- Native Plant
(updated May, 2008!)
Protection for Plants
- Contact us!
- Native Plant
- Conservation Campaign
- 1459 18th St.
- San Francisco, CA
Phone: 415 970 0394
- Director, NPCC
(c) David Tibor
Important Plant Areas
In July, 2007, Britain completed a multi-year project
to identify and designate its “Important Plant Areas” (IPAs). The project
was carried out by our partners at Plantlife International, Britain’s native
plant conservation organization.
For more information, see Plantlife International's
For information on the British IPA program, see their
web page and database
For information on IPA programs in countries outside
Important Plant Areas (IPAs) have been defined as
"natural or semi-natural sites exhibiting
exceptional botanical richness and/or supporting an outstanding assemblage of rare,
threatened, and/or endemic plant species and/or vegetation of high botanic value."
-Planta Europa Report on IPAs in Europe
The IPA concept recognizes that to be effective, conservation
efforts must focus on plant communities and ecosystems - not only on imperiled species.
The European IPA program is modeled on the Important Bird Area
(IBA) program of
the Audubon Society and Birdlife International. IBA networks have been
identified in a number of European and Middle Eastern nations, and are being used as
conservation tools by scientists, advocates and governments.
The American Bird
Conservancy also has an Important Bird Areas program. For information go
There is a growing effort to identify and conserve Important Plant Areas
in a number of countries including Turkey, Spain, Sweden and Greece.
- We do not yet have an IPA program in the United States. However,
there are a number of attempts to designate areas of special botanical or ecological
concern on public and private lands in the United States.
- The public can work with State and Federal agencies to designate
special places under a variety of programs. This page provides information on and links to
- Research Natural Areas
- Research Natural Areas form a long-term network of ecological
reserves designated for non-manipulative research, education, and the maintenance of
biodiversity. According to the USFS, Research
Natural Areas are selected to preserve a spectrum of relatively pristine areas that
represent a wide range of natural variability within important natural ecosystems and
environments, and areas that have unique characteristics of scientific importance. This designation applies to both designated and
proposed Research Natural Areas. Research Natural
Areas are also selected for one or more of the following reasons:
- To serve as reference areas for evaluating the range of natural
variability and the impacts of management in similar environments.
- To serve as areas for the study of ecosystems and ecological
processes including succession.
- To provide onsite and extension educational activities.
- To serve as baseline areas for measuring ecological change.
To protect and
maintain representative or key elements of biological diversity at the genetic, species,
population, community, or ecosystem levels.
- Special Interest
- The USFS defines SIAs as areas managed to protect unusual
characteristics. Management emphasis is on protecting or enhancing, and where
appropriate developing and interpreting for public education and recreation, areas of
These areas are managed to maintain their special interest values.
Typically, Special Interest Areas (SIAs) have been designated as botanical, geological,
historical, cultural, paleontological, scenic, or zoological areas. Special Interest Areas
may also be designated to protect and manage threatened, endangered and sensitive species,
or other elements of biological diversity; or for their emotional significance, scenic
values, or public popularity. Special Interest Areas vary in size from small to fairly
For more information on RNAs and SIAs, contact your local Forest Service office.
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
- BLM Research Natural Areas
- According to the BLM, Research Natural Areas (RNAs) are areas that
contain important ecological and scientific values and are managed for minimum human
disturbance. RNAs are primarily used for non-manipulative research and baseline data
gathering on relatively unaltered community types. Since natural processes are allowed to
dominate, RNAs also make excellent controls for similar communities that are being
actively managed. In addition, RNAs provide an essential network of diverse habitat types
that will be preserved in their natural state for future generations.
- Areas of
Special Environmental Concern
- According to the BLM, ACEC designations highlight areas where special
management attention is needed to protect, and prevent irreparable damage to, important
historic, cultural, or scenic values; fish or wildlife resources; or other natural systems
or processes. ACECs may also be designated to protect human life and safety from natural
hazards. The ACEC designation indicates to the public that the BLM recognizes that an area
has significant values and has established special management measures to protect those
To be considered a potential ACEC an area must meet
criteria of both relevance and importance. These criteria are described in BLM Manual
1613, Areas of Critical Environmental Concern, section 1613.1.11, and are summarized
Relevance. An area meets the relevance
criteria if it contains one or more of the following:
1. A significant historic, cultural, or scenic value.
2. A fish or wildlife resource.
3. A natural process or system (including but not limited to areas supporting rare,
endemic, relic, or endangered plant species, or rare geological features)
4. Natural hazards (areas of avalanche, unstable soils, rockfall, etc.)
Importance. An area meets the importance criteria if it is characterized
by one or more of the following:
1. Has more than locally significant qualities.
2. Has qualities or circumstances that make it fragile, sensitive, irreplaceable, rare,
3. Has been recognized as warranting protection to satisfy national priority concerns or
to carry out the mandates of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act.
4. Has qualities which warrant concern about safety and public welfare.
5. Poses a significant threat to human life and safety, or to property.
Nominations for additional ACECs submitted by the
public should be accompanied by descriptive materials, maps showing the location and
outline of the nominated area, and a discussion of evidence supporting the relevance and
importance of the resources or hazards in the area.
For those areas already nominated as ACECs, the public
is encouraged to comment on the relevance and importance of those areas and to recommend
appropriate management strategies for protecting their values.
For more information on BLM RNAs and ACECs in your
area, contact your local BLM office.
Hautes Fanges Wildlife Refuge,
- Fen, Grand Mesa, CO
- (c) Peggy Lyon
- Eureka Dunes, CA
- (c) David Tibor
- Missouri Prairie
- (c) Jessie Harris