Artist prints native plants on invasive species

Capital News Service
LANSING — An East Lansing artist prints the shadows of endangered plants on handmade paper crafted from the invasive plants that threaten them. “I had been experimenting with shadows,” Jane Kramer said, explaining the project she calls “Foreshadowing- Endangered and Threatened Plant Species.”

When she was selected as one of four Michigan artists to present their work for the 2014 Art from the Lakes art exchange program in Shiga, Japan, Kramer found an incentive to get serious about her shadow hunting. The others chosen for the Japanese exchange were woodblock print artist Linda Beeman of Owosso, fiber artist Martha Liddle-Lamenti of Owosso and pastels artist Thomas Tomasek of Ovid. In her work, Kramer transfers the shadows of endangered and threatened plants onto paper constructed from invasive plant pulp. Making the paper isn’t an easy task and is especially hard on her blender.

Weevils, invasive plants add to Pitcher’s thistle woes

Capital News Service
LANSING — Invasive plants are further harming the fate of the already-threatened Pitcher’s thistle, according to a new study. And weevils brought in to control other weedy thistles are yet another new threat to the Pitcher’s thistle that grows on Great Lakes sand dunes, according to the study supported by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Department of Natural Resources, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the University of Michigan Biological Station. Their report suggests that seedlings from greenhouses are needed to preserve the plant that the federal government listed as threatened in 1988. The study modeled the impact of invasive plants on the sandy shores of lakes Michigan, Huron and Superior where the Pitcher’s thistle grows. Claudia Jolls, one of the authors of the study, said it shows new challenges for a plant already imperiled by shoreline development.