harmful to native plants but that could encourage non-native plants

  Eliminating or reducing road drainage could flood roads

  High costs and extensive engineering

Poor

Increase available water (moisture) from non-surface water runoff sources

  Restore water flow to Devilís Hole

  Reduce aridification

  Restore original character of cove

  May promote invasive species

  Water may need treatment

  May increase erosion

  May spread contaminants

Fair

Reduce the number of gulls nesting in the gorge at the base of Goat Island

  Exclusion of birds

  Removal of nests

  Egg oiling

  Reduce soil acidification

  Reduce direct trampling or pulling of plants by gulls

  Reduce input of alien seeds in material brought in by gulls

  Impact of gulls on rare plants not currently understood

  May be difficult due to colony size, access, and persistence of gulls

Fair to Good

 

 

 


5.0     REFERENCES

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R1019215174 \ Text Reference: Cody and Britton 1989 \ Cody, W.J., and D.M. Britton.  1989.  Ferns and Fern Allies of Canada.  Research Branch, Agriculture       Canada, Publication 1829E.  Ottawa.

R1019214892 \ Text Reference: Day 1888 \ Day, D.F.  1888.  Catalogue of the Niagara Flora.  Annual Report of the Commission for the State Reservation at Niagara for the Year (1887).  pp. 67-133.

R1019215298 \ Text Reference: Eckel 1986 \ Eckel, P. M. 1986. Flora of DeVeaux College Woods, Niagara Falls, New York. Clintonia, Supplement to Issue 1:1-7.

R1019216888 \ Text Reference: Eckel 1988 \ Eckel, P. M. 1988. New and interesting records for the Niagara Frontier flora. Clintonia Vol. 3(2): 4-7.

R1019215289 \ Text Reference: Eckel 1990 \ Eckel, P. M. 1990 (see also Eckel 2002). Botanical Evaluation of the Goat Island Complex, Niagara Falls, New York. Report submitted to the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation. [Note: that Eckel 2002 is the electronic publication of the 1990 report to OPRHP]  http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/ResBot/flor/Bot_Goat/01_Cover.htm

R1019216894 \ Text Reference: Eckel 2001 \ Eckel, P. M. 2001. The Vascular Flora of the Vicinity of the Falls of Niagara. Res Botanica, a Missouri Botanical Garden Web Site. January 11, 2001. http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/ResBot/Flor/WNY-Niag/flora.htm

Eckel 2002 . Botanical Evaluation of the Goat Island Complex, Niagara Falls, New York. Res Botanica, Missouri Botanical Garden Web Site. St. Louis. http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/ResBot/flor/Bot_Goat/01_Cover.htm

R1019215291 \ Text Reference: Eckel 2003a \ Eckel. P.M.  2003a.  Niagara Issues: Observations on the Niagara River. Res Botanica, Missouri Botanical Garden Web Site. St. Louis. http://ridgwaydb.mobot.org/resbot/niag/.  

R1019215310 \ Text Reference: 2003b \ Eckel, P.M.  2003b. Two problems in Betulaceae along the Niagara River:  Alnus glutinosa and Betula cordifolia.  Clintonia, Magazine of the Niagara Frontier Botanical Society, Inc.

R1019216890 \ Text Reference: Eckel 2003c \ Eckel. P.M.  2003c. Niagara Issues: Proposal for a new forest type in New York State

R1019216892 \ Text Reference: 2004 \ Eckel, P. M. 2004, Nov. 7. Trees Along the Crest of the Niagara River Gorge from Devil's Hole to DeVeaux (Whirlpool) Steps in New York State. Res Botanica, a Missouri Botanical Garden Web Site: http://www.mobot.org/plantscience/ResBot/index.htm

R1019215291 \ Text Reference: Eckel 2003 \ Eckel, P. M. and J. Bissell. 2000. Iris virginica L., Southern Blue Flag, restored to the flora of New York State. Clintonia Vol. 15(3):7.

R1019214948 \ Text Reference: Edinger et al. 2002 \ Edinger, G. J., D. J. Evans, S. Gebauer, T. G. Howard, D. M. Hunt, and A. M. Olivero (eds.).  2002.  Ecological Communities of New York State.  Second Edition.  A revised and expanded edition of Carol Reschkeís Ecological Communities of New York State.  New York Natural Heritage Program, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation http://www.dec.state.ny.us/website/dfwmr/heritage/Draft_ECNY2002.htm.

