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PCA Restoration Working Group Action Agenda (DRAFT)

Problem Statement

Millions of acres of natural landscapes throughout the country have been disturbed beyond the point of return. The ecological balance of these sites has been upset by many agents including exotic species invasions, mining, toxic waste dumping, abandoned roadways, fire suppression followed by devastating forest fires, stream and river degradation, overuse of range lands, illegal off-highway vehicle use, pipeline installation, and military training missions.

At the recent Plant Conservation Alliance Action Agenda meeting, over forty restorationists from throughout the country met to develop a national restoration action strategy. The purpose of the action strategy is to facilitate an increase in the number of successful site restoration projects in the country at all scales from backyard landscaping to large-scale federal restoration projects. The work group participants felt that restoration needs focused in seven areas including policy, funding, research, resources, prevention, public outreach and information sharing. The group encouraged the development of regional restoration working groups.

Policy and Guidelines

Outcome:

Federal policies support the restoration of disturbed lands and the protection of undisturbed places.

Actions:

  • Facilitate the development of national policies and guidelines for the use of native species in restoration, new landscaping and retrofitting projects.
  • Develop a genetics statement including the definition of "native".
  • Facilitate the development of national policies and guidelines to assess the number of acres of disturbed federal lands and to track further disturbances and restoration activities.
  • Facilitate the development of incentive programs for land owners /managers to undertake restoration.
  • Facilitate the development of incentive programs for land owners/ managers to leave land undisturbed.
  • Develop regional seed and plant collection guidelines as well as seed storage and germination guidelines.
  • Develop regional restoration guides.
  • Develop seed certification standards for seed to be used in restoration. This could be based on the Forest Stewardship Council model that certifies both timber and non-timber forest products.
  • Develop guidelines to salvage plants and topsoils from construction sites prior to construction.

Funding

Outcome:

Funding and support for native plant restoration are increased at the federal, regional, and state levels. Funding sources include both governmental, individual and corporate contributors.

Actions:

  • Provide organizational assistance to citizens to lobby local and state governments for funding.
  • Request donations from large private sources to be matched by organizations such has the National Fish and Wildlife Federation these may include utilities, foundations, corporations.
  • Form coalitions with related well-funded federal programs including Fire Pro, Farm Bill, Clean Water Act others
  • Invite industries and corporations to join PCA.
  • Establish a professional group to develop a fund raising master plan.
  • Develop long-term funding sources that recognize the lengthy duration of restoration projects.
  • Funding requests and grants include funds for scientific review of plans, as well as, site maintenance and monitoring funds.
  • Funding sources are developed to restore rare plants to sites of historical occurrence.
  • Funding sources are identified for needed research. PCA provides and advocates funds for internships and new research through existing and new grant programs and federal research programs including the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), National Science Foundation (NSF), and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) Research Stations.
  • Long-term funding is established to implement and monitor restoration research projects. PCA supports a model long-term restoration monitoring project.

Research

Outcome:

Research is conducted on the best and most cost-effective methods of site restoration. Research strategies are included in representative, regional restoration projects.

Actions:

  • Regional restoration research needs are identified. Regional white papers are completed and provided to universities and professional societies including the Society for Ecological Restoration (SER).
  • PCA facilitates the establishment and scientific use of natural areas as reference and research sites as well as refugia for native seed sources.
  • Floristic surveys of these areas are completed.
  • Encourage the inclusion of research strategies in restoration projects. Develop experimental design for restoration projects and train practitioners, scientists, and professionals on its use.

Resources

Outcome:

The demand for native plants and seeds is increased throughout the country. Nurseries and seed providers begin to fill the native plant need for restoration projects and personal use.

Actions:

  • PCA develops a program to encourage and inspire individuals and corporations in the use of native plant species for personal landscaping and restoration needs.
  • Regional working groups provide notice of native plant material needs to local plant material production businesses.
  • Regional working groups work collaboratively to develop federal plant material production capabilities in support of federal needs.
  • Develop a directory of restorationists and restoration resources.
  • National and regional directories for sources of native plant material are developed.
  • A task force to improve federal procurement and contracting regulations that support the purchase of native plant material and the implementation of restoration projects.
  • A network of universities, botanical gardens, CPS, state and national organizations is created to store seed for restoration purposes.
  • Develop a strategy to make native seed available for large scale federal restoration programs including the wildland fire rehabilitation.

Prevention

Outcome:

Corporate, individual, and federal landowners and managers use best stewardship practices to minimize destruction of undisturbed habitats.

Actions:

  • Develop incentive programs for land owners/ managers to leave land undisturbed.
  • Provide organizational assistance to citizens who wish to lobby local, state, and federal governments to preserve open space and manage land toward conservation.
  • Recognize with awards individuals and corporations that show significant dedication to restoration and native plant conservation.

Public Outreach

Outcome:

A national education strategy is in place that educates the public about the need for restoration, encourages personal, governmental and corporate responsibility in restoration and discourages further ecological degradation. "Natives" becomes as big a buzz-word as "exotics".

Actions:

  • Provide networking opportunities for the public to discuss and form restoration coalitions including websites, meetings, and an expert directory.
  • Educate the public about restoration issues and the need to lobby for the release and redistribution of federal dollars in the support of restoration.
  • Develop white papers describing restoration needs at national, regional, and state levels as well as the economic and ecological benefits of restoration.
  • Educate key policy makers/decision makers in government and corporate America on restoration issues and needs.
  • Involve the public in local restoration projects including park programs, botanical gardens, nurseries, and others.
  • Provide information on how to do successful restoration projects of all scales including backyard native landscaping.
  • Develop a school curriculum program on restoration and the affects of habitat degradation. Use successful school programs as models.
  • Create materials for interactive discovery centers incorporating the values of native plants and the restoration message. This could be similar to the Sim-City software and could include interactions of native plants, animals and pollinators.
  • Publicize successful regional projects.
  • Promote career awareness of restoration career opportunities through seminars and career days.

Information Sharing and Data Management

Outcome:

Information for restoration programs, projects and research are widely available. Communication between individuals involved in restoration is continuous and on-going. Progress of restoration programs in the country is tracked and made available through the internet.

Actions:

  • A unified searchable database is available through the internet. This data base includes:
  • Database of restoration professionals and personnel.
  • Database of completed restoration projects with project results.
  • Database of restoration literature (including gray and published literature).
  • Fact sheets on specific restoration issues.
  • Database on restoration research needs.
  • Regional restoration guides and best practices guides are developed and updated regularly.
  • Data is compiled regularly on number of acres disturbed and number of acres restored. A national scorecard on the effectiveness of national restoration efforts is compiled regularly.
  • Data is maintained on recovery plan accomplishments for rare plants and habitats. A national scorecard is compiled regularly on the effectiveness of recovery efforts.
  • PCA supports restoration symposia.
  • Regional restoration working teams are established to coordinate efforts and share information.
  • Regional restoration training workshops developed with SER.

Regional Restoration Working Groups

Outcome:

Regional restoration working groups are established throughout the country. Working groups are based on geographic location and are within similar ecosystems.

Actions:

  • Develop task force to define regional working groups roles and geographic responsibilities.

Comments, suggestions, and questions about the website should be directed to the webmaster.
http://www.nps.gov/plants/restore/actionagenda.htm
Last Updated: 5/8/03