The seeds of native plant species are unique, and their supply is closely tied to the natural landscape from which they originate. At a time when the demand for native seed in ecological restoration and other applications is increasing sharply, many of those landscapes are subject to human-induced environmental stressors that imperil the immense biodiversity they embody. Therefore, native seeds are needed from natural landscapes to improve the ecosystem functionality of degraded landscapes, and for many other applications that benefit from their use.
This is also a time of major transition in the types of demand for native seed, and the needs are evolving. Over the last several decades, there has been a shift from the use of non-native seed species to an increased use of native species in restoration and rehabilitation. A greater diversity of native species of some types, such as grasses, is now available, but far less so for others, such as forbs. For some applications, such as on eroded slopes, and after fires, there is a lack of native seeds that meet short-term performance needs such as rapid soil coverage, so non-native seeds are used.
Public-sector seed buyers at the federal and state level are increasingly requesting native seed sourced from specific geographic locations or that is otherwise considered locally adapted. This demand trend is also happening in restoration projects on private land. The committee learned from seed buyers that the availability of native seed is insufficient, both in terms of its availability when needed, and from the standpoint of the desired diversity of species, ecotypes, geographic origin, and other characteristics. Substitutions for desired species or seeds from desired seed zones are not rare even for routine uses (e.g., maintenance, conservation program uses, habitat creation) and a common occurrence with respect to emergency needs.
On the other hand, the committee learned from suppliers of native seed that uncertain demand is a major barrier to their ability to provide what buyers need. They indicate that they are poised to produce additional seed of much needed diverse species and ecotypes if they have access to the necessary source material to begin production and a clearer and more consistent signal for demand.
As the committee pondered the juxtaposition of how this increasing demand for native seed apparently is not enough to stimulate a sufficient supply response to fill the need, several puzzle pieces began to connect. One large piece of the puzzle is that a large diversity of existing native plant populations is on public lands, and in the West, managed by several federal agencies, with their properties intertwined across almost half of the land area, adjacent to state, tribal land, and private lands. The federal government is far less present in the eastern part of the United States, but many natural areas are under management of state and local governments and by land trusts on
private reserves. In some cases, as the committee learned in the case of Iowa, virtually the only remaining natural prairies in the state exist along the sides of public roads. Thus, the source of much of the stock seed that suppliers need to produce primarily exists on publicly managed lands.
The solution to the native seed supply shortage is not to rely solely on the direct use of wild collections for all public projects, which would dangerously decrease the resource. The native plant communities on public land would be better used as the building blocks for the comprehensive assembly of a sustainable, public-private native seed industry. Congress charged the federal land-management agencies to carry out a plan for a native seed supply. The collection of seed from public lands needs to be managed as a critical renewable resource with the goal of building that supply—one that is scoped to be representative of the genetic diversity across the landscape and scaled to meet the nation’s growing needs.
The implications to addressing this need include employing sufficient human resources and expertise dedicated to carrying out this comprehensive effort. Additional personnel are needed on multiple fronts, including for the responsibility of monitoring native plant populations across public lands, their overall health, and the genetics they embody, and for oversight of a methodical approach to seed collection based on rigorous protocols. The Seeds of Success program, with more than 27,000 accessions so far, is the example of a coordinated, high-quality collecting and seed banking effort to target wild populations of plant species in geographical locations of interest. To meet the need, that program needs to be conducted under the framework of a larger vision, at a bigger scale and in a wider breadth of geographies nationwide.
The next fundamental step to building the seed supply involves bringing banked seed into field cultivation through the complex transition from conditions in the wild to that of managed agriculture, and providing oversight of the seeds’ genetics during increase and multiplication—essentially the process of native seed development—that would result in more than just a single increase for one or two projects, but also in stock seed material for distribution to suppliers to produce seed with transparent origins, and clear identities and attributes.
Who can do this? A precedent for a process like this is currently led by the US Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA NRCS) Plant Materials Centers (PMCs), which have for many years conducted plant development to feed the seed industry’s pipeline for soil conservation programs on private lands. Many public land projects have used seed from the PMCs and continue to do so today. The PMCs maintain lines of stock seed for the private-sector seed industry, and help producers learn how to best grow the seeds economically. That work is complemented by USDA NRCS’s technical staff who provide advice to private landowners enrolled in conservation programs on the appropriate seeds to use for different conservation practices. Because the PMCs already supplied the industry with stock seed, these advisers support the demand for conservation seed purchases and direct landowner-buyers to seed types they know are available in the market.
