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Stop 10: The Sand Blow

Below is a section of a transcript from a 2003 interview between foundation Executive Director Buddy Huffaker, foundation Program Director Steve Swenson, and Dr. Carl Leopold, Aldo Leopold’s son. During this short part of the conversation, they were standing at the Sand Blow, perhaps right where you stood at Stop 10!

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Buddy Huffaker: We’ve had some differing stories about this little spot here and whether it was intentionally kept open or not, and if this is where Draba was found.

Carl Leopold: Yes, both of those are true. In the photograph of that first time that we came here this was a nice big sand blow and there were no trees around it at all. Besides Draba, there was another little, oh what in the hell family? Anyway there were some unique plants here; unusual species. That was very special to Dad. He said we should keep all the trees away from it and keep it open and keep it a habitation for them.

Buddy Huffaker: What do you think about when you see it now? Obviously it’s not a sand blow any more.

Carl Leopold: No, and it’s too bad because now it really doesn’t fill the need at all as a site for unusual plants. It’s just sort of a blank spot.

Buddy Huffaker: One of the things we’ve talked about is coming in and clearing the Black Oaks out and opening it back up.

Carl Leopold: I would vote for it. I think that would be a good idea.

Buddy Huffaker: And we’ll see whether the Draba can respond just from the seed bank, or perhaps we’ll actually have to collect some and replant them.

Carl Leopold: That’s great. I can claim the responsibility for Draba because it was one of the plants I collected here. Dad had said that he had never even seen this. So I was very proud when the little essay on Draba came out. Because yeah, I had something to do with that!