New Mexico Stakeholder Meeting
April 26, 2017
The kick-off stakeholder meeting for the SWSP included a morning information-sharing session with presentations from native seed farmers, collectors, researchers, and partnership coordinators followed by breakout discussions and panels (growers and buyers) in the afternoon. We aimed to involve all stakeholders in seed collection and production decision-making and in determining the structure of the partnership moving forward. Understanding native plant materials demand within restoration and land management organizations was an emphasis of the meeting.
Morning presentations provided information about the Southwest Seed Partnership and native seed development: SWSP Overview (Melanie Gisler, IAE; Kathryn Kennedy, USFS; and Zoe Davidson, BLM), National Seed Strategy (Peggy Olwell, BLM), Grower and Restoration Survey Results (Shawn Stone, IAE), Seed Collections for SWSP (Ella Samuel, BLM), Seed Zones and Genetics of Native Species (Kevin Grady, NAU), Native Seed Farming (Lynda Boyer, Heritage Seedlings), Southern Rockies Seed Network (John Giordanengo, SRSN), and Communication Venues (Ella Samuel and Shawn Stone). Find out more about some of the presentations here.
Six breakout groups answered the following questions:
- What are the most Important roles for the Southwest Seed Partnership?
- What are the pros and cons of a Memorandum of Understanding?
- The SWSP can play a role in sharing findings from relevant native seed and restoration studies, and we can also help to conduct research that is currently lacking. Do you see any conflicts or partnership opportunities for the SWSP to engage in this type of research?
- If there is a lack of information about appropriate seed zones for a given species, what is a reasonable process for deciding whether or not that species can still go into production?
- What challenges to you see in the development of a SWSP?
- What other obstacles should we be aware of when we are trying to develop collaborative production fields?
- What factors should be considered when choosing target species for production?
- How do we make it fair to growers when deciding who gets the seed or the contract?
- Discuss ways to ensure seed quality for users of SWSP plant materials in production. How could seed certification potentially serve native plant growers and users in NM in the future?
Answers to questions were combined from all breakout groups and summarized in the "Breakout Group Discussions" link above.
Restoration and Grower panels with five representatives each fielded questions from the audience on topics related to native seed demand and considerations for native seed production. Click "Panels" above for notes from the discussions.
Four committees were established to continue work on Southwest Seed Partnership development between stakeholder meetings. Committees currently include: Steering, Target Species, Seed Quality, and Research. Click "Committees" above for descriptions of each committee.
Discussions throughout the course of the meeting kept returning to building a common vocabulary as we use terms that may be defined or used differently across vocations. We have started to build a list of terms with definitions regarding how we plan to use those terms moving forward within the Southwest Seed Partnership. Click "terms" above for this list.
We will be posting an informational flier discussing seed transfer zones and how we plan to use them to guide our seed collections. In addition, we plan to compile and share information to illustrate the art of seed readiness. So stay tuned!