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U.S. Forest Service

Developing Native Plant Materials

The Forest Service's native plant materials policy directs national forests and grasslands to cooperate and coordinate the development and use of native plant materials across administrative units as well as with other Federal agencies, States, tribes, nongovernmental organizations, private industry, and other stakeholders. This includes determining how to meet plant material needs and developing production and establishment practices to meet these needs.

small sprouting plant.

woman picking seeds from green fescue grass on a mountain slope. Collecting green fescue seed in Oregon.

combine collecting seed in a nursery. Harvesting time for a seed production field of Arizona fescue at the Forest Service Lucky Peak Nursery, Boise, Idaho.

National Seed Strategy for Landscape Scale Rehabilitation and Restoration

National Seed Strategy cover.

The National Seed Strategy, developed in partnership with the Plant Conservation Alliance and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, guides ecological restoration across major landscapes, especially those lands damaged by rangeland fires, invasive species, severe storms, and drought. The Strategy emphasizes the importance of planting appropriate seeds to help grow plant life and pollinator habitat, which are critical natural defenses against climate change.

Success Story: White River National Forest Develops Sources of Genetically Local Grass Seed

The goal of the White River National Forest Native Plant Materials Program is to facilitate the collection and propagation of local native seed and make them available through the commercial seed industry to land management agencies and private land owners at quantities needed for large-scale restoration. In 2009, 2010, and 2011, The White River National Forest was awarded national funds to help accomplish this goal. After a five year effort that involved the development and utilization of multiple agreements and contracts to accomplish seed collection and seed increase, genetically local seed for two grass species (slender wheatgrass and mountain brome) are now available for purchase on the commercial market.

Read more about the White River National Forest's development of local seed sources…

Looking down rows of planted grasses that are the source of seeds. First step seed increase accomplished with the Lucky Peak Nursery.