Bruce Babbitt Addresses Native Plant Conservation Initiative in Austin




AUSTIN, Texas, Jan. 4, 1998 /PRNewswire/ -- The Native Plant Conservation Initiative (NPCI) will convene at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center January 11 – 15, 1999.  “Taking Initiative: The Future of Native Plant Conservation” Action Agenda Meeting will focus on the issues facing North American native plants. The NPCI is a consortium of ten federal agencies and more than 120 non-federal cooperator organizations, including native plant societies, gardens, and arboreta.  Secretary of Interior Bruce Babbitt will present Lady Bird Johnson the first NPCI Lifetime Achievement Award at a Thursday luncheon, where he also will address the conference participants.

At this week-long working meeting, NPCI partners will work together to develop an action agenda for the future of native plant conservation and to facilitate regional native plant task forces across the country to move native plant conservation forward. During working group sessions, partners will address issues of native plant restoration, public outreach, exotics, pollinators, and information sharing.

A public-private partnership, the NPCI serves as a forum for the exchange of ideas, expertise, and information between public and private entities engaged in native plant conservation, NPCI’s partners facilitate regional native plant task forces across the country.  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.  Through this approach, the NPCI works to ensure that to the greatest extent feasible, native plant species and communities are maintained, enhanced, restored, or established on public lands, and that such activities are promoted on private lands.

“Nearly two thousand of our nation’s plant species are considered at risk of extinction,” said Dr. Robert Breunig, Executive Director of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. “Bold steps involving public-Private partnerships will be required over the next decade to halt and reverse the steady erosion of our nation’s rich botanical heritage. The Native Plant Conservation Initiative brings together many diverse institutions to work to collectively attack this problem. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is proud to be a part of this cooperative national effort.”                                 

The Federal Native Plant Conservation Committee members include the Bureau of Land Management, the Department of Defense, the Federal Highway Administration, and the National Park Service.  Organizations who have formal Cooperator status include the American Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboreta, American Forests, American Horticultural Society,  Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and many others.

Return to the 1999 Action Agenda Meeting Page