Local News

IATNL and Beyond Ktaadn Collaborate
26-07-2010

In June, the IATNL and Beyond Ktaadn - an initiative of the Terra Nova Center For Mountain Biodiversity that promotes the conservation of alpine wilderness in eastern North America, from New England to Labrador - met and agreed to collaborate on projects related to the Long Range Mountains of Western Newfoundland, with special focus on the Lewis Hills and Blow-Me-Down Mountains.

Beyond Ktaadn was formed in 2008 and is composed of Director Mike Jones, Research Director Lizabeth Willey, Outreach Coordinator Will Kemeza, and Field Team members Noah Charney, Charley Eiseman, and Tom Seidel.  Their work includes field research, biodiversity inventory, exploration and public outreach. 

(l-r) Noah Charney, Liz Willey, Mike Jones, Will Kemeza, and Charley Eiseman at Cabox, Lewis Hills

Goals include increasing public awareness of the alpine summits of the Canadian Shield and Appalachian Mountains, initiate a series of long-term ecological studies, and publish a book on the ecology of eastern America's alpine areas, using ten representative mountain ranges, including the Lewis Hills and Blow-Me-Down Mountains, and the Highlands of St. John east of Port aux Choix.

 

Photographing plants and animals on the Lewis Hills

Together North America's eastern alpine areas support hundreds of species of rare arctic plants and animals, and serve as touchstones for people wrestling with topics ranging from conservation and wilderness ethics, to glaciation and biogeography.  Wind development, mining, acid precipitation, climate change, and recreational development threaten the integrity of these natural areas and their wilderness value.

Serpentine sandwort (Minuartia marcescens) is a dominant plant on serpentine soils at all elevations. Sandworts are in the pink and carnation family (Caryophyllaceae), which is well-represented on the serpentine soils of the Bay of Islands and Mont Albert (Québec). Other common members of this family are moss campion (Silene acaulis) and alpine catchfly (Lychnis alpina).

Boreal jumping spiders are common on serpentine talus throughout the Lewis Hills. 

Through focused research on mountain climate, vegetation, geology, and wildlife populations, Beyond Ktaadn aims to develop an informed conservation strategy which leaves these exemplary refuges of biodiversity and wilderness intact for future generations ... and for their own sake.

Red Rocky Brook, Lewis Hills

As part of the IATNL's mission is protect and promote the Long Range Mountains of Western Newfoundland, it looks forward to working with Beyond Ktaadn, and wishes them luck on their mountain adventures!

To learn more about Beyond Ktaadn, visit their website at www.beyondktaadn.org.