California Native Plant Society
Santa Cruz County Chapter

General Meeting
Monday, July 8
Keying Session 5:30 pm
Presentation 7:30 pm

UCSC Arboretum Horticulture Building
1156 High Street, Santa Cruz

Mapping California's Important Plant Areas
Sam Young, CNPS IPA Program Manager

California is a globally significant biodiversity hotspot. With roughly 6,500 native plant taxa, the Golden State boasts similar botanical diversity to Japan and New Zealand. It's mild climates and rugged landscapes have also made California a highly desirable place to live, with a population close to 40 million people and growing. Demands for housing, resources, and a changing climate are placing increasing pressure on California's unique flora. Region-wide planning efforts are being developed to meet the demands of an increasing population.

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Tejon Ranch Oaks. Photo by Nancy Buck

It is essential that botanical data and conservation value be well represented in these efforts. The CNPS Important Plant Area (IPA) Program seeks to identify the most important areas for preserving California's botanical biodiversity heritage. Identification and protection of IPAs have been called out as essential components for biodiversity conservation both at home through the California Biodiversity Initiative and on the world stage through the Global Plant Conservation Strategy. Join Sam Young, CNPS Important Plant Areas Program Manager, for a discussion on California's plant biodiversity, IPA methods, and strategies for realizing IPA conservation goals.

Sam is spearheading the development of the Important Plant Areas Program with the Conservation Program staff for statewide implementation. Following previous pilot workshops, Sam is now developing methods and strategies for delineating those areas which are most critical to the conservation of California's flora. Sam holds a master's degree in Environmental Science and Management, specializing in Conservation Planning, from the Bren School at the University of California, Santa Barbara.