Rose Creek Preserve Photomonitoring
Rose Creek Preserve is a twelve acre site that offers some insight into the dynamic nature of the Palouse prairie. Located twelve miles north of Pullman, near Albion, the park offers a natural setting for hiking, bird watching, and enjoying native plants and wildflowers. As agriculture and invasive species have encroached on the native flora and fauna, the reduction of natural Palouse prairie habitat has inspired conservation efforts. Few, small isolated pockets of once vast tracts if the Palouse prairie remain. The Rose Creek Preserve is focused on the preservation and study of one of the few remaining tracts of wild Palouse prairie. With the focus on education and preservation, the park works to build a connection to the past while showing the way towards a sustainable future.
The Palouse has a long recorded history of human use. Starting with the ancestors of the Nez Perce, who harvested camus bulbs from the prairie and salmon from the river, to the life european settlers built on small homesteads the land is changed to suit human needs. The descriptions written by Lewis and Clark depict a different prairie from the one seen today. The changes imposed on the once wild prairie give invasive species a foothold and deny native plants the space to flourish.
Starting in the summer of 1982 an effort to document the condition and evolution of Rose Creek park began. Andy Kratz initially selected twelve locations. The spots that offered as the best representation of the areas unique features and ecology were documented then later mapped with GPS. The photographs are intended to document the evolution of the dynamic Riparian forest, wet/dry meadow, and Steppe. In 1983 responsibility for taking the photographs changed hands and was passed on to Jo Savage. Savage, a graphic designer for Washington State University and an avid gardener, continued the work Kratz had begun. Then in 1986 Bertie Weddell took control of the camera.The sites that had been chosen were continued and two points added, gradually the project started to amass data. With alternating years and seasons the photographs give a view through the seasons as well as through the years.
The Palouse Prairie Foundation works to promote the preservation and restoration of the native vegetation of the Palouse.
The Palouse-Clearwater Environmental Institute is dedicated to strengthening citizens' involvement in the regions conservation, preservation, and restoration.
The Nature Conservancy is invested in managing the site, eradication of non-native plant species, and returning the hay field to its natural state.
WSU's Marion Ownbey Herbarium offers a listing of vegetation that you can expect to encounter at the Rose Creek site.
There are few areas of the Palouse that are still untouched. For information about some of these "remnants" please follow the links below: