[PCA] ­­PCA General Meeting Summary – May 12, 2021

Park, Margaret E margaret_park at fws.gov
Wed Jun 23 17:02:14 CDT 2021

The meeting was hosted virtually via Microsoft Teams and was chaired by the Plant Conservation Alliance (PCA) Federal Committee Chair, Patricia De Angelis/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).

Introductions were made. We welcomed a large number of online participants for this meeting.

Our featured speakers spoke about ARS National Plant Germplasm System’s Role in Native Plant Conservation. Dr. Irish, Geneticist/Curator and Lead Scientist with the USDA-ARS Plant Germplasm Introduction and Testing Research Unit, described the nearly 20-year collaboration with the Bureau of Land Management's Seeds of Success (SOS) national native seed collection program that has resulted in the inclusion of 19,000 accessions corresponding to more than 4,300 species into the National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS). In assessing the NPGS SOS collections, Dr. Stephanie Greene, Supervisory Plant Physiologist, USDA-ARS National Laboratory for Genetic Resources Preservation, found the holdings to be taxonomically diverse, representing 147 families, 1,001 genera, and 4,333 species, with collections from nearly every state in the contiguous United States. ​In addition to their importance in ecological restoration, many of these species are crop wild relatives with the potential for crop improvement. They are also valuable as ornamentals, food, fiber, forage, and medicine. The NPGS SOS collection and its associated information is preserved in long term storage and small quantities are distributed to scientists, plant breeders and educators.  However, nearly 8,000 SOS accessions are not actively curated (i.e., regenerated when seed stocks are depleted or lose viability) due to resource constraints in infrastructure and personnel. Research is needed to develop protocols to efficiently genebank this germplasm, including genetic diversity assessments, germination, seed regeneration and storage. Enhanced partnerships and funding for the management, curation, and strategic development of wild plant taxa called for by the U.S. National Seed Strategy are integral to the conservation and availability of these ecologically diverse U.S. native plant germplasm. See the PowerPoint and recording of the presentation, on the PCA meetings page<https://gcc02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.plantconservationalliance.org%2Fmeetings&data=04%7C01%7Cpatricia_deangelis%40fws.gov%7Ca9405a77535a44a63f1008d935af1b44%7C0693b5ba4b184d7b9341f32f400a5494%7C0%7C0%7C637599848483306542%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C1000&sdata=C3LdP8KTXWadwJcZjszL3DlCZOZ61T7p7Ux0FcojBIU%3D&reserved=0>.

Updates on PCA Activities

Nonfederal Cooperators Committee (NFCC) Updates / Dr. Kay Havens (Chair)

  *   PCA Cooperators<https://www.plantconservationalliance.org/cooperators>: We now have more than 400 nonfederal Cooperators (405 to be exact!), which include state agencies and private organizations interested in U.S. native plant conservation. Cooperators also receive regular communications that allow them to participate in PCA general meetings and working groups, as well as Non-Federal Cooperator Committee outreach and education efforts to raise awareness about the importance of native plant conservation.
     *   Some of our newest cooperators include Powell Gardens<https://powellgardens.org/> and St Bartholomew's Episcopal Church – Bemidji: Good News Garden<http://episcopalbemidji.org/>.
  *   Subnational PCAs: We have two projects related to state-, regional-, and taxon-based PCAs:
     *   We are working with a small number of sub-national and taxon-based conservation alliances to inform our nationwide progress under the National Seed Strategy for Rehabilitation and Restoration (see below) in a report to be released by PCA this summer.
     *   We are compiling information on all known U.S.-based state-, regional-, and taxon-based Plant Conservation Alliances and Native Plant Conservation Initiatives to improve mutual awareness and create connections among the national and subnational . We’re aiming to complete this project in the spring, and we hope to develop a webpage to emphasize the subnational PCAs later this year.
  *   We’ve recently added many articles to the Resources page<http://www.plantconservationalliance.org/resources>!

Federal Committee Updates / Dr. Patricia De Angelis (Chair)

This month’s updates relate to the National Seed Strategy for Rehabilitation and Restoration<https://www.blm.gov/sites/blm.gov/files/docs/2020-12/NationalSeedStrategy_2015-2020.pdf>.

