2015-2020 National Seed Strategy - Reporting On Progress for Non-Federal Cooperators NOW OPEN!

Reporting progress on the National Seed Strategy for Rehabilitation and Restoration (National Seed Strategy) is important to demonstrate effective federal and non-federal collaboration and achievements; highlight joint problem-solving for natural resource challenges; and highlight effective land management tools to sustain native ecosystems, improve wildlife habitat, promote recovery from natural hazards and other disturbances, and sustain multiple types of land use.

Your data will be used to create a report of non-federal activities, which will be used in parallel with a related report on federal activities. Here are the goals of the report:

  •     Summarize the state of the native seed for restoration and plant materials development
  •     Show the progress made on a national strategy across various non-federal cooperators
  •     Highlight areas where more work is needed


Note that you will not be able to save and return to this form, so you may want to use this Word document, which provides all questions, to prepare information in advance for each project.

Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT: In 2015, 12 federal agencies and 300+ cooperators of the Plant Conservation Alliance (PCA) released the National Seed Strategy for Rehabilitation and Restoration (National Seed Strategy) to address widespread shortages of native plant materials. Today, the PCA Non Federal Cooperators Committee is collecting information for a comprehensive report on all Non-Federal activities from 2015-2020 that are related to the goals of the National Seed Strategy.

WHY: Reporting progress on the National Seed Strategy is important to demonstrate effective non-federal collaboration and achievements; highlight joint problem-solving for natural resource challenges; and highlight effective land management tools to sustain native ecosystems, improve wildlife habitat, promote recovery from natural hazards and other disturbances, and sustain multiple types of land use.

The National Seed Strategy 2015-2020 Report will synthesize accomplishments and highlight areas where more work is needed. You will be able to use the report to leverage, celebrate, and increase your efforts.

WHO: The National Seed Strategy Reporting Team would like your help by reporting on projects that your organization has been involved in. This effort covers any activity where a non-federal agency was involved (note: an ongoing reporting effort is occurring within Federal agencies, and if your work was carried out in partnership with a Federal agency, please ask if they have already submitted a report before submitting one through the non-federal effort - see below).

WHAT IS AN ELIGIBLE PROJECT? As long as the project National Seed Strategy goals, it is eligible. The Strategy's goals are 1) Identifying and quantifying seed needs; 2) Undertaking research and improving technologies for seed production and use; 3) Developing tools for land managers; and 4) Ensuring good communications. Examples of projects include research, working groups, planning, education, outreach campaigns, and on-the-ground actions. Basically any cross-cutting activity related to plant conservation, fire mitigation, wildlife habitat, invasive species, disaster recovery and preparedness, and more is eligible.

In addition, the project needs to have occurred between 2015-2020. Projects that started before 2015 or are going beyond 2020 are eligible as long as part of them existed between 2015-2020. If you submitted a project to the previous “Making Progress” document, please re-submit it to this report.

HOW DO YOU DEFINE A PROJECT? This is largely up to you, but here are some considerations:

You may want to report on projects separately if they were funded from separate proposals, or if you plan to produce multiple separate products (e.g., publications and tools) from the projects.

Alternatively, since this report will summarize the numbers of projects completed under each action of the National Seed Strategy, consider if multiple of your projects cover the same actions (in this case, you may want to separate so as to ensure the numbers of projects by action are fairly represented), or will they cover different actions (in this case, you might combine since projects don’t overlap and won’t wash-out the results). There is a question that asks if the project is tied to a larger effort, so that all projects affiliated with a single larger effort can be tracked together.

HOW MUCH TIME IS NEEDED? The estimated time to complete the form is 30 minutes or less and the form walks you through the goals so you don’t need to know anything about the National Seed Strategy to submit a project. If helpful, you can find more information on the goals and explanations for each action here.

Download a Word document containing all submission form questions here. In summary, you will be asked for a brief project summary; links to related products such as articles, websites, or tools; an estimate of project costs; and a list of project partners. You will need to complete the online form in one session, so you may want to prepare your responses in advance using this Word document. You will also have an opportunity to submit photos and publications.

In an effort to avoid duplicate entries, we ask that project leads fill out the form or designate someone to represent the project. Please talk with your collaborators to make sure you do not duplicate entries.

HOW TO REPORT: Report your projects through this National Seed Strategy Non-Federal reporting form.

Reporting is requested for each project affiliated with a goal under the National Seed Strategy. Any project that occurred between 2015-2020 by non-federal groups is eligible. The lead organization should do the reporting or appoint a partner to do so.

SHARE: Please share the portal link and/or this FAQ page with any non-federal group doing National Seed Strategy-related work. Reporting is not restricted to PCA Non-Federal Cooperators (but we encourage any organization that is submitting a report to join the NFCC if they aren't already a cooperator to ensure they receive information on the final report and any future updates on the National Seed Strategy).


2018 National Seed Strategy Report

The Plant Conservation Alliance is pleased to announce the release of the first Progress Report on The National Seed Strategy, Making Progress. One hundred and sixty accomplishments have been reported toward the National Seed Strategy since 2015. Find our more in this one pager, or in the full report.

