Washington, DC

Defenders of Wildlife and more than one hundred other organizations and businesses today sent a letter to Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and Bureau of Land Management Director Tracy Stone-Manning thanking them for their leadership promoting native plants in ecological restoration and for their commitment to establish a National Interagency Seed and Restoration Center. 

“Native seeds provide the foundation for healthy, biodiverse ecosystems and millions of acres need this kind of support to rebuild and restore habitat. We appreciate Secretary Haaland and Director Stone-Manning making these investments to restore damaged ecosystems for the good of wildlife and people, and in doing so, increasing our resiliency against climate change,” said Vera Smith, senior federal lands policy analyst at Defenders of Wildlife. 

The National Interagency Seed and Restoration Center will serve as the scientific, technical and logistical support center for the nation’s restoration and native seed needs, as well as a coordination hub for ecoregional native plant programs and native seed warehouses. 

Assuring a sustainable supply of native seeds is crucial for the restoration of the natural ecology of millions of acres of federal lands annually affected by fire, invasive species, intense storms and human activities. 

Currently, there is a chronic shortage of native seeds and federal land managers continue to plant large acreages with non-native species. In 2020, about 7/8 of the grasses and 3/4 of the forbs that BLM purchased for its warehouse were not genetically appropriate native seeds.

For over 75 years, Defenders of Wildlife has remained dedicated to protecting all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With a nationwide network of nearly 2.1 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife for generations to come. To learn more, please visit https://defenders.org/newsroom or follow us on X @Defenders.


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