Loading...
Position Statements 2020-01-13T19:30:31+00:00

Position on Threatened And Endangered Native Plants

BACKGROUND

Since 1984, the mission of the Center for Plant Conservation (CPC) has been to save the threatened and endangered native plants of the United States and Canada by supporting evidence-based measures to prevent extinction. The landmark 1973 Endangered Species Act (ESA) has served to protect imperiled species. As advocates for native plants and biological diversity, we support the ESA(1) and champion the enforcement of federal, state, and local environmental laws to protect native species and the ecosystems that provide the essential context for their survival. Many plants are at risk owing to habitat destruction, climate change, invasive non-native plants and loss of pollinators, among other challenges. Without human intervention, an estimated one million of Earth’s plant and animal species may face extinction in the next decades. To save rare and imperiled plants, CPC collaborates with a network of partners–botanical gardens, arboreta, seed banks, herbaria, and research organizations–and is a member of the Endangered Species Coalition. Looking beyond the borders of the U.S.A., the CPC endorses international efforts aimed at securing the fate of Earth’s imperiled species.

Each plant species represents a unique genetic and phenotypic solution to the problem of how to live on planet Earth. Each species occupies a unique nexus in the web of interactions among living organisms and with the abiotic environment. As a result, the loss of a single species represents loss of irretrievable and precious information, while also endangering other species that are part of the interactive web of life. The CPC believes that human beings have the urgent responsibility to prevent this loss by taking action accordingly.

(1) According to the ESA, “‘Endangered’ means in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of a species’ range. ‘Threatened’ means likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future. (https://www.fws.gov/endangered/esa-library/pdf/ESA_basics.pdf)

WHAT CPC SUPPORTS

  • Conserving imperiled plants in nature (in situ) and in gardens, seed banks, and other repositories for living tissue (ex situ).
  • Preserving existing critical habitat of imperiled species and unoccupied “refuge” areas where species can recover and persist.
  • Safeguarding native species and ecosystems as a fundamental responsibility of humanity. Diverse wild populations are sources of medicine, food, and other essentials for human communities.
  • Advancing the conservation of imperiled flora through science-based standards and protocols, research, cutting-edge technology, information synthesis, data sharing, and collaboration.
  • Providing strict legal safeguards and consistent standards for threatened species awaiting listing that parallel those for listed endangered plants.
  • Increasing the number of trained botanists, conservation biologists, and ecologists to conduct the exacting scientific research, monitoring, and interventions necessary for native plant conservation and to provide science-based information to inform decision-making, responsible environmental policy-making by government entities at all levels, and conservation action.
  • Augmenting viable, genetically diverse germplasm in seed banks and gene banks as a critical step in the restoration of self-sustaining wild populations and the survival and recovery of plants at risk.
  • Supporting herbaria and their repositories of vouchers that provide expertly identified evidence to establish the historical ranges of species.
  • Backing increased funding for restoration of native ecosystems and rare plants on public lands and for active management and sound strategies to combat invasive weeds.
  • Working actively to protect pollinators with which plant species have co-evolved and upon which they depend for successful reproduction.
  • Empowering people with science-based knowledge to become advocates and activists for native plants threatened with extinction.

H.R.1572 – Botanical Sciences and Native Plant Materials Research, Restoration, and Promotion Act

BACKGROUND

The US House of Representatives introduced a bill, H.R.1572, commonly referred to as the “botany bill”, that among other things, “directs the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the National Park Service, and other appropriate entities to support a program of intramural and extramural botanical science research to support the land management responsibilities of the Department of the Interior.”

The bill has bi-partisan support and is being widely promoted by professionals in academia, botanical gardens and conservation.

The Center for Plant Conservation (CPC) supports this bill for the following reasons:

  • It would increase the number of trained botanists, scientists, conservation biologists and ecologists to conduct the science-based research necessary for the conservation of vulnerable plants and their ecosystems.
  • It advocates for science-based research that provides data to alert relevant agencies and the public with vital information to inform decision-making, responsible environmental government policy and conservation action.
  • It supports engagement between the Department of the Interior with other agencies and groups, including organizations like CPC, to maximize conservation efforts and legislative advocacy efforts.

To learn more about H.R.1572, visit https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/1572

UPDATE

On March 6, 2019, H.R.1572, was reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Rob Quigley (D-IL-5) and co-sponsor Rep. Francis Rooney (R-FL-19). As of August, 2019, the bill has 50 co-sponsors, including the 22 original.

The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forest and Public Lands held hearings on July 18, 2019. Center for Plant Conservation President and CEO,  CPC Participating Institutions, and Board of Trustees attended the hearings and met with Representative and Senate staff to share why it is important to save plants in the United States and why the Botany Bill is key to saving these imperiled plants.

On July 31, 2019 a related bill, S.2384, Botanical Sciences and Native Plant Materials Research, Restoration, and Promotion Act was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Hirono (D-HI).

We encourage everyone to contact their Representatives and Senators to co-sponsor these bills and call for hearings to move these bills through Congress.

