PROTECTING NATIVE PLANTS
Plants give us everything — food, medicine, shelter, water, and air, not to mention beauty. They’re also the foundation of healthy wild ecosystems, providing crucial habitat for wildlife.
But native plants are disappearing fast. Urban sprawl has consumed enough U.S. wildland acreage to comprise a small state, leaving us with less than 5 percent of our ancient forests and less than half of our native wetlands intact. Thanks to poor land management, introduced species, roads, excessive logging, and other threats, we’ve lost more than 100 million acres of irreplaceable habitat.
Still, native plants are second-class citizens in conservation law and policy, receiving almost no federal protection — even under the Endangered Species Act. Federal funding and staffing for botanical research and plant conservation are grossly inadequate, leaving many plant recovery plans to be implemented poorly or not at all.
The Center creates a strong national voice for native plants, making sure imperiled species receive the Endangered Species Act status and critical habitat protection they deserve. Through advocating for the protection of entire ecosystems, we also work to ensure that native plants that aren’t yet imperiled never get there.
Contact: Ileene Anderson