BLM program improving public lands

Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
Sep 3, 2007
by WLJ

In its ongoing effort to improve the health and productivity of the public lands, including those recently affected by wildfire, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has initiated a native seed collection effort that is part of an interagency “Seeds of Success” program.

 Starting with 12 collecting teams that quickly grew to 35 teams nationwide, BLM and numerous partners carry out the Seeds of Success (SOS) initiative, which is the core of a National Native Plant Materials Development Program. SOS provides seeds from many species of plants to growers, researchers, and administrators of seed in the U.S.

BLM’s collecting partners include the Chicago Botanic Garden, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, U.S. Forest Service (USFS), and the Center for Plant Conservation, along with others. The collection effort complements measures BLM is already taking to fight noxious and invasive weeds, as well as sustain healthy riparian, range, and wildlife habitat on public lands.

“In the midst of an intense wildfire season in our western states, this partnership enhances the BLM’s ability to protect and rehabilitate the public lands under its management,” said BLM Deputy Director Henri Bisson. “Through Seeds of Success, our agency’s field offices will have greater capability to re-establish native species when restoring the land.”

SOS gathers between 400 and 600 wildland seed collections annually for both long-term conservation and immediate restoration needs. This October, 500 collections will be transferred from the USFS’ Bend, OR, Seed Extractory to the Department of Agriculture’s National Plant Germplasm System to join 1,300 existing collections in the system. SOS material within the germplasm system is freely available to researchers working on native plant materials development.