  *   National Assessment: The Seed Strategy calls for a national assessment of seed needs and capacities to fulfill those needs across all sectors (federal, state, tribal, private sector). The National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and medicine (NASEM) began the second phase of their study, An Assessment of the Need for Native Seeds and the Capacity for Their Supply<https://www.nationalacademies.org/our-work/an-assessment-of-native-seed-needs-and-capacities>, to gather information that will assist organizations and agencies to identify steps to improve the number and diversity of commercially available native plant species available for use in ecological restoration. The study should be completed by August 2021.

  *   The NASEM committee seeks public comments related to challenges and potential solutions for improving our native seed supply. Please see the NASEM Public Comments website<https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form/9a0d6419b9b9477b83fbc46167fc779e> for details.
  *   To inform their study, NASEM has been holding public meetings (webinars), several of which are mentioned below with links to recordings on the NASEM website:

§  Meeting 4: Feb. 22; informal discussion with representatives from The Nature Conservancy (TNC): https://www.nationalacademies.org/event/02-22-2021/an-assessment-of-native-seed-needs-and-capacities-meeting-4

§  Meeting 5: Mar. 8; experts from the USDA Farm Production and Conservation, the USDA Economic Research Service, and the Tallgrass Prairie Center of the University of Northern Iowa explained what drives demand in these sectors, how it is evolving, and whether supply is meeting demand. Presenters discussed what is known about the scale at which native seeds are being used, the specific uses and characteristics of native seeds being requested, and steps to better understand and assist suppliers in meeting public and private needs for native seed: https://www.nationalacademies.org/event/03-08-2021/an-assessment-of-native-seed-needs-and-capacities-meeting-5

§  Meeting 6: March 16; explores the perspective of a USDA Plant Materials Specialist on considerations that shape her recommendations for seed mixes for conservation programs in Montana. A Montana seedsman will join the discussion to share insights on factors affecting native seed price and availability for different uses. https://www.nationalacademies.org/event/03-16-2021/an-assessment-of-native-seed-needs-and-capacities-meeting-6

§  Meeting 7: March 31; John Englert of USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provided a high-level overview of NRCS conservation programs such as the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) among others and explained the agency’s recent reorganization of the native seed component of its cost-share for conservation practices implemented by private landowners. As the National Program Leaders for NRCS’ 25 Plant Materials Centers, John also spoke to the current directions of the Centers’ work in supporting the use of native seeds. https://www.nationalacademies.org/event/03-31-2021/an-assessment-of-native-seed-needs-and-capacities-meeting-7

§  Meeting 8: Closed event; April 6, 2021; https://www.nationalacademies.org/event/04-06-2021/an-assessment-of-native-seed-needs-and-capacities-meeting-8

§  Meeting 9: April 12, 2021; A member of the leadership team for Texas Native Seeds described how the organization was started and shared its approach to plant development for species and ecotypes needed in different parts of the state. https://www.nationalacademies.org/event/04-12-2021/an-assessment-of-native-seed-needs-and-capacities-meeting-9

§  Meeting 10: April 20, 2021; a rescheduled presentation from Ed Toth, Director of New York City Parks’ Greenbelt Native Plant Center (GNPC).  GNPC grows 500 different species to meet the needs of NYC for local ecotypes.  Ed will discuss both challenges and opportunities in operating a municipal plant center and share his perspective on the critical conservation roles that government nurseries and seed banks can fill. https://www.nationalacademies.org/event/04-20-2021/an-assessment-of-native-seed-needs-and-capacities-meeting-10

§  Meeting 11: Closed event; April 26, 2021; https://www.nationalacademies.org/event/04-26-2021/an-assessment-of-native-seed-needs-and-capacities-meeting-11

§  Meeting 12: May 4, 2021; the state of the science of seed testing by Gil Waibel, an expert in the field, and learn from two seed suppliers, Dustin Terrell and Andy Ernst, how seed testing results affect their businesses. https://www.nationalacademies.org/event/05-04-2021/an-assessment-of-native-seed-needs-and-capacities-meeting-12

§  Meeting 13: Closed event; May 18, 2021; https://www.nationalacademies.org/event/05-18-2021/an-assessment-of-native-seed-needs-and-capacities-meeting-13

