Legislation has been introduced in the House of Representatives to support the botanical research capacity of the federal government. H.R. 1054, “The Botanical Sciences and Native Plant Materials Research, Restoration and Promotion Act,” is sponsored by Representatives Mike Quigley (D-IL) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL).
The bill emphasizes the importance of protecting native plants and addresses botanical workforce issues. It would create a new program of botanical science research within the Department of the Interior to help increase federal botanic expertise and would allow Interior to hire additional botanical personnel. The bill would create a student loan repayment program for botanists. It would also create a preference for federal agencies to use locally adapted native plant materials in their land management activities.
The legislation is endorsed by 62 professional organizations, including the Botanical Society of America, American Public Gardens Association, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Missouri Botanical Garden, National Tropical Botanical Garden, Natural Areas Association, and NatureServe.