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Eldorado National Forest NFWF Native American Plant Guide Project

American Conservation Experience (ACE); Eldorado NF; California (2019-2022)
SWCA Environmental Consultants

SWCA, in partnership with ACE, was awarded grant funding through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) to provide support for Tribal coordination and on-site interviews to develop a Native Plant Guide, visitor educational pamphlet, and to identify and prioritize potential native plant restoration and gathering areas. SWCA worked closely with Eldorado National Forest (ENF) staff and local Native American Tribes to help improve the management of Native American significant plants on the ENF focusing on the approximately 17,000 acres affected by the 2004 Power Fire.

The Project directly addressed the ENF’s need for a comprehensive list of significant plants traditionally used by Native American Tribes, an understanding of their traditional collection methods and uses, and maps of the plants’ distribution within the Power Fire scar. SWCA and its Tribal partners developed a Native American Plant Guide for culturally significant priority plants, as well as a pamphlet with summary plant details taken from the Plant Guide. The Plant Guide and pamphlet addressed the need to improve resource management on the ENF and increase public awareness for the sensitivity and importance of Native American plants. The Plant Guide will serve as an important practical teaching tool for Tribal communities who want to preserve their Indigenous knowledge for future generations and can be used by Forest Service staff to help identify and better manage these important plants in the field. The project also performed a geospatial analysis that identified and prioritized potential native plant restoration and traditional plant gathering areas. The analysis resulted in the identification of potential gathering areas for use by the Tribal community, and development of restoration and conservation designs with recommended measures for future management of culturally significant plants in those areas.

More information and details on this project are available on the SWCA website here.