Featured Conservation Articles



by Erika Galentin, MNIMH, RH (AHG) The Elephant in the Room Distillation of Lemon Balm using an Alquitar copper still. Photo by Erika Galentin. Define sustainability. “Sustainability” is a not-so-new term floating around the shelves of our global economy, hot on the tongue of marketers and advertisers ready to sell us the next best thing to organic. Within the natural products industry, “sustainability” is a concept that appears in many dressed-up forms. For example, when ...
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The Role of Soil Fungi in Medicinal Plant Conservation and Regenerative Agriculture: Soil Fungal Inoculants’ Impacts on Crop Yield, Nutrition, and Basil Downy Mildew

by Melody Wright Research Beds The cultivation of medicinal herbs using regenerative agriculture methods can be as vital as conservation and education in meeting United Plant Savers’ goals. Herb farmers have the ability to cultivate some of the UpS “At-Risk” or “To-Watch” species, potentially reducing pressure on wild populations, as well as grow and promote alternatives to these same plants of concern. Herb farmers, particularly those who sell directly to consumers through farmers’ markets or ...
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by Laurie Quesinberry Unlike ginseng (Panax quinquefolius), Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum multiflorum) sells for very little to a local root broker. However, its tendency to grow in thick patches and being easy to dig makes it a poacher’s gold mine. These plants were once found in abundance along the meandering roadsides of my area. As a former poacher, I’ve seen firsthand the damage that’s done by overharvesting and road crews. As plans for the expansion of ...
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Humla Fund: Wild Medicinal Plant Conservation in Nepal’s Humla Valley

by Miranda Grizio At the northwest corner of Nepal, bordering Tibet, lies Nepal’s Humla District. This remote district is known for its Tibetan villages and Buddhist way of life in a majority Hindu country. Medicinal plants are the first line of treatment for most villagers here as a part of their tradition of Tibetan medicine. Villagers in the Humla Valley collect wild medicinal plants from the forests beneath the Himalayas for their own use, as ...
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Researchers study impact of medicinal plant’s harvest in San Juan National Forest

by Ann Bond A tiny osha sprout grows from roots left over from earlier harvest in a research plot on Missionary Ridge. Daniel Gagnon, left, owner of Herbs Etc. in Santa Fe, and Maggie Riggs, a volunteer from Lawrence, Kansas, prepare to plant flags to mark the levels of osha regeneration in study plots on Missionary Ridge. National forests supply Americans with many natural resources – timber, livestock forage, minerals, energy – and increasingly, medicinal ...
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The Original Medicinal Plant Gatherers & Conservationists

by M. Kat Anderson USDA NRCS Figure 1. Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis). One example of the many medicinal plant species that the American Indians gave non-Indian settlers. Adapted from a 19th century painting.In Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, a television series that ran from 1993 to 1998, the Cheyenne taught a white lady doctor about various kinds of native medicinal herbs that could be used to treat human ailments in the frontier town of Colorado Springs, Colorado ...
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Ramps Now on the “To-Watch” List

by Susan Leopold Time to Ramp Up Conservation Efforts Last spring trespassers dug trash bags, laundry baskets and buckets full of ramps (Allium tricoccum) from the woodland ravine of Goldenseal Sanctuary neighbor, Diane DonCarlos.1 Fortunately police responded to a call from Diane, and they were able to track down the ramp thieves. When the police returned some of the stolen ramps, Diane was able to replant them back in the holler further from the road ...
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