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Native plants in their native habitats are the foundation of the healthy ecosystems that support wildlife and a thriving economy, as well as having their own intrinsic value. Yet Maryland’s extraordinarily rich native botanical heritage is under historically unprecedented stress. The main causes of the stress are habitat loss from development and other human activity, invasive nonnative species, and the over-abundance of white-tailed deer.
The State agencies with responsibility for preserving our botanical heritage do their utmost to allocate limited resources in a responsible way. However, over the years, the resources available for conservation efforts by State agencies have dwindled to the point where tasks that Maryland citizens would expect to be done cannot be done.
The Work Group’s recommendations identify steps that would make a positive difference to the preservation of Maryland’s botanical heritage, while requiring realistic levels of additional resources or reallocations of resources.
Improved conservation of natural habitats and listed (rare, threatened and endangered) species
Address the over-abundance of white-tailed deer
Combat the threat of invasions by non-native species
Increase the use of native plants in restoration and landscaping