California Native Plant Society

CNPS Conservation Campaign

Sustaining the CNPS Conservation Program

Clarkia, woolly sunflower, and Ithuriel's spear on Walker Ridge, Colusa County. photo credit: Andrew Fulks

THANK YOU! Thanks to the many generous donors and to the contributing chapters that made the Conservation Campaign a tremendous SUCCESS! The Conservation Campaign was an effort to raise $100,000 to sustain the CNPS Conservation Program. You should be proud to know that the campaign met this goal.

CNPS thanks everyone who contributed to the Campaign. It is a real statement of support for the CNPS Conservation Program.

Special thanks to the following CNPS chapters that made contributions from chapter funds: Sacramento Valley, Redbud, San Diego, Willis Lynn Jepson, Monterey, Santa Clara Valley, El Dorado, Mount Lassen, South Coast, Milo Baker, Dorothy King Young, Napa, Marin, Sierra Foothills, and Orange County.

The Conservation Campaign has ended, but you can still make a donation to support the conservation of rare plants! Click here to donate to the Rare Campaign for rare plants and places.


CNPS Conservation Director Greg Suba: Hard at Work. Photo: Benjamin Zack, Center for Plant Conservation.

Why was the Conservation Campaign Important?

California's native plants and landscapes are fundamental to ensuring a healthy natural environment in our state - yet species that have endured for thousands of years are still being lost to development. Add the impacts due to climate change and invasive plants, and the need for action to preserve the flora becomes imperative.

The Conservation Program is one of CNPS's core programs. CNPS advocates for the protection of plants across California. CNPS promotes science-based conservation at all levels of government. The Conservation Program supports chapters on many significant local projects. The Program also helps chapters by improving Federal and State policies that affect all chapters.

Wind project construction in Kern County
CNPS is working to improve the siting of wind projects to avoid destruction of habitat like this project in dense Joshua tree woodland in Kern County. photo credit: Friends of Mojave

CNPS at Work: Desert Solar

One of CNPS's key efforts has been advocating for native plant protection in the California Deserts, where companies have proposed massive solar projects. CNPS sits on the Stakeholder Committee of the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan ("DRECP"), a conservation plan being developed for over 22 million acres of the state's desert region. CNPS's participation helped to set standards that have resulted in a large increase in the number of plant species covered by the plan. The agencies are also relying on CNPS's expertise on rare plants and vegetation to provide information needed to develop maps for reserves. Without our persistent and dedicated presence in DRECP stakeholder meetings, important desert habitat could be lost forever.

Effective Conservation for Plants

The CNPS Conservation Program is needed for effective conservation. CNPS professional staff routinely help chapter volunteers. In addition, staff provides essential contacts with agency personnel and members of the California State Legislature. Staff also develop and submit detailed comment letters on projects and planning efforts of statewide importance. Many planning processes are very complex and demand the time, skill, and organization that professional staff provide. The DRECP process mentioned above is an example of this.

CNPS commands the respect of regulators at the State and local level because it promotes the best available science. The CNPS Conservation Program is the principal voice for science-based advocacy for plants in California.

Looking Forward

A focus of the CNPS Conservation program in the next few years will be to strengthen legal and policy protections for whole plant communities. The conservation of entire plant communities will give plants, both common and rare, "room to roam," and maintain their viability over time. The need to continue this work is urgent since threats to the flora from energy development, timber harvesting, climate change, and urban and agricultural land use continue without adequate protections. Through your contribution to the Conservation Campaign, you will join those who, for half a century, have fostered the protection of California's diverse flora.

Wind project construction in Kern County
The San Gabriel Mountains Chapter and the Conservation Program worked together to improve conservation of oak woodlands in Los Angeles County. photo credit: Gavin Emmons

The Conservation Campaign has ended, but you can still make a donation to support the conservation of rare plants! Click below to donate to the Rare Campaign for rare plants and places.

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