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Off-roading vehicles threaten plant species in Michigan

by webdev

September 23, 2010

Off-roading, driving vehicles on unpaved roads and natural terrains, is not only damaging to some of Michigan's plants, but may in fact threaten certain varieties of foliage to the point of extinction in the state, according to the South Bend Tribune.

Flowers like Michigan's monkey-flower grow in sticky soil near streams and lakes, where off-roading is most active. The flower tops Michigan's rarest plant species list, according to the news source.

Off-roading activity seems to create conditions that are not conducive to the plant's growth. The vehicles churn the soil and destroy the delicate habitat that the plant thrives in.

"They look really ugly and scarred when that happens, especially when they're wet and you just end up with huge wheel rut," Brad Slaughter, an inventory botany conservation associate, told the news provider of the landscape.

A native to the U.S. and only found in Michigan, the monkey-flower is located in only 12 sites within the state. The flower is likely to be threatened by any activity that has an effect on water drainage, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services. 

 

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