This business model is an important example for consideration, although for several reasons, it does not solve all the problems of the native seed supply. The PMCs have become oriented to meeting primarily private-sector soil conservation needs. They also maintain some seed lines developed using a degree of selection or genetic manipulation for agronomic traits, such as yield, that many would consider inappropriate for restoration, but they also develop natural track plant materials. For example, the PMCs do collaborate with efforts like the not-for-profit Texas Natives Seeds to develop supplies of native seeds (certified, natural track germplasm) that serve both restoration and revegetation goals.
There also does not yet exist a widespread advisory function for buyers of seed for restoration needs that parallels the one that the NRCS provides to landowners on soil conservation programs. Finally, at present, the PMCs are very leanly staffed, so an expansion of both the PMC mission and its capacity would be needed to meet the diverse needs of the federal land-management agencies, states, and private users of the nation.
To make the seed supply more robust, the many information gaps that affect the ability of the native seed supply to function efficiently and effectively need to be filled. Some of the needs are described in Chapter 8, and addressing them would inform buyers’ decision making, reduce uncertainty for suppliers, and improve restoration outcomes. Native seed suppliers also need production knowledge about difficult-to-grow species, and suppliers and users would benefit from more consistent seed testing methodologies. Progress is being made, but too slowly, and the resources needed to fill these gaps are insufficient, which holds the seed supply back. In addition to research needs, information about native seed use, prices paid for seed, seed contracting arrangements that share risk between
buyers and suppliers, acres restored, outcomes of seeding projects, and species used is not routinely documented and shared by land-management or statistical agencies. Better documentation would facilitate better planning.
The common needs of land-management agencies are a central piece of the puzzle. In addition to oversight for the public lands on which many native plant populations grow, the federal, state, and tribal land-management agencies have similar uses and needs for native seeds, and in many regions, the lands under their control are physically contiguous, so they have common plant biodiversity needs. Generally, however, each agency addresses its seed needs independently and all find it difficult to obtain the supply of seeds needed to fully address their continual needs. Some, like the US Forest Service (USFS), have nurseries and seed-cleaning capacity to address a portion of its needs. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has warehouses that provide short-term storage for purchased seed. Other agencies and groups, such as the National Park Service, and most tribal nations, do not have internal units dedicated to planning or tracking native seed needs or purchases, and simply work on a project-by-project basis when funds are available. The committee found that agencies with multiple-year planning horizons, with priorities updated on a yearly basis, such as the Integrated Natural Resource Management Plans used by Department of Defense land managers, appeared to be more successful in obtaining their desired seeds. Why not bring the considerable expertise, infrastructure, best practices, and assets that exist across the federal agencies together to address their common goals?
The committee found that the agencies do engage in collaborations on an ad hoc basis. In response to the 2001 congressional mandate to develop a native seed supply, BLM and the USFS began to establish regional programs for native plant restoration and native plant materials development but have not been able to expand those programs to the geographic scale required to meet the seed needs of the federal agencies, much less the nation. The projects led by these agencies, such as those in the Pacific Northwest, Great Basin, Colorado Plateau, and Mohave Desert, are examples of the productive direction that cooperative action can take, but those are pilot-level efforts. These programs are limited relative to the need, and most regions across the nation lack any similarly focused programs. The National Seed Strategy developed in 2015 by BLM and other federal agencies and nonfederal partners conceptually recognized the need for extensive interagency and regional cooperation to meet its stated goals. For now, however, it is largely an aspirational blueprint pointing the way forward, and independent activities on elements of the blueprint comprise the extent of collective action.
The committee concluded that there is much to gain by taking interagency coordination a step further to build a national native seed supply for public lands, and beyond. Such a step necessitates a greater and more sustained level of engagement and funding. The extensive coordination required to address native seed needs is comparable to that employed for wildland fire response, and carried out through the National Interagency Fire Center, a home for the fire management programs of the federal land-management agencies and other federal units that deal with fire. It coordinates wildland firefighting across the United States using a regional approach to engage all levels of federal and state governments, the tribes, and the private sector in planning fire responses, mobilizing emergency resources, conducting research, carrying out data collection and analysis, and communicating policy and best practices.
