Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
This wooly-leafed plant with flowers ranging from cream to yellow grows along the sandy shores of the Great Lakes, primarily on stabilized, well developed dunes. The vulnerability of its habitat to development and recreational activities makes the thistle increasingly susceptible to population fragmentation.
The recent discovery of two new populations has added to the known numbers of this dune-loving plant. Further protection has been provided under section 7 consultations with Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (1991 formal consultation); the Army Corps of Engineers (two formal 1992 consultations for Clean Water Act section 404 permits concerning coastal development for marinas, condominiums, and driveways); and the Rural Electrification Agency (a 1991 informal consultation for a City of Manistee section 404 permit concerning transmission line projects). A Habitat Conservation Plan is also under consideration for Charity Island, where the Army Corps of Engineers recently permitted a marina and residential complex.
Finalization of the draft recovery plan, habitat protection, surveys, and monitoring are needed.
National Park Service: A 2-year study of long-term monitoring plots has been completed, and a management workshop convened by Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore was held in 1992.
Michigan Department of Natural Resources: The Department contributes to Recovery Team activities, as well as thistle surveys and management. A landowner contact program is ongoing. The Department completed a state recovery plan, which steps down the federal plan, in 1992.
The Nature Conservancy: The Conservancy's private landowner registration program encourages owners to manage land for the benefit of rare habitats and the species inhabiting them.
Technical/Agency draft plan.