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.
Regional scale planning efforts are being developed to meet the demands of an increasing population. 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.
Speaker: Sam Young, CNPS
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