The same kind of focus and cooperative structure for addressing native seed needs could unify the agencies’ independent efforts to meet seed needs for restoration and rehabilitation, if consistent long-term funding was provided to carry out those activities on a large scale. Rather than compete with existing activities within agencies, it could reduce duplication, facilitate sharing of resources, and generate momentum to build the native seed supply that Congress requested more than 20 years ago.
The committee recognizes that bringing separate agencies together in this vision is not a simple task. However, the native seed needs and ecological restoration needs of the country are significant and the current pace at which they are being addressed will be overwhelmed in the coming years as climate change, habitat destruction, and species extinction intensifies. It is an understatement to say that time is of the essence to bank the seeds and the genetic diversity our lands hold for future extensive planting projects that will require large-scale seed production.
Recent legislation to provide funding for federal and state-level restoration efforts signifies that the congressional interest in restoring the nation’s natural heritage is a priority. The needs of millions of acres of ecologically impaired landscapes across the nation have largely been unaddressed for lack of funds to conduct proactive restoration activities. At this moment in time there are both the opportunity and the financial resources to act, so it is
urgent that a supply of native seeds appropriate to these landscapes be developed. The funds associated with this legislation represent a tremendous opportunity for the native seed supply and for the conservation and restoration of native plant communities. Addressing them proactively is a unique opportunity to build and stabilize the native seed supply chain.
The committee provides the following conclusions that represent a summary of those in the preceding chapters, as noted in the chapter numbers and conclusion numbers at the end of each conclusion. The summary conclusions provide an overarching rationale for the recommendations that follow them. The recommendations are for actionable steps that can be taken to move the nation closer to the important goal of achieving a robust native seed supply.
Conclusion 1.0: Native plant communities are the source of seed for a diversity of seeding needs. There is urgency to the conservation and restoration of native plant communities and to building a native seed supply, as climate change and biodiversity loss have put many natural landscapes at increasing risk. Seed shortages continue to be a major barrier to restoration. The implementation of federal plans to build a native seed supply for public lands needs to be accelerated. Developing reliable seed supplies for ecological restoration is an achievable goal, but one that demands substantial inter-institutional commitment to work together on a comprehensive vision to support the development of a more robust seed supply industry, and at a much more intensive and expansive level than is currently under way. (Conclusions 1-2, 1-3, 1-4, 1-5, 3-2, 3-4, and 4-2)
Recommendation 1.0: The leadership of the Departments of the Interior (DOI), Agriculture (USDA), and Defense (DOD) should move quickly to establish an operational structure that facilitates sustained interagency coordination of a comprehensive approach to native plant materials development and native plant restoration. An interagency approach focused on fulfilling the long-standing congressional mandate to develop a native seed supply for public lands could unify the agencies’ independent efforts to meet seed needs for restoration and rehabilitation. This focused effort would maximize returns on investment in native plant materials development and restoration and would augment, not replace or compete with, existing activities within agencies. One possible model for agency coordination on a national basis, organized regionally, is the National Interagency Fire Center.
Among the types of activities that could be the focus of concerted efforts include the following:
- Serve as the central coordinating platform for implementing the development of a national native seed supply for rehabilitation and restoration.
- Assist the launch, support, and oversight of regional native seed supply development activities.
- Coordinate the prioritization of species and ecotypes to meet seed needs for different regions.
- Co-develop national policy for native seed collection, seed sharing, and seed use.
- Co-develop and share best management practices for seed choice in restoration.
- Coordinate, prioritize, and support basic and applied research such as described in Chapter 8 and other region-specific needs identified in the National Seed Strategy.
- Review and strengthen policy guidance for the use of native seeds on public lands.
- Co-develop adaptive management approaches that use experimentation during restoration, gather data on outcomes, and use these data to guide future restoration actions.
- Provide a national, central data-collection platform and analytical capability.
- Serve as a focal point for training on seed collection protocols, storage practices, seed cleaning and testing, and other technologies.
- Produce informational resources for stakeholders in native seed supplies and native plant restoration.
