Using Native Plant Material
A highly successful roadside restoration project in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration. Establishing native species along roadsides is aesthetically pleasing and can reduce maintenance requirements. Road right-of-ways also provide connectivity across fragmented landscapes, serving as important dispersal corridors for propagules of desirable native plant species.
A student volunteer hand-seeding native grasses in a restoration project in the Snake River Canyon, Oregon.
Native plant materials are needed for a wide variety of restoration and rehabilitation efforts on National Forests and Grasslands around the country. Native plant materials are used for erosion control, weed prevention, forage, cover, and aesthetics. The types of projects include:
- Post-fire rehabilitation
- Post-harvest seeding or planting
- Decommissioned road beds, cut-and-fill slopes
- Non-native invasive species infestations
- Recreational developments, including trails and campgrounds
- Riparian areas
- Range improvement areas
- Wildlife and fisheries habitat restoration
- Mining reclamation
- Special use sites and corridors
Although the Forest Service has a long history of using native tree species in reforestation, efforts to revegetate with other native plants (hardwood trees and shrubs, grasses, and forb species) is relatively new. As a consequence, supporting research, infrastructure and plant material programs are all in the early stages of development.
Roadside Revegetation: An Integrated Approach to Establishing Native Plants - This manual was a collaborative effort between Region 6 Forest Service personnel (Scott Riley, David Steinfeld, Lee Riley, Tom Landis (retired)), Kim Wilkinson, and the Federal Highway Administration (Western Federal Lands Highway Division). As described in the Executive Summary (PDF 0.2 MB), the manual guides readers through four stages of revegetation, including initiation, planning, implementation, and monitoring. Although the manual focuses on roadside revegetation, it has great relevance to other types of disturbances and activities where revegetation with native plant materials is desired.
A Manager’s Guide to Roadside Revegetation Using Native Plants (PDF, 3.3 MB) - This guide is intended to support managers in facilitating successful protection and/or establishment of native vegetation as an integral part of road design and construction. This report summarizes the concepts and approaches developed in Roadside Revegetation: An Integrated Approach to Establishing Native Plants, from a manager's perspective. While the full report is designed for field-level practitioners, it is this reference document that engineers and managers should use as a guide in project planning, design, and construction. This guide summarizes an integrated approach to effectively revegetating roadsides and other disturbance areas associated with road construction, modification, or obliteration. Management issues including scope, schedules, budgets, communication, and quality assurance are outlined as they relate to integrating revegetation practices.