Ecological restoration projects of natural areas need more native seeds than are available, according to a new report sponsored by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), a bureau of the US Department of the Interior.
Extreme wildfires, floods, drought, invasive plants, and other hazards, are increasing with climate change, and these events often damage public and private natural areas. Agencies such as the BLM utilize native seeds to restore plant populations and stabilize ecosystems. For example, according to the report, BLM purchased roughly 1.5 million pounds of seed in 2020 to help restore areas affected by wildfires.
Because the supply of native seeds is insufficient, agencies are forced to make some substitutions with non-native seeds.
Recommendations include assistance to suppliers to reduce uncertainty and share risk, promotion of regional programs to increase native plantings, conservation of natural native plant communities, expansion of tribal nurseries, and collaboration on seed infrastructure with respect to storage and cleaning of seeds.