The mission of CNPS is to conserve California native plants and their natural habitats, and increase understanding, appreciation, and horticultural use of native plants.
The Rare Plant Treasure Hunt brings together volunteer Citizen Scientists and trained botanists to discover and map rare plants. In 2010-2011 RPTH volunteers mapped more than 1,300 rare plant populations. 36% of the occurrences found in 2011 were previously unknown! In 2012, over 170 volunteers updated and recorded population information on over 480 plants around the state and contributed over 2500 hours. CNPS is the sole voice for plant conservation in the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) process. DRECP will last 30 years and cover 23 million acres. CNPS successfully pushed for vegetation mapping on 5.5 million acres; these data will identify the special areas that should be avoided by industrial scale energy projects. The CNPS conservation program also works on other proposed large scale energy projects in the California desert that fall outside of DRECP's area. In 2012 CNPS protected rare plant habitat in Los Angeles and Amador counties and helped obtain endangered species status for the last wild specimen of a previously-presumed extinct manzanita. In 2013, we are working with state legislators to strengthen CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act). Opening the World through Journaling: Integrating art, science, and language arts, is the recently updated second edition CNPS curriculum for elementary and middle school students. It is available for free download from the CNPS website. The associated Open World Field Guides project is an extension of the children's curriculum and encourages students to observe their environment. The Rare Plant Communities Initiative helps individuals and groups identify, inventory, and protect rare plant communities throughout California. We train agencies, conservancies, and volunteers. There are chapter workshops scheduled for spring and summer 2013. Check the "Upcoming Events" on the CNPS homepage for details as they are posted. The new 8th Edition of the CNPS Inventory of Rare and Endangered Plants has been released as a user-friendly website. This indispensable database is used by hundreds of people every day to help discover and identify Californiaís rare and special plants.
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