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Conservation Seed Workshop:
"Partnerships for Native Plant Materials Development"
Local Ecotypes


Sponsored by American Seed Trade Association
and the USDA-NRCS Plant Materials Program / Bureau of Land Management / U.S. Forest Service
Held in conjunction with the Plant Conservation Alliance Bimonthly Meeting

USDA South Building
Washington, DC
March 15-16, 2007

This workshop will seek to improve the partnerships among government agencies, non-profit groups, and the commercial sector for the improvement of native plant development for conservation, reclamation, and restoration activities. The topics included will review what is being accomplished and what needs to be done to improve and increase the use of native plants.

The focus of these discussions are policy-oriented to examine the “big picture” that different entities operate by. By examining the needs of end-users, the plant selection process currently being used, and the realities of the commercial sector to produce appropriate materials, it is hoped that discussions will lead to a better realization of the entire process, and an outcome of finding better ways to meet the needs for conservation and native seed.

Importance to NRCS, USFS, and BLM

ASTA is an important partner with NRCS and the Plant Materials Program. The members of ASTA are responsible for growing and delivering the bulk of the native seed used in USDA conservation programs as well as seeding other government lands (e.g., Forest Service and BLM). It is also important to BLM and the USFS who require native seed, and more often local ecotypes, for their projects. It is essential that the ASTA and these agencies work closely to ensure that native seed supplies for conservation programs do not fall short of anticipated needs.

This workshop will attempt to:


Wokshop Agenda

Thursday, March 15
Moderator: Bob Escheman

9:00 am Introductions and Welcome
Mark Rey, Under Secretary, Natural Resources and Environment, USDA
Leslie Cahill, ASTA
9:15 am Workshop Purpose and Goals
Don Hijar, ASTA
Bob Escheman, NRCS

Perspectives from the end users: needs and criteria

9:20 am Program Update from NHQ
Bob Escheman, NRCS
Peggy Olwell, BLM
9:45 am Presentation of Findings from Local Ecotype Report (presentation)
Kayri Havens, Chicago Botanic Garden
10:30 am Working with native species in OR/WA (presentation)
Joan Seevers, BLM
11:00 am Seed Transfer Zones for Native Plants (presentation)
Brad St. Clair, USFS
11:30 am Working with native species after wildfires (presentation)
Vicki Erickson, USFS
12:00 pm Lunch
1:00 pm Working with native species in the Mohave Desert (presentation)
Ramona Garner, NRCS
1:30 pm Pragmatic Principles for Developing Restoration Plant Materials (presentation)
Tom Jones, ARS
2:00 pm Ethanol from Waste and/or Switchgrass Biomass
Steve Flick, Show Me Energy Cooperative
3:00 pm Break
3:30 pm Communicating Science to Government and Society (presentation)
John Bonner, CAST
4:00 pm 20007/2008 BLM (presentation) and FS Budgets
Peggy Olwell, BLM
Larry Stritch, USFS

Production of native species: Perspectives from the seed trade

4:30 pm Discussion and Q&A on Local Ecotypes
5:15 pm Adjourn for the day

Friday, March 16

8:30 am

Value to Seed Growers of participating in Plant Conservation Alliance
Andy Ernst, Ernst Conservation Seed

8:45 am Brief recap and summary of Thursday’s presentations to set the stage for discussion
Escheman, Olwell, Stritch
9:15 am

Facilitated Discussion (summary)
Megan Haidet

  • How can Federal agencies who are using native plant materials, especially local ecotypes, provide more uniform guidelines and consistency to what kinds of plant materials they require for revegetation activities (species selection, origin of materials, etc).
  • Is there an economic threshold for producing local ecotype seed specific to a region? Are there enough nurseries in the industry to currently meet the geographic needs for seed?
  • How can Federal agencies who are developing and releasing plant materials work towards selections which meet the broad range of uses needed by customers?
12:00 pm Meeting adjourned

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Last updated: 09-Apr-2007