There is an increasing demand in the Rogue Basin for locally sourced native plant materials. These native species are needed to restore ecosystems after wildfire and other disturbance, provide habitat for pollinators and wildlife and deliver ecosystem services. Unfortunately, this growing demand is not always met with the appropriate supply of native plant materials. This deficit has negative impacts on wildlife, pollinators, and recreation.
Despite the growing need for native plant materials, the barriers to increasing the local production of native plant species are numerous. The planning and coordination required to successfully source and produce appropriate native plant materials is a complex and time-consuming task. In order to produce these plants, project plans and species priorities must be established, seed must be collected from the wild, and a contract must be drafted to have the plants grown-out.
Native plant production presents unique challenges to growers. The grow-out phase often requires a multi-year commitment from growers and a willingness to experiment with propagation protocols for new species. This can be problematic because many agencies see year-to-year fluctuations in their budgets and severe fire and flooding events make multi-year planning difficult. In addition, more diverse plant mixes for restoration activities often requires the use of small lots. These small lots are less desirable to growers because of the added risk and complexity of managing many different species as opposed to a few common ones. These challenges often make it difficult for growers to achieve a stable business strategy and may also deter new farms from expanding into the native plant production arena.
Because of this intricacy, it is often far easier for land managers and growers to rely on a few “workhorse species” that are moderately appropriate in a wide range of scenarios, than it is to source and grow the right species. It is becoming clear however that this simplistic approach, based on a few common species, does not adequately support pollinators or wildlife and may inadvertently reduce resiliency and diversity on public and private lands.
We at the Rogue Native Plant Partnership (RNPP) are currently working with a group of land managers from across the Rogue Basin to build a formal partnership between federal agencies, NGO’s, private growers and others. The group aims to facilitate diverse resilient ecosystems in tandem with a more robust native plant materials economy in the Rogue Basin by taking on many of the challenges in the native plant procurement process. This partnership will simplify the native plant procurement process for its partner organizations by coordinating current native plant inventories, seed collection efforts and grower contracting.
- Facilitate a sustainable and reliable supply of native plant materials to federal and state agencies as well as local non-governmental organizations and the public
- Streamline the native plant materials procurement process by centralizing seed collection efforts and grow-out contracting among partner organizations
- Increase diversity and genetic appropriateness of locally-available native plant materials
- Provide technical and financial support to local native plant producers
Who We Are:
Since August 2016, a group of agencies, private growers and NGO’s in the Rogue Basin have been working together to better meet growing native plant materials needs in the region. The partnership is currently working with the following organizations to streamline and sustain the seed collection and native plant procurement process:
Federal Partner Organizations:
Army Corps of Engineers
BLM Medford District
J. Herbert Stone Nursery
National Resources Conservation Service
US Forest Service / Rogue-Siskiyou National Forest
US Forest Service Powers / Gold Beach districts
US Fish and Wildlife Service
State Partner Organizations:
ODA Rare Plant Program
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
Oregon Department of Transportation
Oregon State Parks
NGO’s and Tribal Partner Organizations:
Cow Creek Tribe
Applegate Partnership and Watershed Council
Lomakatsi Restoration Project
Rogue Basin Partnership
Seven Basins Watershed Council
Southern Oregon Land Conservancy
Southern Oregon Monarch Advocates
The Nature Conservancy
Illinois Valley Soil and Water Conservation District
Private Partner Organizations:
Klamath-Siskiyou Native Seeds
Silver Springs Nursery
Southern Oregon Seed Growers Association