Meetings

American Penstemon Society Annual Meeting 2021

Mikel Stevens, 2021 Annual Meeting Arrangements Chair

Stephen Love, 2021 Annual Meeting Arrangements Co-Chair

Note: Lingering issues with COVID-19 may still be prevalent during the dates of our planned meeting. In consideration of the health of fellow penstemaniacs, please request vaccination - as soon as the option is available to your demographic group - as part of your preparations for attendance. Additionally, please bring a mask for use during our indoor events. In case you forget, we will have masks available.

Welcome to Bear River Country

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Despite COVID-19 concerns, we are planning a “typical” annual meeting for July of 2021, taking advantage of the penstemon habitats in the area surrounding Logan, Utah. Given the progressive status of COVID-19 vaccination efforts, we are reasonably confident that we can successfully plan and conduct this event. However, as with all plans, things could develop in a less than optimal fashion. So, please keep in touch with the arrangements committee and APS Board to receive updates. Regardless, begin your plans to join us in Logan and in the meantime, we will work under the assumption that each of us will feel comfortable returning to our “normal” routine.

The meeting will be centered at the Riverwoods Conference Center in Logan, Utah (address:  615 Riverwoods Pkwy, Logan, UT), thus allowing us to explore the unique flora of the Bear River Range of northern Utah and southern Idaho. Field trips are scheduled for Tony Grove Lake in the upper Logan Canyon area, Paris Ice Cave and Bloomington Lakes located in Idaho on the west side of Bear Lake, and the Monte Cristo area in the southern end of the Bear River Range. Several species of penstemon are present in this region, including P. leonardii, P. cyananthus, P. humilis, P. whippleanus, and P. radicosus. On our regularly scheduled tours we will visit the habitat of the rare species P. compactus. On the optional Monday tour, we may also see P. caespitosus, P. cleburnei, and P. scariosus if we can identify accessible sites.

The Region

The Bear River Range is the northern extension of the Wasatch Mountains. This range forms the eastern boundary of the Cache Valley, setting of Logan, Utah; and exxtends north to Soda Springs, Idaho and south to a point east of Ogden, Utah. The range consists of raised and folded karst formations made up of limestone layers resulting from sedimentation in an ancient inland sea. The resultant landforms are pockmarked with limestone caves and fossil beds. The highest point in the range is Mount Naomi at 9,979 feet. At the eastern edge of the range is the Bear River Basin, home of Bear Lake. This beautiful body of water is - sometimes called the Caribbean of the Rockies – exhibits a unique blue color, a result of calcium carbonate deposits.

Weather in this region is cool-temperate with distinct seasonal precipitation patterns. Summer days are typically warm, dry, and sunny ending with cool evenings and nights. Winters are cold and snowy. The Cache Valley around Logan averages 53 inches of snow. In contrast, the Beaver Mountain Ski Resort in Logan Canyon (within the Bear River Range) averages over 400 inches of snow.  Interestingly, a site called Peter Sinks within the Range recorded the lowest historical temperature in Utah and second lowest in the contiguous 48 lower state, at -69°F.

The Bear River Range provides many opportunities for recreation, both for local residents and visiting tourists. Popular sites include Tony Grove Lake, Franklin Basin, Beaver Mountain Ski Resort, Bear Lake, Bloomington Lakes, and Minnetonka Cave. Being positioned along the Oregon Trail, the region is also rich in historical sites.

Travel to Logan

Logan can easily be reached via air or ground transport. Although Logan itself does not have airline service, you can fly into Salt Lake City, rent a vehicle and drive to Logan. Salt Lake City is served by most major US airlines.

You can drive to Logan from the north or south on Interstate-15. Take exit 385 north of Tremonton and drive 19 miles east on UT-30. Alternately, from the south, drive 62 miles north on I-15 to Brigham City. Take exit 362 and drive 26 miles through Wellsville Canyon on US-89 to Logan.

From the west drive to Salt Lake City on I-80 then follow the directions for a south arrival described above.

From the east, you can either drive to Salt Lake City on I-80 and then follow directions for a south arrival described above; or take the scenic route by leaving I-80 just west of Little America on exit 66 to US-30. Travel 69 mi and turn left on WY-89 (which turns into UT-30 at the border) and drive 41 miles to Garden City. At the junction with US-89, turn left and travel 39 miles down Logan Canyon into Logan.

Meeting Dates

The 2021 annual meeting is scheduled for Friday, July 9 through Sunday, July 11 with an optional post-meeting tour of the Monte Cristo area of northern Utah on Monday, July 12.

Meals

Cost for meals associated with the Friday reception and the Saturday evening banquet are included in the registration fee. All other meal arrangements are the responsibility of attendees. Pack a lunch and carry it with you on the Saturday, Sunday, and Monday field trips. Most field trips involve travel into somewhat isolated areas (high clearance vehicles recommended, but not essential). It is critical that you begin each field trip with enough food and water for an all-day excursion.

Click here to view or print an overview of the meeting

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