Overcoming the Effects of Plant Awareness Disparity with Education and Engagement

A session at the 2017 National Native Seed Conference focused on plant awareness disparity (PAD), or the inability to recognize the importance of plants in the biosphere and in human affairs. The effects of plant awareness disparity on the botanical community and its efforts to conserve, restore, and sustainably use plants are wide-ranging. Yet research also shows that plant awareness disparity is not inevitable. This session included four speakers covering: 1) the causes of plant awareness disparity, 2) how plant awareness disparity may be impacting you and the work you do to conserve and manage native plants, and 3) tools you can use to help overcome plant awareness disparity through education and outreach. PDFs of their presentations are available here:

1) Seventeen years of plant blindness: Is our vision improving? The tendency for people not to notice plants in their everyday lives has been termed “plant awareness disparity.” Beth Schussler from the University of Tennessee reviewed the root causes of plant awareness disparity and the research plant educators have done over the last seventeen years to determine whether there may be hope for a cure.

2) Visibility of plants under the Endangered Species Act: Causes and Implications Plants are the most listed taxon under the Endangered Species Act, but receive less funding. Vivian Negrón-Ortiz from the USFWS discussed the causes of underestimating the value of plants and its implications for recovery, Fish and Wildlife Service resources for plant conservation, and current initiatives to overcome these limitations.

3) Influencing the Federal Budget Process: How to Advocate for Conservation Funding An overview of the federal budget and appropriations process, focusing on conservation funding. Cameron Witten (The Wilderness Society) discussed opportunities for engagement throughout the annual budget and appropriations cycle, key committees and targets, and how to advocate for increased conservation funding.

4) Federal policies and funding for plants Learn the specifics of how federal policies and funding for plant-based research, restoration, and conservation programs work and how decisions are made. Rob Bradner (Holland & Knight) discussed recent proposed federal legislation that hopes remedy some of the impacts of plant blindness on these processes.

National Seed Strategy for Landscape Scale Rehabilitation and Restoration

On August 17, 2015, the final National Seed Strategy document was released by the Department of Interior. You can find more information on the strategy here, download the final Strategy here, and see the August 17th press release here.

Native plants and pollinators: On June 20, 2014, the White House issued a Presidential Memorandum on Creating a Federal Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators.  Native plants or vegetation are mentioned in Section 2 (iv) and Section 3(s) of the Memorandum:

“Sec. 2. Mission and Function of the Task Force. Within 180 days of the date of this memorandum, the Task Force shall develop a National Pollinator Health Strategy (Strategy), which shall include explicit goals, milestones, and metrics to measure progress. The Strategy shall include the following components:

(iv) strategies for developing affordable seed mixes, including native pollinator-friendly plants, for maintenance of honey bees and other pollinators, and guidelines for and evaluations of the effectiveness of using pollinator-friendly seed mixes for restoration and reclamation projects;

Sec. 3. Increasing and Improving Pollinator Habitat. Unless otherwise specified, within 180 days of the date of this memorandum:

(a) Task Force member agencies shall develop and provide to the Task Force plans to enhance pollinator habitat, and subsequently implement, as appropriate, such plans on their managed lands and facilities, consistent with their missions and public safety. These plans may include: facility landscaping, including easements; land management; policies with respect to road and other rights-of-way; educational gardens; use of integrated vegetation and pest management; increased native vegetation; and application of pollinator-friendly best management practices and seed mixes. Task Force member agencies shall also review any new or renewing land management contracts and grants for the opportunity to include requirements for enhancing pollinator habitat.

(f) The Departments of Agriculture and the Interior shall establish a reserve of native seed mixes, including pollinator-friendly plants, for use on post-fire rehabilitation projects and other restoration activities."

Pattern of expenditures for plant conservation under the Endangered Species Act (journal article in Biological Conservation written by Vivian Negrón-Ortiz).  An estimated 31% of the native plant species in the United States are considered at risk of extinction, and 11% receive protection under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA). But with current and projected threats, many at risk non-listed plant species will need protection under the ESA. Recovery priority guidelines based on a ranking system exist to help identify the most cost-effective use of limited resources to recover listed species. I analyzed how expenditures on listed plants from 2007 to 2011 corresponded to this system, the species’ status, and the year first listed. While the majority of species listed under the ESA are plants, they received <5% of the funding for species recovery from federal and state agencies; thus they have the lowest per-species funding. Among plants, spending per species was greater for threatened than for endangered species and positively associated with recentness of listing date. Expenditure allocation was consistent with the ranking system, as higher priority species received more spending. Recovery progress could be significantly increased if more resources are allocated according to this system. In addition, I recommend: avoidance of biases that support specific projects or a few charismatic species; augmentation of the ESA budget to finance projects for the species in conflict with development and growth; cost-benefit analyses of increasing recovery funds for plants (since the cost estimated to recover a plant species average much less than a vertebrate species); and a broadened plant conservation message at local, regional and global scales.

The Global Strategy for Plant Conservation was published in 2012 by Botanic Gardens Conservation International. It provides strategies and goals for preventing loss of plant species diversity. A companion publication, the North American Botanic Garden Strategy For Plant Conservation, details how the strategy can be used by conservation organizations in North America.

Botanical Capacity Assessment Project (BCAP): completed in 2010, this project assessed current and future botanical capacity in the United States with the goal of understanding the resources we currently have to conserve and manage native plant species and habitat, identifying gaps in capacity, and highlighting opportunities to fill gaps in the future.  Learn more and download a free final report at the BCAP website. 

Seeds of Success Program (SOS): Seeds of Success (SOS): Seeds of Success is the national native seed collection program, led by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in partnership with a variety of federal agencies and non-federal organizations, including many PCA Non-Federal Cooperators. SOS’s mission is to collect wildland native seed for research, development, germplasm conservation, and ecosystem restoration. The long-term conservation outcome of the SOS program is to support BLM's Native Plant Materials Development Program, whose mission is to increase the quality and quantity of native plant materials available for restoring and supporting resilient ecosystems. Learn more at the SOS website.