Featured Conservation Articles

illegal logging rosewood

Essential and Carrier Oil-Bearing Plants: Conservation Consciousness

By Kelly Ablard, PhD, MSc, RA, EOT Figure 1. Evidence of illegal logging of Rosewood (Aniba rosaeodora Ducke), Peru. © Kelly Ablard The planet is undergoing the “sixth extinction” whereby species are being lost at a rate that far outruns the origin of new species. According to the IUCN (2018), approximately 970 species/subspecies are extinct, and nearly 7000 land plant species are threatened (i.e. critically endangered, endangered, or vulnerable). As an ethnobotanical and conservation research ...
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ziff sketchbook

Report on a Deep Ecology Artist Fellowship at the United Plant Savers Goldenseal Botanical Sanctuary

by Katherine Ziff “The plants are calling you. They have a rich and diverse vocabulary and speak in many tongues…the plants are calling us now, asking for help. The wild gardens are in trouble, and the precious medicines of the earth are being lost.“ — Rosemary Gladstar, 2000 What inspires stewardship of Earth’s medicinal plants? How to change a resource extraction mindset? One way is reform of political, legal, curricular, economic, and moral perspectives to ...
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Shantree Kacera RH., D.N., Ph.D. is

Shifting the Paradigm: Consciousness in Plant Medicine

by Shantree Kacera In the last decade, especially the previous year or two, the field of herbalism has been shifting—the consciousness of both herbalists and the general public has changed as our climate and landscapes have around the whole world. The shift to looking through the eyes of our ecological selves has come more into the forefront. In Carolinian Canada the landscape has changed dramatically since I started exploring, studying, and practicing herbalism in the ...
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Rural America: The New Global Heartland for Traditional Medicinal Plants

by Dr. Michele Devlin The population of rural America is changing very quickly due to the global economy, new labor needs, and an influx of refugees and immigrants to work in meatpacking, agriculture, and related fields. Nearly 200 languages are now spoken even in small states like Iowa, and some rural towns are quickly becoming home to new migrants from Africa, Southeast Asia, the Pacific, and other areas. The use of traditional medicinal herbs for ...
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Hydrastis canadensis,

Unregulated Wild Collection and Habitat Loss Lead to Vulnerable Status for Medicinal Goldenseal

Republished with permission of IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature Hydrastis canadensis, Goldenseal fl ower, Howard County, MD, Helen Lowe Metzman. USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab. The latest update to The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ saw Goldenseal classified as “Vulnerable” on The IUCN Red List in a move that highlights concerns about the medicinal plant’s decline. The IUCN Red List (www.iucnredlist.org) now includes 87,967 different wildlife species, of which 25,062 (approximately ...
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Ancient Saw Palmettos in the Heart of Florida

Reprinted with permission of Matt Candeias,  In Defense of Plants South Florida Satellite Image Map – The light sandy lookingarea in the middle is the Mid-Florida Ridge When we think about long lived plants, our minds tend to fixate on bristlecone pines (Pinus longaeva), coastal redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens), or that clonal patch of quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) in Utah. What would you say if I told you that we can add a palm tree to ...
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Lessons on Stewardship: Chinquapins, Chiggers, and Indian Pipes

by Ruth Davis Plants are often introduced into my garden by a share from a friend. Sometimes it is only a fond memory shared that sends me on a search for the plant itself. This is the case with the chinquapins. My mother spent her childhood in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and talked so often about the abundance of the delicious nuts from these scrappy relatives of chestnuts. So, as a memorial, ...
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