For the second consecutive year, the Lincoln National Forest collected seed from the New Mexico state endangered Goodding's Onion (Allium gooddingii), which is also listed as a U.S. Forest Service Region 3 “sensitive species”. On 9/12/2022 and 9/13/2022, a total of 1,376 seeds were collected from 121 maternal lines. Comparatively, in 2021, 5,905 seeds were collected from 564 maternal lines. All seed collected in 2022 was sent to the Institute for Applied Ecology for processing and will then be sent to the National Laboratory for Genetic Resource Preservation in Fort Collins, CO for long-term storage.
The Goodding's Onion only occurs in six counties in NM and AZ, and over 95% of all known populations and their habitats have burned in wildfires since 2006. On the Lincoln National Forest, Goodding’s Onion only occurs in the Smokey Bear Ranger District. Metapopulations occur within and adjacent to the Ski Apache Ski Resort, generally under the canopy of mature mixed-conifer and spruce-fir forest habitat, but also in open meadows, avalanche chutes, and ski slopes surrounded by subalpine forest habitat. Large portions of the Smokey Bear Ranger District’s Goodding's Onion population burned in the Little Bear Fire of 2012 and Three Rivers Fire of 2021. In 2021 and 2022, seed collection efforts were focused largely on plants in the Three Rivers Fire burn scar, as the long-term persistence of these plants is questionable following major canopy cover loss. Seed collection also focused on plants in relatively undisturbed areas (i.e., areas with an intact canopy structure that have not been affected by wildfire), as plant numbers in these areas were large enough to support seed collection. Seed collection was carried out so that seeds of a local genotype are available for future seeding and propagation efforts.