H.R.1572 – Botanical Sciences and Native Plant Materials Research, Restoration, and Promotion Act

BACKGROUND

The US House of Representatives introduced a bill, H.R.1572, commonly referred to as the “botany bill”, that among other things, “directs the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the National Park Service, and other appropriate entities to support a program of intramural and extramural botanical science research to support the land management responsibilities of the Department of the Interior.”

The bill has bi-partisan support and is being widely promoted by professionals in academia, botanical gardens and conservation.

The Center for Plant Conservation (CPC) supports this bill for the following reasons:

  • It would increase the number of trained botanists, scientists, conservation biologists and ecologists to conduct the science-based research necessary for the conservation of vulnerable plants and their ecosystems.
  • It advocates for science-based research that provides data to alert relevant agencies and the public with vital information to inform decision-making, responsible environmental government policy and conservation action.
  • It supports engagement between the Department of the Interior with other agencies and groups, including organizations like CPC, to maximize conservation efforts and legislative advocacy efforts.

Learn more about H.R.1572.

UPDATE

On March 6, 2019, H.R.1572, was reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Rob Quigley (D-IL-5) and co-sponsor Rep. Francis Rooney (R-FL-19). As of August, 2019, the bill has 50 co-sponsors, including the 22 original.

The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forest and Public Lands held hearings on July 18, 2019. Center for Plant Conservation President and CEO,  CPC Participating Institutions, and Board of Trustees attended the hearings and met with Representative and Senate staff to share why it is important to save plants in the United States and why the Botany Bill is key to saving these imperiled plants.

On July 31, 2019 a related bill, S.2384, Botanical Sciences and Native Plant Materials Research, Restoration, and Promotion Act was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Hirono (D-HI).

We encourage everyone to contact their Representatives and Senators to co-sponsor these bills and call for hearings to move these bills through Congress.

CALL TO ACTION

Take action for plant conservation

Autumn is the perfect time to contact your Representative and Senator to ask them to support plant conservation legislation. Please take this time to write to, email, phone, or visit your Representative in person and ask them to support the Botany Bill.

What to do

Find the contact info for your Representative or Senator

Let your elected official know that plant conservation is important to you and ask them to support the House version of the Botany Bill. Here is a sample letter for you to send to your Representative by email, postal mail, or use the letter as talking points and phone or visit their office. If they have cosponsored the bill, thank them. If they have not, ask them to do so.

Tell your friends and family to contact their elected officials to support the Botany Bill and plant conservation.

Please help us all Save Plants by supporting this historic and forward-thinking legislation.

Thank you from each of us for acting now.

Sincerely,

Lindsay Marshall, Chair Advocacy Task Force, CPC Board of Trustees
Christopher Dunn, Advocacy Task Force, CPC Board of Trustees
Diana Fish, Advocacy Task Force, CPC Board of Trustees
Clark Mitchell, Advocacy Task Force, CPC Board of Trustees
Lynde Uihlein, Advocacy Task Force, CPC Board of Trustees
John Clark, President and CEO

CALL TO
ACTION

Take action for plant conservation

Autumn is the perfect time to contact your Representative and Senator to ask them to support plant conservation legislation. Please take this time to write to, email, phone, or visit your Representative in person and ask them to support the Botany Bill.

What to do

Find the contact info for your Representative or Senator

Let your elected official know that plant conservation is important to you and ask them to support the House version of the Botany Bill. Here is a sample letter for you to send to your Representative by email, postal mail, or use the letter as talking points and phone or visit their office. If they have cosponsored the bill, thank them. If they have not, ask them to do so.

Tell your friends and family to contact their elected officials to support the Botany Bill and plant conservation.

Please help us all Save Plants by supporting this historic and forward-thinking legislation.

Thank you from each of us for acting now.

Sincerely,

Lindsay Marshall, Chair Advocacy Task Force, CPC Board of Trustees
Christopher Dunn, Advocacy Task Force, CPC Board of Trustees
Diana Fish, Advocacy Task Force, CPC Board of Trustees
Clark Mitchell, Advocacy Task Force, CPC Board of Trustees
Lynde Uihlein, Advocacy Task Force, CPC Board of Trustees
Lucinda McDade, Advocacy Task Force, CPC Board of Trustees
Joyce Maschinski, President and CEO

About the Center for Plant Conservation

CPC’s mission is to ensure stewardship of imperiled plant species. Our core conservation activities include:

  • We advance science-based best practices in plant conservation through our network of conservation partners known as Participating Institutions.
  • Our network actively applies these practices to Save Plants from extinction here in North America as part of the CPC National Collection of Endangered Plants.
  • We share best practices with conservationists the world over and advocate for plants and their value to humankind.

As part of this mission, from time to time the Center for Plant Conservation takes positions on relevant matters that affect our collective ability to Save Plants. The Center for Plant Conservation is a non-partisan, 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization. By law, CPC does not promote political parties or candidates but does issue statements on legislation and other actions that affect conservation objectives.