USFWS 2011 Recovery Champion

In March, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced that Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden was selected as one of the 2011 Recover Champions.

RSABG, one of two award recipients from the Pacific Southwest Region, was selected for the recovery work being done to conserve more than 100 federally listed plants.

“To have the hard work and dedication of RSABG staff and volunteers recognized by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in this way is exciting," said Patrick Larkin, RSABG executive director. "It is great to have the support of such an important federal partner as we continue to realize Susanna Bixby Bryant’s vision of protecting California’s native plants.”

The USFWS award acknowledges RSABG’s conservation of several plants including three plants on the federal register of endangered and threatened plants: Trichostema austromontanum subsp. compactum (Hidden Lake bluecurls), Eriogonum ovalifolium var. vineum (Cushenbury buckwheat) and Monardella linoides subsp. viminea (willowy monardella). RSABG has collected and maintained seeds of federally listed plants of Southern California and raised plants for planting in restoration sites, which has helped stabilize otherwise declining populations or has reclaimed habitat. The private, nonprofit organization’s extensive seed conservation program serves not only as a safety net for listed plants, but also for plants like Chorizanthe parryi var. fernandina  (San Fernando Valley spineflower), a candidate species.

“Recovery Champions are helping listed species get to the point at which they are secure in the wild and no longer need Endangered Species Act protection,” said Dan Ashe, USFWS service director. “These groups and individuals have done amazing work in helping to bring dozens of species back from the brink of extinction, while improving habitat that benefits many other species and local communities.”

Representatives from the Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office, including Jim Bartel, USFWS field supervisor, and Scott Sobiech, USFWS deputy field supervisor, will visit the Garden to present the award to Patrick Larkin, RSABG executive director, and RSABG staff on Friday, April 20. RSABG’s nomination for the award was submitted by the Carlsbad office.