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News from the Center for Plant Conservation
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Dear CPC Friends,

The Pacific Northwest, this month’s featured region in Save Plants, is a wonderfully diverse part of the country. I was fortunate enough to go to graduate school here, and greatly enjoyed exploring the region with a copy of Hitchcock and Cronquist's Flora of the Pacific Northwest in hand. The region is botanically rich with temperate rainforests along the coast, mountain and alpine habitats in the Cascades, and inland high desert and plains east of the mountains. Unique features shaped by past glaciation and epic flooding including the rolling hills of the Palouse region, along with numerous botanical novelties shaped by a wealth of ecoregions and habitats, make the Pacific Northwest truly a plant lover’s paradise. And fortunately for us, CPC network partners are working to save the Pacific Northwest’s rarest plants. Here, the efforts of a few but dedicated individuals serve the Pacific Northwest well in identifying, prioritizing, and protecting the plants of the region. Sadly, with this issue of Save Plants we mark the passing of one of the most dedicated of these individuals, Dr. Sarah Reichard of the University of Washington. Her passion for plants, not only in the Pacific Northwest but also around the world, was truly an example for us all. Read on to learn more about the life and career of Dr. Reichard and to discover more about the remarkable Pacific Northwest.

In our November issue, we'll
have updates from CPC Network Partners including American Public Gardens Association, Botanic Gardens Conservation International and more. Please feel free to share any comments by emailing me at jclark@saveplants.org.


John R. Clark, President and CEO

Updates from our Participating Institutions
Citizen Scientists - What do you get when you combine the average citizen, a passion for exploration and observation of plants and nature, and love for volunteering? Citizen scientists! The Native Plant Society of Oregon’s (NPSO) “Citizen’s Rare Plant Watch” (CPRW) was established about four years ago and the Rae Selling Berry Seed Bank & Plant Conservation Program (RSBSB) has become its new home. In collaboration with the Oregon Biodiversity Information Center (ORBIC) and federal and state land managers, CPRW actively recruits citizen scientists to collect data about rare plant populations, and to assist in conservation efforts. So far this year, there have been nine trips with volunteers. These citizen scientists, in turn, learn more about scientific methodology as well as the ecology of the area and its native plants. Citizen scientists - a win-win for both the organization and the volunteers.  Read more here and here.
 
Rare Care - The biodiversity of Washington, as in other areas, is under siege by invasive species, loss of habitat, various land use practices, and climate change. Rare Care, part of the University of Washington Botanic Gardens and developed by Sarah Reichard, works with partner agencies to determine the most urgent monitoring priorities each year. The program documents the current condition of various plant populations and works to help with conserving and recovery of rare native plants. To do this, Rare Care has a monitoring project that trains citizen scientists to go into the field and locate, count, and map native rare plants. This process is critical in order to develop management plans as it attempts to address the question, “What is needed to preserve species, communities, and ecological systems?” The research program then supports restoring to native habitats those species listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. If you are wondering about some of the projects Rare Care works on, check out their Rare Plant Press newsletters.
 
Showy Stickseed - A multi-year study on the Showy Stickseed (Hackelia venusta), funded by the US Fish and Wildlife Service in support of recovery efforts, was completed by the University of Washington Botanic Gardens Rare Care program. One of Washington’s rarest plants, and studied extensively by Sarah Reichard for over ten years, it is listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Results of the study appear to indicate that Showy Stickseed likes a low competitive environment, but can exploit the unstable and coarse soils at those sites. This tends to limit its distribution. Between the terrain, the soil, and the vegetation cover that allows it to grow, Showy Stickseed can only grow in the immediate area of the existing population. One of the problems facing propagation efforts has been low germination rates. An outcome of the study was the ability, with different combinations of growth media and containers, to achieve much higher germination rates. Goal: to successfully propagate the plant. Read more here.
 
REMEMBERING SARAH REICHARD - On August 29, 2016, the University of Washington Botanic Gardens lost Sarah Reichard, the first permanent female director. Sarah founded the Rare Care program at the Botanic Gardens, which has been instrumental in tapping into the zeal of citizen scientists to research rare and endangered native plants such as the Showy Stickseed and Wenatchee Mountain checkermallow. It is a nationally recognized program. Reichard led many trips to other countries such as Chile, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Morocco, Australia, South Africa, and Cuba to study plants. And in between trips and her work, she wrote two books, the latest titled The Conscientious Gardner: Cultivating a Garden Ethic. “Using her indomitable spirit and sense of humor, Sarah brought together people with different economic, social, environmental and cultural perspectives to improve plant conservation programs,” notes Lisa Graumlich, Dean, College of the Environment. Wendy Gibble, director of Rare Care, noted that “plants are quiet things, but she made them big. . . She gave them a voice.” She will be missed. Read more here.
 
ART KRUCKEBERG, PLANT ADVOCATE - Art Kruckeberg, “one of the grand old men of Washington botany,” according to Ed Guerrant of the Rae Selling Berry Seed Bank & Plant Conservation Program, spent his life promoting conservation activism and environmental legislation to protect land. The plant world lost Art May 25th at the age of 96. Art developed the first Washington list of rare and endangered plants in 1973 and was active in the creation of the Washington Natural Heritage Program, part of the Department of Natural Resources and helped identify different parcels of land, with a US Forest Service commission, for preservation as Research Natural Areas. His work on plants of serpentine soils was groundbreaking. He was also one of the co-founders of the Washington Native Plant Society. In honor of his public outreach in botany throughout the years, Art was awarded the Peter Raven Award by the American Society of Plant Taxonomists in 2006. As an early and vocal advocate of using native plants in gardens, Art Kruckeberg supported his wife in  creating a 4-acre garden of native plants, the Kruckeberg Botanic Garden, which was the proto-type for his book Gardening with Native Plants in the Pacific Northwest. As Ed Guerrant says, “he was a true giant.”
PLANT OF THE MONTH - When in full bloom, the beautiful pink-purple flowered inflorescences and arrow-shaped leaves of Thelypodium eucosmum create a spectacular show. These tall and spindly members of the mustard family stand out against the otherwise brown and gray sagebrush-covered hillsides of eastern Oregon. This plant is known only from two counties in eastern Oregon, and is found only within the lower canyons of the Blue Mountains and along the tributaries of the John Day River. There are many populations, but population levels are highly influenced by fluctuating stream levels and yearly rainfall amounts.
CALENDAR

• November 1 - 3, 2016
Southeastern Partners in Plant Conservation Conference
Atlanta, Georgia  More

• November 2 - 5, 2016
Texas Plant Conservation Conference 2016
Fort Worth, Texas  More





 
MAILING ADDRESS

Center for Plant Conservation National Headquarters
15600 San Pasqual Valley Rd.
Escondido, CA 92027-7000
info@saveplants.org
(760) 796-5686








 
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