R1019215886 \ Text Reference: E/PRO 2004 \ E/PRO Engineering & Environmental Consulting, LLC and Aquatic Science Services, Inc.  2004.  Describe Niagara River Aquatic and Terrestrial Habitat Between the NYPA Intakes and the NYPA Tailrace (U.S. Side).  Report prepared for the New York Power Authority. 

R101925386 \ Text Reference: Evans et al 2001 \ Evans, D.J., P.G. Novak and T.W. Weldy.  2001.  Rare species and ecological communities of the Niagara Gorge including Devilís Hole, Earl W. Brydges Artpark, Niagara Reservation and Whirlpool State Parks.  Report prepared for the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation by the New York Natural Heritage Program.  March 31, 2001.

R1019215183 \ Text Reference: Fernald 1970 \ Fernald, M.L.  1970.  Gray's Manual of Botany, eighth (Centennial) edition, corrected printing by R.C. Rollins.  New York: D. Van Nostrand Company.

R1019215189 \ Text Reference: Gleason and Cronquist 1991 \ Gleason, Henry A., and A. Cronquist.  1991.  Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada.  Bronx, NY: The New York Botanical Garden.

R1019216892 \ Text Reference: de Gruchy et al 2001 \ de Gruchy, M.A., et al.  2001.  Natural Recovery and Restoration Potential of Severely Disturbed Talus Vegetation at Niagara Falls: Assessment Using a Reference System.  Cliff Ecology Research Group, Department of Botany, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada.  N1G 2W1.

R1019215836 \ Text Reference: Kleinschmidt 2004 \ Kleinschmidt Associates and Riveredge Associates, LLC.  2004.  Investigation of Habitat Improvement Projects for the Niagara Power Project.  Report Prepared for the New York Power Authority. 

R1019215198 \ Text Reference: Larson et al. 2000 \ Larson, D.W., U. Matthes, and P.E. Kelly.  2000.  Cliff Ecology: Pattern and Process in Cliff Ecosystems.  New York: Cambridge University Press.

R1019215199 \ Text Reference: Marcotte 1998 \ R1019215201 \ Text Reference: McKibbon et al. 1987 \ McKibbon, G., C. Louis, and F. Shaw.  1987.  Protecting the Niagara Escarpment.  J. Soil and Water Conserv. March-April 78-82.

R1019215203 \ Text Reference: Mitchell 1988 \ Mitchell, R.S.  1988.  A Checklist of New York State Plants.  New York State Museum Bulletin no. 458. 

0R1019214915 \ Text Reference: NYNHP 2001 \ New York Natural Heritage Program.  2001.  Biological and Conservation Data System, Element Occurrence Record Digital Data Set. 

R1019215379 \ Text Reference: NYNHP 2003 \ New York Natural Heritage Program.  2003a.  Biological and Conservation Data System, Element Occurrence Record Digital Data Set. 

R1019214916 \ Text Reference: NYNHP 2003 \ New York Natural Heritage Program.  2003b. New York Rare Plant Status List.  http://www.dec.state.ny.us/website/dfwmr/heritage/RPSL.pdf.

R1019216899 \ Text Reference: NYNHP 2007 \ New York Natural Heritage Program. 2007. Online Conservation Guide for Carex garberi. Available from: http://acris.nynhp.org/guide.php?id=9483. Accessed October 2, 2007.

R1019215378 \ Text Reference: NYWEA 2000 \ New York Water Environment Association.  2000.  Niagara River Toxics 2000.Clearwaters Magazine, http://www.nywea.org/clearwaters/303090.html 30(3), Fall 2000.

R1019216897 \ Text Reference: Nuzzo 1991 \ Nuzzo, V. A. 1991. Experimental Control of Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata [Bieb.]    Cavara & Grande) in Northern Illinois using Fire, Herbicide, and Cutting. Natural Areas Journal 11:158-167.

