White Pine Presentation November 16

Thursday, November 16, 2023. 7:00 pm PST. White Pine Chapter Meeting
Location: Lecompte Auditorium, 2nd floor, 1912 Center, Moscow, Idaho
Program: Pocket Prairies: Leveraging Small Urban Spaces as Vital Habitat and Seed Banks for Native Plants
In person presentation only, no ZOOM. It may be recorded for later upload to website.
Presenter: Chris Duke, Phoenix Conservancy

Three major issues threaten the future of Palouse Prairie, 1) A chronic shortage of native plants and seeds, 2) The ecosystem’s own obscurity, and 3) Low availability of regular funding for restoration projects. Thanks in part to initial funding from the White Pine Chapter of the Idaho Native Plant Society,The Phoenix Conservancy (TPC) is addressing these issues through their Pocket Prairie project. By reestablishing native plants within the urban fabric of the Palouse, even the smallest yard or unused piece of land can become a vital island of habitat. These Pocket Prairies confer vital ecosystem services, create easily-accessible seed sources for ongoing restoration, greatly increase awareness of Palouse Prairie and native plants, and provide a regular source of funding for TPC’s restoration projects around the Palouse. In this talk, Chris Duke will discuss this pragmatic approach for building a restoration engine to secure a future for critically endangered Palouse Prairie (and how early support from the Chapter helped make it possible).

Dr. Chris Duke holds a Ph.D. in Biology from Washington State University, a M.S. in Biology from Syracuse University, a BS in Zoology from Western Washington University. Chris is currently serving as the Executive Director for The Phoenix Conservancy. One of the co-founders of TPC, Chris has worked in the field and taught science at all levels across North and South America. His love of rainforests and passion for restoring degraded ecosystems stems from more a than a decade of global travel, and is a driving force behind his work with the TPC organization. Under Chris’s direction as Executive Director since July 2020, The Phoenix Conservancy has grown exponentially despite unprecedented times, greatly increasing TPC’s ability to restore endangered ecosystems each year.