RCWD - Rare Plant Survey in Anoka County

RCWD – Rare Plant Survey in Anoka County

When the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Ecological and Water Resources requested that the Rice Creek Watershed District (RCWD) complete a rare plant survey along portions of Anoka County Ditch 53-62 prior to completing ditch maintenance work, the RCWD contracted with CCES, Inc. to complete the rare vascular plant survey.

DNR approved rare plant surveyor, Jason Husveth led the CCES team in completing rare plant survey work along 5.15 linear miles (approx. 125 acres) adjacent to Anoka County Ditch 53-62 that was due for maintenance work in the winter of 2015-16. In careful coordination with he District’s Engineer, Houston Engineering Inc., CCES developed a plan for executing a well timed vascular plant survey effort which called for multiple visits through the project area based on the phenology (timing of germination, flowering, maturity )of the rare plants which were being surveyed for. CCES completed the first field review in May of 2014 and used GIS and GPS technology to map any rare vascular plant species detected as well as habitats which may support later season rare species. Areas with the potential to support later season rare plant species were marked for a second field visit.

CCES completed additional survey work in July, August, and September of 2014. Within the project area, CCES detected eleven (11) different vascular plant species which were listed in the State of Minnesota as Endangered, Threatened or Special Concern. Species included twisted yellow-eyed grass (Xyris torta; Endangered), lance-leaved violet (Viola lanceolata var. lanceolate; Threatened), a species of bristle-berry (Rubus stipulatus; endangered), and least moonwort (Botrychium simplex; Special Concern), just to name a few. When rare species were encountered, CCES delineated the population and habitat boundaries and recorded the number of individuals within a population. Voucher specimens were also collected.

Using this important field information, CCES worked with the project team from Houston Engineering, Inc. to devise an avoidance strategy that would meet the requirements of the Minnesota DNR while allowing RCWD to complete their important ditch maintenance project. Following permitting, the contractor was able to begin work and CCES assisted with contractor meetings and flagging of rare species locations in the field to ensure rare vascular plants were protected during the process.


Rare Plant Field Surveys, Voucher Collection, GPS and GIS Mapping Services, Rare Plant Permitting & Avoidance Assistance, Contractor Supervision and Assistance, Presentations to RCWD Board of Managers, Technical Reporting, Coordination with the MNDNR Rare Species Coordinator


Rice Creek Watershed District (RCWD)


Anoka County, MN