R566 \ Text Reference: Reschke 1990 \ Reschke, Carol.  1990.  Ecological Communities of New York State.  Latham, NY: New York Natural Heritage Program, NYSDEC http://www.dec.state.ny.us/website/dfwmr/heritage/EcolComm.htm.

R1019215141 \ Text Reference: Riveredge 2002 \ Riveredge Associates, LLC.  2002a. Rare, Threatened, and Endangered Species and Significant Occurrences of Natural Communities at the Niagara Power Project, prep. for the New York Power Authority. 

R1019216898 \ Text Reference: Tewksbury et al 2002 \ Tewksbury, L., R. Casagrande, B. Blossey, P. Hafliger, and M. Schwarzlander. 2002.Potential for Biological Control of Phragmites austraslis in North America. Biological Control 23:191-212.

R1019215180 \ Text Reference: USEPA 2002 \ U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  2002.  Region 2 Superfund National Priorities List Fact Sheets:  Hooker-Hyde Park, New York (EPA ID# NYD000831644).  http://www.epa.gov/region02/superfund/npl/0201306c.pdf.

R1019215219 \ Text Reference: Voss 1996 \ Voss, E.G.  1996.  Michigan Flora, Part III: Dicots (Pyrolaceae-Compositae).  Cranbrook Institute of Science (Bulletin 61) and Univeristy of Michigan Herbarium, Ann Arbor.

R1019215221 \ Text Reference: Wilcove et al. 1998 \ Wilcove, D.S., D. Rothstein, J. Dubow, A. Phillips, and E. Losos.  1998.  Quantifying threats to imperiled species in the United States by assessing the relative importance of habitat destruction, alien species, pollution, overexploitation, and disease.  BioScience 48(8):607.

R1019216893 \ Text Reference: Young 2007 \ Young, S. M. 2007. New York Rare Plant Status Lists. New York Natural Heritage Program, Albany, New York. June 2007. 105 pages.


 

APPENDIX A:  Figures 1 through 9

 


Figure 1:  Niagara River Gorge Native Vegetation Assessment

FIGURE 1:  NIAGARA RIVER GORGE NATIVE VEGETATION ASSESSMENT


Figure 2:  Niagara River Gorge Native Vegetation Assessment

FIGURE 2:  NIAGARA RIVER GORGE NATIVE VEGETATION ASSESSMENT


Figure 3:  Niagara River Gorge Native Vegetation Assessment

FIGURE 3:  NIAGARA RIVER GORGE NATIVE VEGETATION ASSESSMENT


Figure 4: Niagara River Gorge Native Vegetation Assessment 

FIGURE 4: NIAGARA RIVER GORGE NATIVE VEGETATION ASSESSMENT


Figure 5: Niagara River Gorge Native Vegetation Assessment

FIGURE 5: NIAGARA RIVER GORGE NATIVE VEGETATION ASSESSMENT


Figure 6: Niagara River Gorge Native Vegetation Assessment

FIGURE 6: NIAGARA RIVER GORGE NATIVE VEGETATION ASSESSMENT


Figure 7: Niagara River Gorge Native Vegetation Assessment

FIGURE 7: NIAGARA RIVER GORGE NATIVE VEGETATION ASSESSMENT

Figure 8: Niagara River Gorge Native Vegetation Assessment

FIGURE 8: NIAGARA RIVER GORGE NATIVE VEGETATION ASSESSMENT


Figure 9: Niagara River Gorge Native Vegetation Assessment

FIGURE 9: NIAGARA RIVER GORGE NATIVE VEGETATION ASSESSMENT

 


 

APPENDIX B:  List of Native Plant Nurseries


NEW YORK (http://www.plantnative.org/nd_netook.htm)

Amanda's Garden
8410 Harpers Ferry Rd., Springwater , NY 14560
Tel: 585/669-2275
E-mail: AmandasGarden@bluefrog.com Web: amandagarden.com
Native perennials, wildflowers. Plants are native to the northeast.
%Native: 100. R/M/Cat

Fort Pond Native Plants, Inc.
26 S Embassy St., P.O. Box 5061, Montauk, NY 11954
Tel: 631/668-6452 Fax: 631/668-6439
E-mail: info@nativeplants.net Web: www.nativeplants.net
A native & ornamental plant nursery & garden center, devoted to promoting the use of natives in the landscape. We grow our own grasses, native perennials, ferns and shrubs in containers. W strive to offer local East coast maritime genotypes.
%Native: 70. R/W/M/Cat