Conclusion 2.0: In some regions (at, above, or below the state level), native seed needs are being addressed by networks or partnerships that include federal agencies, states, tribes, local governments, and the private and nonprofit sectors. Further development of these regional networks, plus greater coordination among them, is a promising way to stabilize demand, expand supply, and increase the sharing of information and technology that is critical to meeting native seed needs. (Conclusions 4-1, 5-1, 5-2, 6-1, 6-2, 6-3)
Recommendation 2.0 Federal land-management agencies should participate in building regional programs and partnerships to promote native plant materials development and native plant restoration, helping to establish such regional programs in areas where they do not yet exist. Ideally, the existing regional programs and partnerships would grow into a complete nationwide network, assisted by the federal interagency coordinating structure envisioned in Recommendation 1.0. The size, geographic coverage, and membership of the regional programs would vary based on regional needs and would include many existing entities such as the USDA Plant Materials Centers and Agricultural Research Service seed banks, other seed banks, botanic gardens, public nurseries, universities, and other organizations. The regional partnerships could take on the following responsibilities:
2.1 Develop seed priorities. Each region has its workhorse native plant species, ones that are easily grown and highly abundant in natural communities, as well as its other priority species such as those that are important for pollinators and wildlife. Developing region-specific lists of priority species will enable suppliers to focus on developing stocks of the species, and ecotypes of these species, that are likeliest to be in high demand.
2.2 Conduct scenario planning and monitor climate change and habitat loss effects. To enable suppliers to anticipate and meet future needs, scenario planning at the regional level can be used to estimate the kinds and quantities of seeds likely to be in demand over multiyear horizons. Such planning scenarios would be based on estimates of current degraded land and future events likely to cause further degradation. These would be periodically updated through ongoing monitoring.
2.3 Collect wildland seed and curate stock seed. Regional programs should conduct or oversee the collection, increase, and curation of wildland-sourced seed to make it available for future production. Seed must be collected using protocols to record source locations, maximize genetic diversity, and protect wild populations. As banked stocked seed accessions deplete, additional wild collections will be necessary. As source populations are lost, or better ones located, ongoing monitoring and reevaluation will be needed.
2.4 Share information. Regional programs should develop informational tools derived from monitoring regional seed use practices and the success or failure of outcomes. This will inform smarter, more predictable selections of species for procurement in the regional marketplace and more effective restoration strategies.
Conclusion 3.0: Tribal uses for native plants parallel those of federal and state agencies and their needs include seed collection, increase, seed testing, implementation of seed zones, storage, and contracting for ecological restoration. The historic complexity of land management issues and interactions with federal and state governments, former Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) policies associated with cultural assimilation, and a lack of resources have constrained all aspects of tribal land management including activities to build capacity to meet native plant needs. (Conclusions 5-1, 5-2, 5-3)
Recommendation 3.0: The Bureau of Indian Affairs should work with the Inter-Tribal Nursery Council to promote and expand tribal nurseries. The Bureau of Indian Affairs should prioritize and support tribal native plant uses and capacities, consistent with the Bureau’s legal and fiduciary obligation to protect tribal treaty rights, lands, assets, and resources held under the Federal-Tribal Trust. Recognizing tribal sovereignty and self-determination, expanding the cultural, economic, and restoration uses of native plants by tribes will require the promotion and expansion of tribal nurseries and greater support for the Inter-Tribal Nursery Council. Additionally, tribal leaders and land managers should be fully engaged in planning, conducting, and applying results from scientific projects related to seed production and conservation, native plant restoration, and ecosystem management on tribal land.
Conclusion 4.0: Suppliers view unpredictable demand as their leading challenge. Suppliers indicate that seed contracts with clear delivery timelines, price guarantees, and a guarantee to purchase a predetermined quantity of seed of the specified ecotypes are most important to them. (Conclusions 3-1, 4-3, 6-6, 7-1, 7-2, 7-3, 7-4, 7-5, 7-6, 7-8, and 7-10)
Recommendation 4.0: The public agencies that purchase native seed should assist suppliers by taking steps to reduce uncertainty, share risk, increase the predictability of purchases, and help suppliers obtain stock material.
To stabilize the native seed supply, seed buyers could take the following actions:
4.1 Conduct proactive restoration on a large scale. Millions of acres of US public land are ecologically impaired. With new federal resources for restoration, federal and state agencies should plan restoration projects on a 5-year basis, ensure that stock seed has been made available to suppliers, and set annual purchase targets for the collection and acquisition of needed ecotypes of native plant species. These actions will result in considerable expansion and stabilization of the market for native seeds, benefiting suppliers and users alike.
4.2 Establish clear agency policies on native seed uses. Land-management agencies should establish clear policies on seed use on lands under their stewardship that support the use of locally adapted native plant materials in management activities, along with clearly delimiting the circumstances for allowing exceptions. This will send a strong signal of species and provenance needs to suppliers.
