JDI Forester Finds Rare Plant Population in New Brunswick
Sussex, NB: Forester Grant Steeves of the JDI Sussex Woodlands office has discovered a rare plant population on JDI-managed Crown Land near Havelock, New Brunswick.
During his survey walk of a forest block last fall, Steeves noticed a low-ground plant with unique broad white stripes on its leaves. Having had rare plant identification training, Steeves was aware that this could be quite a find. Steeves took a photo of the plant and sent it to JDI Naturalist Kelly Honeyman, who then visited the site to confirm the rarity: a Downy Rattlesnake Plantain - classified as an S-1 plant (with five or less known populations in New Brunswick) - the rarest in the rare plant ranking system.
“It feels good to find such a rare plant,” said Steeves, a graduate of UNB Fredericton. “I’ve been looking for this for five years now, and I finally found one.”
To date, over 460 rare plant sites have been identified as part of the company's work in a program that protects unique areas. "The discovery of the new location of this rare plant is very rewarding," said JDI Naturalist Kelly Honeyman. “We are proud of our active on-the-ground training of rare plant identification in our woodlands."
Downy Rattlesnake Plantain
Each spring and summer, Honeyman and JDI Fish & Wildlife Manager John Gilbert team up to coordinate over 800 hours of training every year in each region JDI operates. The environmental training includes:
• Rare Plant Habitat Identification and Training • Stick Nest Identification and Protection Policy • Operating near watercourses, including vernal pools and wetlands • Unique Areas Program • Review of Species of Concern Guide • Review of Forest Certification Process and Successes
JDI’s biodiversity strategy encompasses research, training, and the application of technology to ensure that our forestry operations meet our biodiversity objectives. JDI’s international award-winning Unique Areas Conservation Program has grown from 29 sites in the 1980’s to 1,182 sites in 2015.