Working Groups
Alien Plant Working Group
Medicinal Plant Working Group
Restoration Working Group
Plant Conservation Alliance
Search    

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
Plant Conservation Alliance


Index of Questions

What happened to the Native Plant Conservation Initiative (NPCI)?
What is the Plant Conservation Alliance (PCA)?
What is a Cooperator? What organizations should become Cooperators?
What are the benefits for Cooperators?
What responsibilities do Cooperating organizations have?
How can my organization become a Cooperator?
What is the North American Plant Specialist Group (NAPSG)?
How is PCA related to NAPSG?
Do you have job openings in your organization?
What if I have a question not answered by this FAQ?


What happened to the Native Plant Conservation Initiative (NPCI)?

The Native Plant Conservation Initiative was started in 1994. Having "initiated" our work for five years now, the group is moving forward for native plant conservation. As part of this transition to the next step, the name of the group has changed to Plant Conservation Alliance (PCA). While our aim continues to be conservation of native plants, the word "Native" was not used in the new name to avoid acronym conflicts with other conservation organizations.


What is the Plant Conservation Alliance (PCA)?

The PCA is a consortium of ten federal government Member agencies and over 290 non-federal Cooperators representing various disciplines within the conservation field: biologists, botanists, habitat preservationists, horticulturists, resources management consultants, soil scientists, special interest clubs, non-profit organizations, concerned citizens, nature lovers, and gardeners. PCA Members and Cooperators work collectively to solve the problems of native plant extinction and native habitat restoration, ensuring the preservation of our ecosystem.

PCA embodies the axiom "think globally, act locally." Federal plant conservation resources are pooled at the national level to provide a focused, strategic approach to plant conservation at the local level on public and private lands, eliminating duplication of effort and increasing the effectiveness of these programs.

Each year, PCA awards thousands of dollars for on-the-ground conservation and restoration projects through a matching funds grant program administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Since PCA's inception in 1994, grants have been awarded for funding of over 300 projects worth a total of over $16 million in federal funds and matching non-federal contributions. However, native plant conservation does not consist of funding alone; PCA, a public-private partnership, also serves as a forum for the exchange of ideas, expertise and information between public and private organizations engaged in habitat restoration and preservation. These exchanges take place in various forms of public outreach, including e-mail lists, postal mailings, a website, and meetings. The meetings take place six times a year in Washington, DC. All Cooperators and Members are invited to attend these public meetings on a voluntary basis, but travel expenses must be paid for by the participating individual or organization.

Through this dual approach of on-the-ground conservation combined with targeted public outreach, PCA strives to achieve its mission:

"To protect native plants by ensuring that native plant populations and their communities are maintained, enhanced, and restored"


What is a Cooperator? What organizations should become Cooperators?

Any interested organization with a commitment to preserving and protecting our country's ecosystems may become a Cooperator. By requesting Cooperator status, organizations pledge their support for PCA's six strategies as outlined in the National Strategy. They are to:


What are the benefits for Cooperators?

As PCA Cooperators, organizations:


What responsibilities do Cooperating organizations have?

As a Cooperator, your organization agrees to support and implement the Plant Conservation Alliance's National Framework. Many of the objectives outlined in the Framework are already part of you organization's strategic plan, philosophy or mission statement. Providing a national framework serves to align these individual groups into a larger, more powerful coalition with similar goals and focuses.

In order to perpetuate the conservation of native plants, organizations and individuals must be dedicated to a two-fold approach: on-the-ground conservation/restoration projects and ongoing education about their efforts. Both are necessary for preserving the Earth's biodiversity. Without one or the other, our efforts would soon fail.

As a Cooperator with the Plant Conservation Alliance, you will be responsible for conveying the critical need for native plant conservation, as well as what's being done to stem the tide of extinction of our natural heritage, to people within your organizations, public audiences, local schools and others. Just as essential is communication to PCA about your organization and its conservation efforts. By sending summaries of your conservation and restoration projects for inclusion in PCA's publications, you will be able to share ideas and information in the national plant conservation arena. In doing so, you alert your Cooperator colleagues to similar projects or project models that have been tried and tested, and you receive recognition for your efforts to preserve our Nation's natural heritage.


How can my organization become a Cooperator?

If you have not already done so, you may request formal Cooperator status. A form requesting formal acceptance as a PCA cooperator can be found in PDF format here (http://www.nps.gov/plants/coopform.pdf). It simply needs to be filled out, signed by the appropriate person, and returned to PCA at the address below. You can get a packet of information by calling or writing to: Bureau of Land Management, 1849 C Street NW, Rm 2134LM, Attention: Peggy Olwell, Washington, DC 20240, Phone (202) 912-7273. Or send an e-mail to polwell@blm.gov. The packet will contain general information about the PCA, including this FAQ.

Be sure to look at the rest of our website (http://www.nps.gov/plants/).


What is the North American Plant Specialist Group (NAPSG)?

The IUCN, or World Conservation Union, has a volunteer expert network. The largest of the six commissions in the network is the Species Survival Commission (SSC) which works to conserve biological diversity by developing and executing programs to study, save, restore and wisely manage species and their habitats. The SSC seeks to contribute to understanding, appreciation, and commitment. SSC has more than 7,000 individual volunteer members from nearly every country in the world. These members are deployed in 110 Specialist Groups which are categorized in four main taxonomic groups, plants, reptiles and amphibians, birds, and mammals. Each Specialist Group is led by a volunteer Chair. One such group is the North American Plant Specialist Group.


How is PCA related to NAPSG?

Peggy Olwell, co-chair of PCA, was appointed Chair of North American Plant Specialist Group (NAPSG) in 1997. Because PCA's National Framework covers the objectives of the SSC, the PCA will serve as the NAPSG. In other words, the work of the PCA will be synonymous with the work of NAPSG; there will not be separate meetings, agendas or working groups for NAPSG. Each cooperating organization, upon signing on with PCA, will receive a registration form for their NAPSG representative to use in sharing their contact information with PCA and SSC. The representative will then receive mailings from the SSC to share with their organization, including the biannual journal "Species" and listings of upcoming publications. Participation of a representative will allow organizations to provide input on a global basis through IUCN policy documents such as Categories of Threat published in 1996. NAPSG allows us to be part of a broader international conservation network.


Do you have job openings in your organization?

No. At this time we do not have any employment opportunities. We occasionally receive job postings and send them out over our lists. Other websites and organizations also post jobs: USAJobs.gov , Botanical Society of America, and for recent college graduates there is the Conservation and Land Management Intern Program.


What if I have a question not answered by this FAQ?

Feel free to contact us if you have additional questions or would like more information. You can contact us by mail, e-mail, fax or phone: BLM, 1849 C St. NW, Rm 2134LM, Attention: Olivia Kwong, Washington, DC 20240, plant@plantconservation.org, fax (202) 912-7187, phone (202) 912-7232.

Back to the PCA website

Comments, suggestions, and questions about the website should be directed to the webmaster.
http://www.nps.gov/plants/faq.htm
Last updated: 05-Jun-2012