The California Native Seed Strategy Is Crucial to the State’s Climate Resilience

Sky Lupine (Lupinus nanus); Image: Marlin Harms

California’s first Native Seed Strategy will help protect our “green infrastructure,” allowing the state to respond to climate impacts like extreme wildfire, flooding, and drought.

January 18, 2024, Sacramento—Today, the California Native Plant Society (CNPS) announced that the California Native Seed Strategy has been published and is ready to be shared widely. The California Native Seed Strategy offers a pathway to increase the availability of native seed and its use in ecological restoration and land management.  

“As one of the world’s 36 biodiversity hotspots, California has a tremendous variety of species that live nowhere else, combined with an increased risk of their extinction,” noted CNPS Executive Director Jun Bando. “Native seed is foundational to preserving the variety of life in California as we know it—not only for plant species, but for the web of life those plants support and the health of our ecosystems.”  

With the demand for native seed stock far outpacing supply, CNPS developed the California Native Seed Strategy with guidance from an expert group of government and nonprofit advisors. CNPS is also working closely with industry partners as the Strategy rolls out. The California Native Seed Strategy is inspired by the Nevada Native Seed Strategy and based on the National Seed Strategy (National Seed Strategy for Rehabilitation and Restoration 2015-2020) with major funding from the Bureau of Land Management.  

As the National Seed Strategy points out, native plants are our “green infrastructure” and necessary for healthy, resilient, biodiverse habitats. “California’s progress toward protecting 30% of lands and coastal waters by 2030 (30×30) places the state squarely as a global leader,” said CNPS Senior Restoration Coordinator Caroline Martorano. “The California Native Seed Strategy will play a critical role in ensuring California has the native seed necessary for ecological restoration and enhancement to support 30×30 and other nature-based solutions to the climate and biodiversity crises.”  

The California Native Seed Strategy addresses the policy, grants, contracts, capacity, collaboration, science, and technology needed for steady native seed supply. Having these parts in place will ensure “the right seed, in the right place, at the right time” is not just a tagline but a sound investment in California’s future. 

Click here to learn more about the California Native Seed Strategy. 

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