Wenatchee, native seeds, restoration, ecosystems, Washington
Native plants in Wenatchee Washington
Wenatchee, intern, U.S Fish and Wildlife, native plants, Washington

Preserving the Heritage: Exploring the Beauty and Importance of Washington Native Seeds

Elizabeth Lopez

U.S Fish and Wildlife/ EFTA

The Main Project- Native seeds

Native plants form the foundation of robust, biodiverse ecosystems and provide a home for several other species. We are unable to rebuild ecosystems and alleviate the consequences of climate change without native plants, especially their seeds. In order to influence coordinated efforts, we want to learn more about what species are being produced, what partners utilize, and what they require going forward. Native seed availability and utilization vary widely throughout Washington.

Lilium columbianum, otherwise known as the tiger lily is a large, showy, bright orange flower with deep-red or purple spots near the center. The flowers are nodding and the 6 tepals, (sepals and petals which cannot be properly distinguished) strongly recurved with 2 to 20 growing on a raceme. It is a hallmark example of a native plant. The tiger lily grows at the coast and on both sides of the Cascade Crest in Washington.

The Main Project

While native seed use and availability are now uneven across Washington, future demands for restoration, rehabilitation, and species recovery will probably require more availability. The data we gather would be used to assess interest in a Washington Native Seed Partnership and/or Washington Native Seed Strategy as well as the existing supply, demand, and future need for native seed in Washington.

A partnership and/or native seed strategy’s ultimate objective would be to make it easier to utilize the correct seed at the right time and in the right place. This might be done by removing obstacles to the usage and distribution of native seeds, as well as by conducting outreach and education efforts throughout the state. My tasks to complete my project include:

  • – Determining key partners
  • – Collaborating with new Native Seed BIL Coordinator
  • – Summarize findings from interviews with federal, state, tribal, non-profit, and private industry partners regarding native seed needs, barriers, and coordination to inform a Washington Native Seed Strategy.

Red Columbine

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