In the wake of wildfires, floods and droughts, restoring damaged landscapes and habitats requires native seeds. The U.S. doesn’t have enough, according to a report released Thursday.
“Time is of the essence to bank the seeds and the genetic diversity our lands hold,” the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) report said.
As climate change worsens extreme weather events, the damage left behind by those events will become more severe. That, in turn, will create greater need for native seeds — which have adapted to their local environments over the course of thousands of years — for restoration efforts.
But the report found that the country’s supply of native seeds is already insufficient to meet the needs of agencies like the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which is the largest purchaser of native seeds and which commissioned the study in 2020. That lack of supply presents high barriers to restoration efforts now and into the future. [Continue reading…]