The Yellow Dog River and Salmon-Trout River watersheds are home to a large number of northern boreal forest plant species. Numerous studies have been done to survey the watershed for sensitive species and also to gather scientific information about plant communities. A Northern Michigan University professor conducted one such study in 2005 and compiled the information into a Vegetative Survey. There are several species that are considered rare that make their home in our watershed. Another indicator of the health of the plant communities comes from the presence of non-native invasive plant species (NNIS). On the Yellow Dog Plains, Spotted Knapweed and White Sweet Clover have established communities but remain under control. Along the river banks of the Yellow Dog River, populations of Spotted Knapweed and Marsh Thistle have arisen at a slow but increasing pace.

YDWP received funding from the National Forest Foundation’s Matching Awards Program to work on the removal of European Swamp Thistle from the headwaters of the Yellow Dog River, along its banks as a National Wild and Scenic River, and in high quality wetlands in the Research Natural Area of the McCormick Wilderness Area. Work commenced during summer 2011 and included multiple community groups that pitched in the remove the invasive species from sensitive habitats and therefore increasing the amount of protected wetland habitat. YDWP received funding again in 2013 from the National Forest Foundation to continue the long-term management project. YDWP will be continuing to record the decline of this species from the McCormick Wilderness Area.

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Overall, the flora health of the watersheds remains excellent. Though disturbances from logging and development both reduce native species populations and introduce NNIS, the resiliance of the ecosystem has been able to stave off any major threats.

Columbines on granite outcrop
Columbines on granite outcrop