The native flora of the United States includes more than 15,000 species of flowering plants, over 700 of which are currently listed as federally threatened or endangered. Habitat loss and degradation, competition by invasive species and over-harvesting present the biggest challenges to these plants' survival.
Innovative partnerships are needed to protect native plants before they become critically endangered, and to restore native populations that are currently under threat. Through the Native Plant Conservation Initiative, NFWF is furthering the science and conservation of critical native plant and pollinator communities.
NFWF's Native Plant Conservation Initiative is a national program that protects, enhances and restores native plant and pollinator communities on public and private lands. This program works to provide permanent conservation solutions, promote healthy ecosystems, leverage partner knowledge and dollars, and develop public outreach and education.
Funding priorities for this program include:
- Projects that directly address plant conservation priorities established by one or more of the federal agency partners
- On-the-ground work that involves local communities and citizen volunteers in restoration or protection of native plant communities
- Inclusion of a project component focused on pollinator conservation.
Since 1995, the Native Plant Conservation Initiative grant program has awarded over $6.1 million in federal funding to 304 plant conservation projects. These grants have been leveraged by $9.8 million in contributions from non-federal partners in the individual projects, for a total of $15.9 million for projects across the country working on native plant and pollinator conservation.
The Native Plant Conservation Initiative is part of the Plant Conservation Alliance, a partnership of ten federal agencies and 200 non-governmental organizations that provides a national framework to link resources for and coordinate approaches to native plant conservation. Major funding for this program is provided by the Bureau of Land Management, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service and USDA Forest Service.