[PCA] FW: NPCC News: Interdisciplinary Collaborative Effort Revolutionizes Plant Conservation In Southeastern U.S.

Emily Roberson emilyr at plantsocieties.org
Fri Nov 20 15:13:30 CST 2020


Native Plant Conservation Campaign News: Southeastern Partners in Plant Conservation (SePPCon) continues progress and success

November 20, 2020


Two conferences of the groundbreaking Southeastern Partners in Plant Conservation <https://atlantabg.org/conservation-research/outreach-education-and-training/southeastern-partners-in-plant-conservation/>  (SePPCon) have now been held. The SePPCon brings together   <https://ymlpcl4.net/imgz/09yp_seppcon1.jpg> diverse experts and institutions to inform each other on best practices for rare plant research and conservation and to form a network to support regional efforts to conserve imperiled plant species. The SePPCon scales up the model of the Georgia Plant Conservation Alliance <https://botgarden.uga.edu/conservation-science/georgia-plant-conservation-alliance/>  to the southeastern U.S.


SePPCon is revolutionary because it brings together regional plant experts from different states, agencies and institutions. It provides a forum where they share information on the conservation status and needs of imperiled plants throughout the region, without being limited by state or agency boundaries.


The SePPCon was launched with a conference organized by the Atlanta Botanical Garden <https://atlantabg.org/>  in 2016. Federal and state agencies partnered with museums, botanic gardens, universities, and NGOs to coordinate the inaugural conference. The conference was co-sponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S.D.A. Forest Service, National Wildlife Refuge Association, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, and the Georgia Plant Conservation Alliance.


SePPCon 2016 <https://atlantabg.org/article/seppcon-2016-summary/>  was attended about 160 people from 22 southeastern states, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Organizations represented included the American Public Gardens Association, Center for Biological Diversity, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Gulf Coastal Plains and Ozarks Landscape Conservation Cooperative, the South Atlantic LCC, the Nature Conservancy, State Natural Heritage Programs, Universities, Botanical Gardens, and Utility Companies.


The conference sought to fill information gaps for 82 imperiled plant species that were petitioned for Federal Endangered Species Act listing by the Center for Biological Diversity.  In addition, the imperilment and conservation needs of 191 Federally listed species were assessed. This process resulted, among other things, in the removal of 10 species from the Center’s listing petition, reportedly saving taxpayers up to $1 million.


  <https://ymlpcl4.net/imgz/09yp_seppcon2.jpg> A second conference, SePPCon 2020 <https://atlantabg.org/calendar/seppcon-2019/> , was held at the Atlanta Botanical Garden in March 2020. It was attended by more than 200 people from across the U.S. representing the same diverse cross-section of conservation professionals. SePPCon seeks to create a regional list <https://academy.saveplants.org/video/regional-species-greatest-conservation-need-plants-southeastern-us>  of Species of Greatest Conservation Need <https://www.usgs.gov/news/new-database-available-usgs-releases-species-greatest-conservation-need-lists>  (SGCN), which contains information on imperiled species in the region and  their conservation needs. This information can be used in the development of State Wildlife Action Plans <https://www.fishwildlife.org/afwa-informs/state-wildlife-action-plans>  (SWAPs) and other conservation initiatives.


SePPCon 2020 Presentation Recordings can be accessed by the public at the Center for Plant Conservation. <https://academy.saveplants.org/videos/search?search_api_views_fulltext=seppcon+2020&field_category=All&field_institution_s_=All> 


More such interdisciplinary Plant Conservation Alliances are being created. Already, Alabama <https://www.auburn.edu/cosam/arboretum/apca/index.htm> , North Carolina, Tennessee <https://www.tnplantconservation.org/> , South Carolina <https://www.facebook.com/SouthCarolinaPlantConservationAlliance/> , Mississippi <https://mississippiplantconservation.org/>  and Florida <https://residentnews.net/2020/02/01/horticulturist-saves-rare-orchid-from-extinction/>  have formed or are forming Plant Conservation Alliances based on the sucessful Georgia  <https://botgarden.uga.edu/conservation-science/georgia-plant-conservation-alliance/>  model.


We hope that these successes will encourage other regions to develop their own collaborative rare plant conservation groups!


Photos SePPCon 2020 (1) Conferees © Atlanta Botanical Garden (2) Presentation © Emily B. Roberson



Emily B. Roberson, Ph.D.

Native Plant Conservation Campaign <http://plantsocieties.cnps.org/> 

Native Plant Society of the United States

  <https://ymlpcl4.net/imgz/09yp_Logocolorhighrezname100.jpg> 415 531 4439

emilyr@ <mailto:emilyr at plantsocieties.org> plantsocieties.org <mailto:emilyr at plantsocieties.org> 


The mission of the Native Plant Conservation Campaign is to promote the conservation of native plants and their habitats through collaboration, research, education, and advocacy.

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