Thursday, January 21, 2010

Site profile: Hay Gulch, Rio Blanco County

B2: Very High Biodiversity Significance

Hay Gulch

This site was visited in 2007 during the Rio Blanco County Inventory. Hay Gulch is a large draw southwest of Meeker, on the south side of the White River. Here the Parachute Creek member of the Green River Formation (oil shale, marlstone and siltstone) is exposed. This geologic formation includes the Mahogany ledge, one of the richest oil-shale zones in the basin, as well as potentially valuable deposits of nahcolite and dawsonite. The Parachute Creek substrate supports a good (B-ranked ) occurrence of the Colorado endemic Piceance Twinpod (Physaria obcordata), a plant that is critically imperiled globally (G1G2/S1S2) and that is Federally listed as Threatened. The site also includes a good (B-ranked) occurrence of a bluebunch wheatgrass (Pseudoroegneria spicata) grassland community, considered globally imperiled (G2/S2?).

Physaria obcordata
Piceance Twinpod (Physaria obcordata)

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