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Northern Border Lakes, Cook County

View of some lakes on the border of Canada and Minnesota.

MCBS plant ecologists coordinated a re-route of the Border Route Hiking Trail along cliffs in the northern border lakes region. The new route provides a scenic hike on a popular trail while avoiding damage to populations of several rare plants, including rough-fruited fairy bells (Disporum trachycarpum) and sticky locoweed (Oxytropis viscida). The re-route project became an opportunity to highlight the biodiversity significance of the cliffs and resulted in discussions of appropriate management of state, federal, and private lands in the vicinity of the trail. Participants included the U.S. Forest Service, the Minnesota Rovers, DNR Forestry, DNR Ecological Resources, DNR Wildlife, and The Nature Conservancy.

Minnesota Conservation Corp crew rerouting the Border Route Hiking Trail.
Minnesota Conservation Corps crew working on the re-route of the Border Route Hiking Trail.

Rough-fruited fairy bells, Disporum trachycarpum.
Rough-fruited fairy bells (Disporum trachycarpum); the only known location in Minnesota is at the project site.

Sticky locoweed, Oxytropis viscida.
Sticky locoweed (Oxytropis viscida), a state endangered plant.