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Cape Cod National Seashore to Make Landscaping Changes at Beech Forest to Protect Native Plants

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Date: April 17, 2009
Contact: Stephen Smith, Plant Ecologist, 508-487-3262 ext. 104

Visitors to the Beech Forest area of Cape Cod National Seashore in Provincetown will notice some landscaping changes in the coming weeks.  The changes are designed to prevent the loss of the last population of golden club on the Outer Cape.  Golden club, a state-listed aquatic plant that grows along the pond edge, has been reduced from the thousands to a few dozen individuals due to grazing Canada geese.  The geese gather at this pond in unnaturally large numbers because people feed them. 

In an attempt to save the last remaining population of golden club on the Outer Cape, the National Park Service will move the pond-side picnic tables away from the pond, and post signs educating visitors about this issue. To make access to the pond edge more difficult for the geese, woody debris and rope fencing will be placed across the artificial "beach" area, and the natural tall grasses between the pond and the parking area will be allowed to recover from mowing and trampling. 

Over the past several years incidents of people feeding the geese have increased dramatically, as has the number of geese that now gather there.  Despite signage and warnings by park rangers, people continue to feed the geese.  It is against park regulations to feed wildlife.  Wildlife feeding can cause populations to grow artificially resulting in resource damage, and people can be bitten or otherwise injured by animals habituated to human feeding.

The seashore thanks the public in advance for their cooperation in helping conserve this dwindling native plant.  For more information, contact Stephen Smith at Cape Cod National Seashore:  508-487-3262 x 104.

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Did You Know?

Cape Cod

In the mid-19th century, Henry David Thoreau walked the Atlantic coastline of Cape Cod, recording his adventures in his narrative "Cape Cod". To literally follow in Thoreau’s footsteps today would require scuba gear. Cape Cod’s Outer Beach sees an average erosion rate of close to 4 feet per year.