4.3 Support responsible seed collection and long-term seed banking. Intensive and carefully managed seed collection is needed to supply the native plant material enterprise and conserve native plant diversity for the long term.
In cases where native seed is collected from public lands by private suppliers for direct sale and use in restoration, land-management agencies should employ adequate personnel to issue permits and ensure responsible collection.
In other cases, where seed is collected for increase and native plant materials development, the federal agencies should facilitate this activity by extending the Seeds of Success program to include all regions of the United States, and better supporting its activities.
In still other cases, native seed is collected and banked for long-term conservation. To continue building a species-diverse and genetically diverse long-term native seed bank, the federal agencies, led by BLM and the ARS National Plant Germplasm System, should accelerate their collaboration under the Seeds of Success program.
4.4 Contract for seed purchases before production. Public-sector buyers of native seed should amend their policies to enable contracting for purchases before the seed production cycle begins. Forward contracting, in which the buyer agrees to purchase specific seed at a future date, reduces grower risk by ensuring them a market.
4.5 Use marketing contract features that reduce demand uncertainty. Public-sector buyers of native seed should adopt marketing contract features that specify the delivery timeline, guaranteed prices, and guaranteed purchase of predetermined quantities that meet the buyer’s specifications.
4.6 Experiment with native seed contract designs. Public-sector buyers of native seed should experiment with cost- and risk-sharing contract designs, such as BLM’s Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contracts, which are partially supported by a working capital fund.1 Other approaches also merit investigation, such as Blanket Purchase Agreements. In special circumstances, such as where high-priority species or ecotypes are unavailable, federal agencies should consider issuing contracts to suppliers for research and development.
1 The text of the recommendation was modified after release of the prepublication to clarify that the BLM IDIQ is not intrinsically tied to the working capital fund and can be supported from other funding sources.
4.7 Consider providing premiums for local ecotype use in USDA conservation programs. USDA’s Farm Service Agency and state departments of agriculture should explore whether higher co-payments for landowners’ use of local ecotypes of native species in conservation program plantings would enhance environmental benefits while supporting a regional native seed industry. A requirement for the use of certified seed would assure growers that their efforts and expenses are not being undercut by seeds of unverified origins.
Conclusion 5.0: Suppliers indicate that difficult-to-grow species and lack of stock seed from appropriate seed zones or locations are their top two technical challenges. They identified communicating demand (issues related to planning, communication, funding, and the economics of the seed markets) as key to helping them achieve success in providing seeds to buyers. (Conclusions 1-1, 1-4, 7-2, 7-3, 7-4, 7-8, and 8-3)
Recommendation 5.0: Federal land-management agencies should work with their regional partners to launch an outreach program to provide seed suppliers with critical tools and information. This outreach task should include the following elements:
5.1 Strengthen the role of the National Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) in supporting native seed suppliers. The NRCS Plant Materials Centers (PMCs) can build on their historical role by developing materials and techniques and advising commercial growers on native seed production, emphasizing non-manipulated germplasm and production methods that minimize genetic change.
5.2 Support information sharing on restoration outcomes. Public land-management agencies should share new research and technical knowledge on restoration in publicly available technical progress reports.
5.3 Facilitate communication with growers. To support existing native seed growers and to encourage new ones, federal agencies should provide tools such as an online marketplace, and resources such as workshops and information on propagation, seed cleaning, and other techniques.
Conclusion 6.0: There are many information gaps that affect the ability of the native seed supply to function efficiently and effectively. Addressing them would inform decision making, reduce uncertainty, and improve restoration outcomes. (Conclusions 4-4, 5-3, 8-1, 8-2, 8-3, and 8-4)
Recommendation 6.0: The federal government should commit to a rigorous research and development agenda aimed at expanding and improving the use of native seeds in ecological restoration. This includes the following actions:
6.1 Support basic research. Basic research to support restoration in an era of rapid change should be a priority for the National Science Foundation, USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, and the US Geological Survey (USGS). Some critical topics include restoration under climate change, species selection to promote ecological function, traditional ecological knowledge, and the economics of the seed market.
6.2 Build technical knowledge. Development and dissemination of new technical knowledge for restoration should be important priorities for the research arms of federal land-management agencies, such as the USDA-ARS, USFS, Department of Defense, and USGS. Priority topics include improving techniques for production, maintenance of genetic integrity and quality, testing, storage, and deployment of native seeds.
