COOS BAY, Ore. - The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department will improve habitat for the endangered western bog lily at two state parks along the coast this winter. Work of this type is conducted in the winter when the lily is underground and dormant, the department said.
The flower (Lilium occidentale) is Oregon's rarest lily, and lives in a narrow band of the Pacific coast from the Coos Bay area to Eureka, California.
Other plants can overshadow the bog lily, interfering with pollination and stunting its growth. It is believed that Native American burning practices kept these habitats open in the past.
"We will use a mechanical mower to mulch and mow woody shrubs along select trails at Floras Lake State Natural Area in Curry County and at Shore Acres State Park in Coos County," says Sherri Laier, the south coast natural resource coordinator for state parks. "When you visit, you'll notice wider trails with less overhanging vegetation."
The shrubs will be allowed to grow back gradually, as the lily requires a balance between surrounding vegetation for support, and an open, sunny habitat.
Some areas are too fragile to be mowed. Working by hand, crews will remove some woody vegetation at Shore Acres, Floras Lake, Cape Blanco and Harris Beach State Parks this winter.
This year's western bog lily habitat restoration is primarily paid for by a grant from the USFWS Coastal Program. To learn more about the lily, visit the USFWS website.