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FOR RELEASE:  October 15, 2009
Contact:  Mary Byrne,    202-912-7233
Vickie Briggs, 202-912-7411

BLM Congratulates Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
in Seed Banking 10% of the World’s Flora

Washington, D.C. – BLM Director Bob Abbey today congratulated the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in its milestone accomplishment of collecting, banking, and conserving 10% of the world’s wild plant species.  For nearly ten years, the BLM has been a partner with Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank Program in its native seed collection effort. 

Created through this partnership, the Bureau’s Seeds of Success program played a large role in Kew’s ability to meet its goal on time and under budget.  This nationwide seed-collecting network of teams has made over 8,500 wildland native seed collections to support the Native Plant Materials Development Program and simultaneously seed banked over 10% of the U.S. flora for future generations.

“The success of Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank in seed banking 10% of the world’s flora is evidence of the positive outcomes realized through BLM’s partnership agreements,” Abbey said.  “Not only is BLM leading a national effort to develop diversity and quantity in native plant materials for restoration and rehabilitation projects, but the agency is also shaping global conservation in the face of today’s environmental challenges.”

The BLM partners in its Seeds of Success program include Chicago Botanic Garden, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin, North Carolina Botanical Garden, New England Wild Flower Society, New York City Department of Parks and Recreation-Greenbelt Native Plant Center, and Zoological Society of San Diego.  Seeds collected are stored in the U.S. and England for long-term conservation, as well as short-term storage for the distribution of seeds to any researcher interested in working with native seed.

The BLM manages more land - 256 million acres - than any other Federal agency.  This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska.  The Bureau, with a budget of about $1 billion, also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation.  The BLM's multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.  The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on public lands.



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Last Updated: 15-Oct-2009