6.3 Adaptive management. Public land agencies and their partners should commit to using a rigorous adaptive management approach that documents all features of the restoration plan, uses restoration treatments as experiments to address critical areas of uncertainty, gathers data on outcomes, and uses these data to guide future restoration actions.
6.4 Seed zones. USDA-ARS, USFS, and USGS, in conjunction with regional programs, should seek to develop a more uniform national system of seed zones, which will be an important step in sending clearer signals to both seed suppliers and seed users.
Conclusion 7.0: An expansion is needed of humidity-controlled seed warehouses across all regions of the United States for temporary storage of seed. To encourage smaller-scale producers to enter the supply chain for native, ecoregional seed of many diverse species, there is a need to expand cooperative seed-cleaning facilities in areas where commercial facilities with specialized equipment capable of handling small lots of native seeds do not exist. (Conclusions 6-4, 6-5, and 7-7)
Recommendation 7.0: Federal agencies and other public and private partners, including seed suppliers, should collaborate on expanding seed storage and seed-cleaning infrastructure that can be cooperatively cost-shared regionally. Additional storage can improve the availability of seed ready for restoration when urgent but hard-to-predict needs arise. Greater refrigerated and freezer storage availability would protect the viability of purchased seed until its use. Seed-cleaning is also a significant technical challenge for new and small-scale suppliers. Regional native seed-cleaning facilities would encourage more growers to enter the supply chain.
Conclusion 8.0: BLM is the nation’s largest user of native seed for restoration and has the largest capacity for seed storage, but many constraints currently limit its capacity to act as a reliable purchaser of native seeds and thereby to support a more robust native seed industry. The capacity and staffing of its seed warehouses are also inadequate to meet existing and projected needs. (Conclusion 6-4)
Recommendation 8.0: BLM’s Seed Warehouse System needs to be expanded, particularly the capacity for cold storage, and supported by staff with up-to-date knowledge of seed science to manage the seed inventory. The BLM seed warehouses belong in a national program within BLM or the Department of the Interior to ensure they are funded, managed, expanded to meet national needs, and shared among agencies. With more warehouses, seed can be kept near the location where it will be used, reducing transportation costs, time, and seed viability loss.
Conclusion 9.0: BLM manages extensive areas of natural and seminatural land that constitute an important in-situ repository of seed stock for restoration, but conserving this critical resource is not yet recognized as a land-management objective. The agency’s native seed needs depend on the native plant communities that are the source of seeds. There is urgency to the need for conserving the biodiversity that is present in existing native plant communities on BLM land. (Conclusions 1-3, 1-5, 3-3, and 6-3)
Recommendation 9.0: BLM should identify and conserve locations in which native plant communities provide significant reservoirs of native seeds for restoration. Public land-management agencies should actively recognize and protect the natural plant communities that provide the ultimate sources of native seeds for ecological restoration, using protective designations such as Area of Critical Environmental Concern or Research Natural Areas.
Conclusion 10.0: Developing reliable seed supplies for ecological restoration is an achievable goal for BLM and other public-sector users of native seed, but one that demands substantial institutional commitment to make restoration a high-priority objective, cultivate and empower botanical and ecological expertise in decision making, and create sustainable funding streams for restoration that enable long-term planning, successful implementation, and learning from experience. (Conclusions 1-4, 3-1, 3-4, and 8-1)
Recommendation 10.0: The Plant Conservation and Restoration Program (PCRP) should be empowered with additional capacity to plan, oversee restoration, and build stocks of seed. BLM should give greater authority and resources to the PCRP to oversee seed purchasing and warehousing decisions, monitor restoration outcomes, engage in long-term restoration planning, and ensure that staff with plant expertise are available to guide restoration
planners and seed purchasers across BLM. This expanded role for PCRP will hasten the pace of change toward the use of natives that is already under way. The PCRP should expand the use of IDIQ or other innovative, risk-sharing contracts to build a diverse supply of native seed in BLM warehouses.
Collectively, these recommendations represent an ambitious agenda for action. The committee believes that agenda is commensurate to the challenges facing our natural landscapes, and to the responsibility of the federal public land-management agencies to take a focused, coordinated leadership role in addressing them. The committee is optimistic that the many public and private parties involved in land stewardship on behalf of tribal nations, states, and other landowners will be willing partners in ensuring their success.
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