LOUISIANA Louisiana Native WHY LOCAL ECOTYPE? NATIVE Plant Initiative Louisiana plant species have evolved PLANT over tens of thousands of years in INITIATIVE response to environmental influences including grazing, fire, drought, and USDA-NRCS flooding. Native plants are well Scott Edwards adapted to our growing conditions and Phone: 337-896-0362 ext 3 thrive with little input. Restoration Email: email@example.com experts agree that plant materials native to an area should be used in Coastal Plain Conservancy conservation projects to achieve long Chad Theilen term sustainability. Phone: 337-436-9401 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org There is a growing interest in the public and private sectors to utilize locally McNeese State University adapted native plant materials for res- Billy Delaney, Ph. D. Phone: 337-475-5692 toration and revegetation projects in email@example.com Louisiana. Ensuring ecosystem stability and ensuring genetic integrity is a USGS - NWRC major concern for restoration and Larry Allain habitat creation projects. Phone: 337-266-8677 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Despite a strong demand for native plant material for conservation, resto- Nicholls State University ration, and habitat creation, it is not Allyse Ferrara, Ph.D. available. Louisiana consumers must Phone (985) 448-4736 purchase less adapted plant material email@example.com from Texas and the Midwest. Many restoration projects in Louisiana have Barataria-Terrebonne failed or been unable to proceed National Estuary Program Kerry St. Pe’ C O L L E C T , C O N S E R V E , because of the lack of commercially Phone: (985) 447-0868 I N C R E A S E , A N D S T U D Y available sources of plant material that firstname.lastname@example.org N A T I V E G R A S S E S , are adapted to the state. F O R B S A N D L E G U M E S O F L O U I S I A N A LOUISIANA NATIVE PLANT INITIATIVE The collection, assembly, selection and Two integral parts to the LNPI are seed release of new plant material are the goals collection and the increase and production of the Louisiana Native Plant Initiative of seed. Candidate species are selected by (LNPI). The LNPI uses observational and/or the LNPI Technical Committee based on quantitative evaluations along with plant resource concern, wildlife value, range of breeding methods to isolate and/or select distribution and physical characteristics for Partnerships improved local ecotypes. The LNPI uses the commercial production. Local native seeds USDA-Natural Resources Conservation are then collected from sources on private To address the lack of local ecotypes, a (NRCS) Service Plant Materials Program and public lands in the specific ecosystem Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was model for seed collection, increase, and as identified by the technical committee. signed April 22, 2004 between the Coastal release of adapted native grasses, forbs Seeds are collected by hand or by mechani- Plain Conservancy, McNeese State Univer- and legumes for commercial production. cal means, and labeled based on location sity, USGS Wetlands Research Center, and and other relevant scientific information. Natural Resources Conservation Service. The LNPI will collect, preserve, increase, and study native grasses, forbs and legumes of Seed collection is an ongoing process In March 2006 another MOU was signed Louisiana, conserving a vanishing natural throughout the growing season, typically between Nichols State University, Barataria resource and providing an essential step in April to November. This includes seed Terrebonne National Estuary Program and the development of a native plant industry. collection on remnant grasslands and seed Natural Resources Conservation Service. harvest from the breeder and foundation seed blocks. Seed processing, cleaning and These MOU’s formalized a partnership to greenhouse grow out occurs November to develop a comprehensive plant materials March at the NRCS Golden Meadow Plant program to collect, increase and release Materials Center in Galliano, LA. Using the locally adapted ecotypes of native grasses, year round grow out process, a local ecotype forbs and legumes. Commercially available release will take 3 to 5 years from initial sources of locally adapted plant materials collection to release to the commercial have the potential to provide substantial market. ecological and economic benefits.