Native Landscapes Garden Center
991 Rt. 22, Pawling, NY 12564
Tel: 845/855-7050 Fax: 845/855-7016
E-mail: nativelandscape@aol.com Web: www.nativelandscaping.com
We sell native perennials, shrubs and trees to zone 5 and 6, northeast United States.
%Native: 100. W/R

Saratoga Tree Nursery
NY State Dept. of Environmental Conservation, 2369 Route 50, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 Tel: 518/581-1439 Fax: 518/581-8017
%Native: 50.

St. Lawrence Nurseries
325 St. Hwy. 345, Potsdam-Madrid Rd., Potsdam, NY 13676. Tel: 315/265-0778
E-mail: trees@sln.potsdam.ny.us Web: www.sln.potsdam.ny.us
Edible ornamentals, including June berry, chokeberry (Aronia), elderberry, currants, and goose-berries, even true bog cranberries. Many hardy native nut trees: black walnut, oak, butternut, and hazel Bert. USDA Zone 3. Cat/M/R/W

White Oak Nursery
P.O. Box 559, Stanley, NY 14561 Tel: 315.789.3509
E-mail: jengel53@rochester.rr.com Web: www.whiteoaknursery.biz
An extensive list of native woody spcies of the eastern US. Most seed is collected in Western New York. Specializes in supplying small potted trees and shrubs for creating wildlife habitat and natural landscapes. %Native: 75. R/W/M

WHOLESALE ONLY

Southern Tier Consulting and Nursery, Inc.
P.O. Box 30, 2701-A Route 305, West Clarksville, NY 14786 Tel: 585/968-3120 Fax: 585/968-3122
E-mail: froghome@eznet.net Web: www.southerntierconsulting.com
%Native: 100. W

Treehaven Evergreen Nursery
981 Jamison Road, Elma, NY 14059-9569 Tel: 716/652-4206
W


 

 


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Nurseries which carry native plant species for Ontario


Acorus Restoration Native Plant Nursery
RR#1
Walsingham, Ontario, N0E 1X0
tel: (519) 586-2603 fax: (519) 586-2447
E-mail: info@ecologyart.com
Web: www.ecologyart.com

Basin System Water Gardens Fines & Company
13 Scotland Rd. East
Village of Oakland
RR#1
Scotland, ON. N0E 1R0
tel: (519) 446-3200 fax: (519) 446-3199

Bernse Chiasson
79 Princess Street
Trenton, ON. K8V 1T5

Blueberry Hill
R.R. #1
Maynooth, ON. K0L 2S0

Boardwalk Gardens
Roger Baulieu
18725 Tecumseh Rd.
Tilbury, ON.
tel: (519) 798-3601


Brookdale Treeland Nursery Ltd.
R.R #1
Schomberg, ON. L0G 1T0

Campberry Farm
RR#1
Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON. L0S 1J0
specialize: nut trees

Canadian Wildflower Seed Exchange
c/o Gail Rhynard
125 Golfview Avenue
Toronto, ON. M4E 2K6

Chalk Lake Greenhouses
R.R.#4
Uxbridge, ON. L9P 1R4
tel. & fax: (905) 649-5384
specialize: herbaceous plants

Connon Nurseries
P.O. Box 200
Waterdown, ON. L0R 2H0
tel: (905) 628-3155 fax: (905) 628-0112
specialize: Woody and Herbaceous plants

Country Squires Gardens
2601 Derry Road West
RR#3
Campbellville, ON. L0P 1B0
specialize: perennials

Cruickshank's Ltd.
1015 Mount Pleasant Rd.
Toronto, ON. M4P 2M1

Environs Wholesale Nursery
R.R. #3
7065 Twiss Rd.
Campbellville, ON.
tel: (416) 878-8816


Fisher Nursery
Pontypool, ON. L0A 1K0
tel: (705) 277-2806

Frank Schenk Nurseries
Belfountain, ON. L0N 1B0
tel: (519) 927-5415