§  Meeting 14: June 29, 2021; 3:30pm-5:30pm EDT; Presenters from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will explain the role of native seeds in the agency’s emergency response after wildfires and its current efforts to have native seeds on-hand in BLM warehouses for future emergencies and planned needs. https://www.nationalacademies.org/event/06-18-2021/an-assessment-of-native-seed-needs-and-capacities-meeting-14

  *   Progress Report: Molly McCormick/USGS discussed the development of a federal progress report covering implementation of the Seed Strategy 2015-2020; a fact sheet on initial findings is available here<https://www.blm.gov/sites/blm.gov/files/docs/2021-02/NSS%20Progress%202020%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf> and a full report is expected in Spring 2022. The PCA liaisons have reviewed the draft and final edits are being incorporated with the aim to submit it to the printer this summer.

  *   Federal Implementation Working Group (FIWG): Co-Chair, Lara Kobalt/BLM, reported that this interagency team , which is facilitating federal implementation of the Seed Strategy across federal agencies, has made progress establishing subgroups on Assessment, Decision Tools, Research, Communications/Outreach, and Funding. Subgroups have started focusing on specific tasks, such as exploring prospects to develop a white paper on post-fire restoration. The communications subgroup is working on developing a communications plan for launching the Progress Report. The group is also updating the NSS key messages and developing a social media campaign that will have topics delivered monthly or quarterly.

  *   Next meeting will be May 27, from 4-5pm; open only to federal agencies

Native Plants Roundtable

America the Beautiful Initiative (involves several PCA agencies, but not a PCA initiative): A press release and report outline a vision for a locally led, 10-year, locally led campaign to conserve and restore and conserve America’s lands, waters, and wildlife. Among the aims is to develop an interagency working group of experts to build an “American Conservation and Stewardship Atlas” – described as tool to foster active engagement by enabling private landowners to report their voluntary contributions to conservation ad restoration. While the report seems to emphasize wildlife (a.k.a. animal) conservation, referring to plants as “nature,” the 8 principles outlined in the report align with PCA aims, and clearly restoration of native plant species and their habitats are integral to this effort. Among the priorities are two of particular interest:  “Support Tribally led conservation and restoration priorities;” and “Create jobs by investing in restoration and resilience projects and initiatives, including the Civilian Climate Corps.” See DOI/USDA/DOC/OSTP Joint Press release<https://www.doi.gov/pressreleases/biden-harris-administration-outlines-america-beautiful-initiative> and the Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful Report<https://www.doi.gov/sites/doi.gov/files/report-conserving-and-restoring-america-the-beautiful-2021.pdf>.

Southeastern Plant Conservation Alliance: The SE PCA was formalized in 2020 to prevent the loss of and restore plant diversity in the Southeast. Ongoing progress to network, strategize, and inform include:

  *   A newly unveiled Southeastern Plant Conservation Alliance website<http://www.se-pca.org/>!
  *   A variety of outreach materials, including a sharable SE PCA information sheet<http://www.se-pca.org/shareable-southeastern-plant-conservation-information-sheet/?fbclid=IwAR1YbSo7BBQMt7R4DHJkpL7uly6roPjY2dNG3O8JpR4xJJ4MQJLqulCvt5U>

Federal, state, county, local and private partners associated with the Nature Reserve of Orange County (California) recently kicked off a native seed cooperative to develop an enterprise system to provide genetically appropriate native seed for restoration and enhancement on over 37,000 acres.

Upcoming Native Plant Events

  *   SER2021<http://www.ser2021.org/>: A New Global Trajectory: Catalyzing Change Through the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (June 21-24, 2021)
  *   See all the Native Seed Sessions here<https://ser-insr.org/new-events/2021/6/21/native-seed-sessions-ser-2021>
  *   US National Seed Strategy: First 5 years and what the future holds
     *   Goal 1: Assessment:  Kayri Havens, Chicago Botanic Garden
     *   Goal 2: Seed Research: Lesley DeFalco, U.S. Geological Survey
     *   Goal 3: Decision Tools for Managers: Vicky Erickson, USDA Forest Service
     *   Goal 4: Communications: Patricia De Angelis, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
     *   Case Study: Mid-Atlantic Regional Seed Bank: Ed Toth, New York City Parks & Recreation
     *   Future: Moving Forward: Peggy Olwell, Bureau of Land Management

  *   The True Green Infrastructure: Model to Develop Native Plant Materials from Wildland Seed to Restoration
     *   Sarah Barga, USDA Forest Service
     *   Francis Kilkenny, USDA Forest Service
     *   Jerry Benson, BFI ,Native Seed  Inc.
     *   Anne Halford, Bureau of Land Management
     *   Lynda Moore, USDA Forest Service
     *   Matt Germino, US Geological Survey
  *   Molly McCormick is submitting a poster on the National Seed Strategy Progress Report and is also leading the submission of an article on the Native Plants Development Process.
  *   The PCA will have an exhibit booth and we are excited to develop outreach material for that.

