AOSCA agencies offer pre-variety germplasm certification for indigenous or non-indigenous trees, shrubs, wildflowers, vines, and herbaceous plants such as grasses and forbs. These services assure the proper identity and purity of native and naturalized plants that are needed to revegetate, restore, improve, or stabilize wild land plant communities.
Wildland collection supplies a significant portion of the seed used in rangeland revegetation efforts in response to wildfires, planned projects, and sage grouse habitat improvement. Wildland collectors follow strict permitting and harvesting protocols on private, federal, and state lands.
Large-scale natural and human-caused ecosystem disturbances generate a voluminous demand for native plant reproductive materials intended for restoration, revegetation and stabilization of natural communities.
AOSCA has implemented certification requirements and standards that accommodate plant germplasm of native grasses, forbs and woody plants.
AOSCA seed certification agencies (acting as a third party) require seed collectors/producers to follow established requirements, procedures and standards to assure seed native plant restoration, revegetation and stabilization identity and purity for the consumer.
The AOSCA publication “How AOSCA Tracks Wildland Sourced Seed” is available here.
For restoration projects, it’s imperative that purchased seed can be verified and determined compatible on the intended restoration site. This is accomplished through AOSCA member agencies who act as a third-party to conduct thorough site inspections prior to seed collection. Once the seed is harvested and cleaned an inspector will sample all lots of seed to be tested for Germination, Purity and Tetrazolium Tests (TZ). Once results are available from the lab, seed tags can be requested from the AOSCA member agency. These tags are your stamp of approval that the seed meets the requirements of AOSCA, and its member agency, and can be sold.
To learn more about the entire process of Pre-Variety Germplasm types of Certification, check out the video below:
If you are looking for more information about the native seed supply chain, the Society for Ecological Restoration has published a 9-video series which explores native seeds are produced to meet the growing restoration demand, weaving together footage with seed collectors, farmers, researchers and land managers across the western United States.