SEED PROGRAM ANSWERS AN URGENT NEED
Once a wildfire is extinguished, the clock starts ticking on how long land managers and landowners have to keep non-native invasive plants from taking over, compounding the loss to the surrounding to the ecological and human community. Not only do invasives crowd out native plants, but they also can provide a new crop of fire fuel for the next wildfire season and cause other imbalances in the greater ecosystem.
To break this cycle, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and 11 other federal agencies and more than 300 private-sector partners have collaborated on a National Seed Strategy to get the right seed to the right place at the right time.
Two historical examples of the need for this strategy are the Hurricane Sandy that hit the East Coast in 2012 and the 2011 Bastrop County Fire in Texas. After Sandy struck, 1 million dune-stabilizing native plants were needed, yet none were available. It will take 5 years to meet the demand created by that giant storm.
More than 32,000 acres were burned in the Bastrop fire, the most destructive wildfire in Texas history. Local drought-hardy seeds were found forgotten in a warehouse refrigerator and have been used to grow a half million seedlings that are now being used for restoration.
Read more here.
Read the press release and follow @BLMNational on Twitter using #itstartswithaSEED for more information. For stories about ongoing projects happening across BLM visit the My Public Lands Flickr.