PCA Resources

PCA Nonfederal Cooperators website<http://www.plantconservationalliance.org/cooperators>: To join as a non-federal cooperator, go here<http://www.plantconservationalliance.org/join-us>. You can see the meetings page here<http://www.plantconservationalliance.org/meetings>.

PCA Federal Committee Website<https://www.blm.gov/programs/natural-resources/native-plant-communities/national-seed-strategy/pca>: Read about the National Seed Strategy<https://www.blm.gov/programs/natural-resources/native-plant-communities/national-seed-strategy/pca> and the current MOU<https://www.blm.gov/sites/blm.gov/files/PCA%20MOU%202019.pdf>.

PCA Discussion Lists<https://www.blm.gov/site-page/pca-discussion-lists-0>: The PCA has several national discussion lists focused on different topics that are free to join and open to all: native plants, medicinal plants, alien plants, and restoration working group. Consider joining each list you are interested, because we generally do not cross-post information. – learn more and subscribe here<https://www.blm.gov/site-page/pca-discussion-lists-0>.

Follow us on Social Media!

  *   PCA Facebook<https://www.facebook.com/PlantConservationAlliance> page
     *   #BotanicMonday: Our weekly series on Botanic Gardens and Arboreta
     *   #GoodNewsTues: We’re starting a new series on Tuesdays where we post about good news in plant conservation.
     *   #WildflowerWednesday: Our weekly series on wildflower identification and facts
     *   #FloraFriday: Our weekly Friday series on all things plants.
     *   #PlantID, #PlantFacts, #SeedNeeds, #SeedsofSuccess, #EcologicalRestoration, #NationalSeedStrategy, #NativeSeedStandards, #RestorationEcology, #NativePlants, #BotanicalGarden, #Arboretum, #NativeSeed
  *   Follow us on Twitter<https://twitter.com/natseedstrategy>
     *   #SeedNeeds<https://twitter.com/search?q=%23SeedNeeds%20(from%3Anatseedstrategy)&src=typed_query>, #SeedsofSuccess<https://twitter.com/search?q=%23SeedsofSuccess%20(from%3Anatseedstrategy)&src=typed_query>, #EcologicalRestoration<https://twitter.com/search?q=%23EcologicalRestoration%20(from%3Anatseedstrategy)&src=typed_query>, #NationalSeedStrategy<https://twitter.com/search?q=%23NationalSeedStrategy%20(from%3Anatseedstrategy)&src=typed_query>, #NativeSeedStandards<https://twitter.com/search?q=%23nativeseedstandards%20(from%3Anatseedstrategy)&src=typeahead_click>, #RestorationEcology<https://twitter.com/search?q=%23restorationecology%20(from%3Anatseedstrategy)&src=typed_query>, #NativePlants<https://twitter.com/search?q=%23nativeplants%20(from%3Anatseedstrategy)&src=typed_query>, #NativeSeed<https://twitter.com/search?q=%23nativeseed%20(from%3Anatseedstrategy)&src=typed_query>

Next Plant Conservation Alliance Meeting: July 14, 2021, with Dr. Ellen Damschen, Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison on "The role of habitat corridors on plant diversity." Details will be shared via the PCA Discussion Lists<https://www.blm.gov/site-page/pca-discussion-lists-0> and PCA meetings page<http://www.plantconservationalliance.org/meetings>.

Meanwhile, please share your native plant information! We encourage PCA listserv members to post meetings, webinars, and research on the discussion lists as we continue our collaborative mission to protect native plants by ensuring that native plant populations and their communities are maintained, enhanced, and restored.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.plantconservation.org/pipermail/native-plants_lists.plantconservation.org/attachments/20210623/f9362bc9/attachment.html>

More information about the native-plants mailing list