Featured Conservation Articles


Plant Blindness

by Anna Kell Last June, we collaborated as artists-in-residence at the Lloyd Library, where we worked for the month on a design project titled Posters for the Plant Blind. Digitally collaged with visual elements culled from the library’s extensive collection, the posters are meant to highlight the presence of plants in our world as well as ripe resources like the Lloyd Library. “Plant Blindness” is a term, coined by educator-botanists James Wandersee and Elisabeth Schussler ...
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jennifer, susan, local

Botanical Traditions and Innovations in Bulgaria

by Jennifer Gerrity United Plant Savers’ Susan Leopold and Mountain Rose Herbs’ Jennifer Gerrity travel into the Balkan mountains at the peak of the autumn harvest to visit our organic farm and harvest partners in the Bulgarian countryside. Amidst the stunning foliage of a golden autumn, I journeyed into the lush valleys and mountains of Bulgaria to seek out the wild plant collection sites where our regional partners harvest an array of our botanicals. Accompanying me on ...
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by Susan Leopold, PhD Tohono O’odham tribal elder Lois Liston uses a saguaro rib to harvest the cactus fruit at Colossal Cave Mountain Park. It is an ancient tradition practiced by the tribe. Photographer: Mike Christy In 2016, the National Park Service enacted a ruling that allows the gathering of certain plants or plant parts by federally recognized Indian Tribes for traditional purposes. This landmark document established a protocol where tribes can formally request a ...
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Voices from the land

by Susan Leopold This year’s Journal celebrates 25 years of Medicinal Plant Conservation and is our most extensive publication to date. The theme is Voices from the Land, with intent to share indigenous perspectives in relationship with plants. This perspective is most profound in the article on white sage and the conflict with commercialization and cultural appropriation of a plant sacred to many. These issues have been a part of United Plant Savers discourse since ...
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White Sage

What is going on with White Sage?

by Susan Leopold This year it was evident due to the social media reaction that people were expressing anger and concern over the increase in commercialization of white sage (Salvia apiana) and the cultural appropriation and offensive marketing that overlooks ethics and ecological, cultural awareness of a deeply sacred and spiritual plant. The rumblings on social media in regards to those who claimed to wildcraft white sage, along with selling the wildcrafted material that was ...
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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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