Target: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Goal: Thank Department for safely removing endangered plant from path of new highway
Dotted Blazing Star is not a band name or book title. It is the common name for the liatris, a prairie plant native to the American Midwest. Liatris species have been growing on the land that is now Minnesota, Nebraska, and other western states for nearly 8,000 years. The beautiful purple flowers that bloom at the tip of the plant serve as food for dozens of animals, including butterflies and the disappearing bee.
Unfortunately, the liatris is quickly disappearing. Farms and housing developments now cover most of what was the vast Midwestern prairie and forest fire prevention has helped trees grow faster and stronger, swallowing the liatris’s natural habitat. These plants literally have nowhere else to grow, and they have become so rare that many states list the species as endangered.
Recently, a new highway was proposed in St. Croix County, Wisconsin. The highway would cut through meadows and farmland, destroying even more of the liastris’s precious habitat. With this new highway, hundreds of the plants were set to be uprooted and thrown away, exacerbating their endangered status.
Thankfully, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, along with a handful of conservationists and ecologists, stepped in. They removed 54 liatris plants from the highway’s path and moved them to more remote locations, such as undisturbed prairie areas and private greenhouses. Now, these specimens will be allowed to grow and reproduce in peace, ensuring that the species will not go extinct in the state of Wisconsin.
Thank the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for spending the time to remove and replant these liatris specimens. The Department’s commitment to the plants and animals of their state ensures that a healthy prairie ecosystem will continue to flourish in Wisconsin.
Dear Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources,
As you know, the liatris plant is quickly disappearing. Once a staple of the American prairie, human development and forest overgrowth have swallowed the plant’s wild habitat. The liatris literally has nowhere else to grow, and these small purple floras have become rare in a region they once dominated.
The disappearance of the liatris is not just an issue for botany enthusiasts. The plant is an essential food source for numerous creatures, including butterflies and the quickly vanishing bee. If the liatris were to go extinct, these animals would lose a vital resource in a world where resources are already very scarce. They, too, would begin to perish, and the whole prairie ecosystem would likely collapse.
Thankfully, you at the Department are aware that the liatris must be saved. The effort you made recently to relocate 54 liatris specimens from the St. Croix highway system is highly commendable. Your hard work and dedication ensures that these specimens will be allowed to grow and reproduce in peace. Liatris growth means a healthier, more balanced American prairie system, and this is good for all living things in Wisconsin.
Thank you so much.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Kurt Stüber via WikiCommons