The native plant communities of the Colorado Plateau have been substantially degraded by human activity, yet in many areas retain a basic natural ecologic integrity. The more heavily impacted regions often require active intervention. Historically, this intervention has been conducted primarily by seeding introduced grasses selected for their forage characteristics. Recent management initiatives that reflect broader goals have highlighted the need to develop native plant materials that can be used to return diverse, resilient communities to degraded areas. The Colorado Plateau Native Plant Program was established to identify the best native plant species, and seed sources within species, that can be used to meet this need. We present an overview of the Program's past and current activities and highlight research and development strategies used to increase the availability of native plant materials adapted to target sites.
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Vol. 35 • No. 1