Conservation In-Depth

Conservation

North America is graced with an amazing array of native plants in a wide range of habitats from boreal forests, alpine tundra, and prairie grasslands to interior deserts, coastal salt marshes, and tropical rainforests. About 17,000 species of vascular plants are native to one or more states in the US.

Many of these natives are threatened by an accumulation of factors related to population growth and the spread of development, browsing or trampling by domestic or feral animals, competition from aggressive, non-native plants, and over-collection of those plants with commercial and medicinal value. Conserving the biodiversity and health of native plants and ecosystems is essential to a healthy planet.

It is extremely important to develop and implement effective plant conservation programs before more species and plant communities become critically endangered. Native plant conservation strategies not only protect the most imperiled species, but ensure the long-term survival of all native plant species and communities.

In 2002, The Herb Society of America joined the Plant Conservation Alliance (PCA), a federal agency that funds conservation and serves as a forum for the exchange of ideas, expertise and information between public and private organizations engaged in habitat restoration and preservation. The PCA mission is:
"To protect native plants by ensuring that native plant populations and their communities are maintained, enhanced, and restored."

As a PCA Cooperator and a respected plant organization, HSA has many opportunities to educate our members and the public on the necessity of native plant conservation and restoration, as well as advocate and support these efforts. To address this issue directly, The Herb Society of America established a Native Herb Conservation Committee in 2007 whose focus is:
SP• To study and preserve North America’s native flora through education and advocacy
SP• Facilitate the recovery of rare, threatened, and endangered plants through collaborative efforts with existing agencies
SP• Promote conservation of North American native plants through research, horticulture, and habitat preservation

For more information on what you can do to help promote and conserve native plants, see the Notable Native and GreenBridges sections of our website.

 Kartesz, J. T.   A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland.1994,  2nd ed. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

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North America is graced with an amazing array of native plants in a wide range of habitats from boreal forests, alpine tundra, and prairie grasslands to interior deserts, coastal salt marshes, and tropical rainforests. About 17,000 species of vascular plants, among them many that are traditionally defined as herbs for their medicinal, cosmetic, and culinary uses, are native to one or more states.

Many of these natives are threatened by an accumulation of factors related to population growth and the spread of development, browsing or trampling by domestic or feral animals, competition from aggressive, non-native plants, and over-collection of those plants with commercial and medicinal value. Conserving the biodiversity and health of native plants and ecosystems is essential to a healthy planet.

It is extremely important to develop and implement effective plant conservation programs before more species and communities become critically endangered. Native plant conservation strategies not only protect the most imperiled species, but ensure the long-term survival of all native plant species and plant communities.

In 2002, The Herb Society of America signed on as a member of the Plant Conservation Alliance, a consortium of ten federal government agencies and more than 200 non-federal cooperators representing biologists, botanists, horticulturists, resource management consultants, special interest groups, non-profit organizations, concerned citizens, nature lovers, and gardeners. All share in the Plant Conservation Alliance mission:

To protect native plants by ensuring that native plant populations and their communities are maintained, enhanced, and restored.

As a Cooperator and as a respected plant organization, HSA has many opportunities to establish a public presence on issues of native plant conservation and restoration, as well as to nourish the education of its members and the general public on those same issues. To that end, The Herb Society of America established a Native Herb Conservation Committee on January 6, 2007.

To study and preserve North America’s native flora through education and advocacy; facilitate the recovery of rare, threatened, and endangered plants through collaborative efforts with existing agencies; and to promote conservation of North American native plants through research, horticulture, and habitat preservation.

For more information on what you can do to help promote native plants and what you can do with respect to their conservation, see Notable Natives and GreenBridges.

Kartesz, J. T.   A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland.1994,  2nd ed. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

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