Dr. Emily B. Roberson, National Plant Conservation Campaign

Plants are second-class conservation citizens. People often overlook or ignore plants in their environment, even in natural areas where animals tend to receive the "lion’s share" of attention. Sadly this problem is widespread among policymakers. Even many environmental groups often overlook native plants in their work. As a result, plants are discriminated against in every aspect of law, policies, staffing and budgets for science and conservation. The Native Plant Conservation Campaign (NPCC) was created to combat these problems. The NPCC is a national network of Affiliate plant conservation groups including native plant societies, botanic gardens and others. In 2017, the NPCC passed the 50 Affiliate mark and now represents more than 350,000 native plant enthusiasts. The mission of the NPCC is to promote the conservation of native plants and their habitats through collaboration, education, research and advocacy. This presentation will describe the NPCC, our approach to native plant conservation advocacy, and our plans for 2020 and beyond, including programs to encourage use of locally adapted native plants in landscaping and land management, increase staffing and funding for plant science and conservation, and strengthen legal protections for imperiled plants. The presentation will also discuss the growing understanding of the ecosystem services delivered by native plant communities, such as water purification, erosion control, storm protection, pollinator habitat, and buffering of climate change. In recent years, our understanding of the breadth of these services and of their importance to human societies and economies has increased tremendously. This offers new tools effectively to communicate the importance of native plant conservation to audiences that traditionally have been difficult to reach. Even those not interested in native plants for their beauty or inherent value may support conservation and restoration of native plant communities when they learn that it can save $100s of millions in hurricane damage, $billions in water treatment costs, improve public health and save lives.

Date Recorded: 
Thursday, March 5, 2020

Jennifer Ramp Neale, Denver Botanic Gardens

Alpine plants are at risk of population decline and/or extinction due to climate change. Understanding these plants and the environments in which they survive and thrive involves a multi-tiered approach including in-situ and ex-situ efforts. At Denver Botanic Gardens we are working to collect and study seed of alpine species for ex-situ conservation. Expanding our impact on conservation of alpine habitats, we have partnered with Betty Ford Alpine Gardens to lead the development of a North American Botanic Garden Strategy for Alpine Plant Conservation. Modeled after the North American Botanic Garden Strategy for Plant Conservation and the larger Global Strategy for Plant Conservation, the four objectives and twelve targets presented here will guide collaborative efforts to document, study, and ultimately conserve our fragile North American alpine habitats.

Contributing Author(s): 
Date Recorded: 
Thursday, May 2, 2019