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PLANT CONSERVATION ALLIANCE

Meeting Summaries


January 2006 | March 2006 | May 2006 | July 2006 | September 2006| November 2006
Other Meeting Summaries


Notes from PCA Bi-Monthly Meeting
8 November 2006
NatureServe, Rosslyn, VA
(Notes taken by M. Haidet)


Events and Annoucements


Updates on Activities


Speaker (Presentation)

Brad St. Clair – Managing Genetic Resources: Seed Zones for Native Plant Restoration

Simply choosing the right species is often not enough to ensure success in restoration. Understanding "seed zones" or areas of natural adaptation with exemplar conditions will help promote the conservation of genetic diversity while adapting to future environmental changes.

"Local" seed is often the best. Supported by many reciprocal-transplant studies indicate the superiority of local seed sources.

USFS proposed native plant materials policy and strategy suggests the use of "the best available information to choose genetically appropriate native plant materials for the site and situation."

Big Question: Is local still local given changing environments (such as invasives, fire frequency, people, climate change)?

Important things to remember when using provisional "seed zones": realize that seed zones differ by species, microsites are important for the species, and research is needed to construct seed movement guidelines based on real genetic data.

Seed zone research benefits include improved adaptability, increased efficiency, decreased costs, and improved seed supplies.


Notes from PCA Bi-Monthly Meeting
13 September 2006
NatureServe, Rosslyn, VA
(Notes taken by M. Haidet)


Events


Announcements


Updates on Activities


Speaker (Presentation)

"Seed Collection Program: Collection, Study and Conservation for Seeds for Native Plant Species" by Mary Byrne, SOS Data Manager

Mary manages collection data for the Seeds of Success program, an interagency program that collects native seed from around the United States. The seed collected may be sent either to the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew as part of the Millennium Seed Bank Project or to the USDA ARS as part of the Native Plant Germplasm Collection. The goal of SOS is to increase the number of species and the amount of native seed that is available for use in stabilizing, rehabilitating and restoring lands in the United States.

For more information, visit: http://www.nps.gov/plants/sos/index.htm.


Notes from PCA Bi-Monthly Meeting
12 July 2006
NatureServe, Rosslyn, VA
(Notes taken by M. Haidet and O. Kwong)


Events


Announcements


Updates on Activities


Speaker

Sara Tangren (Chesapeake Natives) – Promoting and Preserving Native Plants in the Chesapeake Watershed


Notes from PCA Bi-Monthly Meeting
10 May 2006
NatureServe, Rosslyn, VA
(Notes taken by P. De Angelis)


Announcements


Updates on Activities


Speaker (Presentation)

Randy Gray (NRCS, National Wildlife Biologist) - Farm Bill and Fish and Wildlife Conservation

Summary: Fifty percent of the 900 mill acres in the US are cropland, pastureland, and rangeland. These private lands are critical to conservation of biological diversity; we can’t maintain biological diversity without getting involved in private land. Gray reviewed many aspects of the following bills that give aid to private land owners for conservation practices. Specifically, the US Farm Bill, Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), Wetland Reserve Program (WRP), Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRLPP), Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP), Grasslands Reserve Program (GRP), and the Conservation Security Program (CSP), were discussed. The advantages and challenges to these programs were addressed as well as how they can contribute to preventing the spread of invasives and encouraging the development of native plant materials.

Q: What benefit does the Farm Bill program have toward natives?
A: About 2 mill acres of wetland has been restored to natives

Q: What is the role for native seed harvest in the CRP?
A: FSA sees it as not producing a crop – no haying, no seed harvest
-Larry: in Ill., convinced state conservationists to produce switchgrass; argued over whether harvesting seed would be economic

Q: If area is designated as a priority what are the capabilities under farm bill to target upstream portions and a corridor to the watershed?
A: We need to get landowners to participate – it’s done BUT once you exclude a certain part of the world, people call their Congress-folks and say being excluded

Q: How long do you have to own the land after restoring?
A: No time, the government buys all rights – except right to fee title, property taxes, right to hunt/fish, thus each participant must get special permission for building, etc.

Q: Is there a mechanism of ramping up the native requirements gradually?
A: The states negotiate with the nurseries. Problem is these programs could disappear and may lose the market.

Q: What if contractor can’t get the seed it needs?
A: EPA – trying to project ahead of time; contract growing with plant materials centers – if can predict 1-1.5 years ahead and can sign contract and give advance money.

For more info on the Farm Bill http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/farmbill/2002/.


Notes from PCA Bi-Monthly Meeting
8 March 2006
NatureServe, Rosslyn, VA
(Notes taken by P. De Angelis)


Events


Announcements


Updates on Activities


Speaker

P. J. Harmon - Federally Threatened and Endangered Plants of WV

P.J. Harmon works with the West Virginia Natural Heritage Program, which conducts ongoing statewide ecological inventories of rare plant and animal species, wetland and other ecological communities. West Virginia has no endangered species law - thus, if it's not on federal land, there is no legal protection for the species. Part of the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, the Heritage program works closely with federal agencies to monitor and manage the state rare, threatened and endangered plants and animals. An important part of this includes maintaining complete and accurate statewide assessment of rare species and ecological communities, much of which information is available to the public through the NatureServe Explorer database. Today's talk focuses on the six endangered plant species ranking among his top priorities as a Natural Heritage Botanist.

For more on WV's Rare, Threatened and Endangered Species, see: http://www.wvdnr.gov/Wildlife/Endangered.shtm
For more on the NatureServe database, see: http://www.natureserve.org/explorer/


Notes from PCA General Meeting
11 January 2006
NatureServe, Rosslyn, Va.
(Notes taken by P. De Angelis)


PCA Chair, Peggy Olwell (BLM) opened the meeting with introductions. Sign-up sheet passed around.

New/returning participants
Anne Abbott - Herb Society of America; Volunteer Coordinator for MPWG Field Site in Pisgah (NC)
Ev Byington - USDA-ARS
Bob Escheman - USDA-NRCS
Rob Fiegner - Native Seed network
Liz Ley - Consultant
Bruce Stein - NatureServe
Ester Stein - Association for Women in Science
Damon Waitt - Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Sarah Wakamiya - NAPPC intern
Rickie White - NatureServe


Events


Announcements


Updates on Activities


Speaker

Peggy Olwell (BLM) and Larry Stritch (USDA FS) - Native Plant Materials Development

Summary: Efforts to fulfill federal agency needs for native plant materials has focused on collecting the germplasm and growing the industry. Native plants require different machinery than traditionally-used materials. Germination protocols were needed. Locally-adapted genotypes mean smaller customer base. These are just some of the issues that are being overcome. Private industry is stepping up to work on the needs of their state and federal agency customers.


Meeting Adjourned.

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