The Division's Rare Plant Protection Program was established through the Rare Plant Protection and Conservation Act of 1985, and a formal cooperative agreement between the USFWS and the State. This act directs the Department to develop a state list of endangered, threatened and special concern plants, conduct investigations on their status and conservation needs, and conduct education programs concerning rare plant conservation. (The State List of Endangered, Threatened and Special Concern Plants is maintained through the Natural Heritage Inventory Program) Under this Act the Department is also required to license and monitor commercial nurseries which trade in endangered plants. (This part of the Act is administered by the Natural Heritage Inventory Program) The Act also authorized the Department to enter into a formal cooperative agreement with the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service that establishes the Division as the lead state agency in the process of listing and recovery efforts for federally endangered or threatened species of plants. While initially focusing only on the conservation of rare plant species, the Program now conducts USFWS funded projects to conserve and protect federal concern animal species as well. Through extensive field investigations, research and management activities the Rare Species Protection Program seeks to prevent imperiled species of plants and animals from becoming further imperiled, to effect the recovery of federally listed species so that they may be de-listed, and to prevent the extinction of critically imperiled species.
Rare Species Protection Program Administrator