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Native Plant Society of Oregon Guidelines & Ethical Code



     1) Know your rare, threatened and endangered species. Know your fragile environments and unique
      biotic communities.

     2) Be alert to threats to native plants and their habitats. Appoint watchdog committees to keep aware of these
     threats and inform the chapter.

     3) Take action to protect native plants. Work with all groups and the general public to protect native plants
     and their habitats. Be prepared to salvage plants where they are threatened by outright destruction. Help
     eradicate particularly aggressive and successful exotic plants that threaten native plants. Take responsible

     4) Educate your members and the public about native plants, and encourage them to use good judgment in the
     study, enjoyment, and use of native plants.

      5) Encourage your members to grow native plants only from seeds or cuttings.


      1) Outings for whatever purpose must never endanger a plant population. Encourage nondestructive  modes of
      learning and enjoyment: photography, artwork, scientific description, aesthetic prose and  poetry, and so on.

      2) On group outings (field trips, conservation activities, class field studies), group leaders must take
      responsibility for protecting native plants from the activities of the group. All participants should understand
      the goal of plant protection, the purpose of the outing, and the means by which they can make the least impact
      on plants and the natural habitat.

      3) Know where endangered species are growing and plan outings with this knowledge in mind.

      4) Respect private and public property. Do not trespass. Know the regulations for use of the land and natural
      resources – public or private – your group is entering.

      5) Respect the habitat as a whole. Avoid disturbing wildlife, such as nesting birds and nesting hornets.

      6) Be sensitive to the human foot as a threat to plants. Visits to fragile environments should be carefully
      planned. Students should be given adequate direction by their instructor, and excessive collecting should be
      discouraged. Better one person enter a fragile area to identify a plant than the whole group.

      7) Collecting should be considered only when identification cannot be made in the field or when it will
      contribute significantly to educational or scientific objectives. Collecting for whatever purpose should be
      done as inconspicuously as possible. Casual observers may not understand the reasons for collecting and may
      feel license to do likewise.

      8) Collecting must never endanger a plant population. Collect seeds or cuttings in preference to whole plants.
      Do not collect underground plant parts except for identification purposes. Avoid excessive collecting: this 
      calls for exercise of good judgment by the collector. Consider the use of rules of thumb for judging whether to
      pick or not to pick. Encourage group study of one specimen. Consider using weeds, garden species, or
      labgrown specimens for educational purposes.


      1) Use of native plants – in wildflower shows, plant sales, and horticulture must never threaten their

      2) Native plant species for sale should be obtained by salvage, seeds, or cuttings in that order of priority  –
      and whole plants should never be dug up, except for salvage. Seeds should not be sold. Growers must
      exercise discretion in collecting seeds and cuttings to avoid endangering plant populations.

      3) Native plants for sale should state on the label how obtained or grown. Chapters should consider
      certifying commercial growers who follow good ethical practice, and should urge the public not to buy
       unless plants were obtained or grown according to these guidelines.

     4) The sale and use of particularly aggressive and successful exotic plant species, such as gorse, broom, and
     pampas grass, should be discouraged.

     5) Salvage of native plants should be encouraged when their destruction is certain: at quarries, mines, dams,
     building construction sites, road construction sites. Salvage is not necessarily called for, however, on logging
     sites, some recreational areas, and rangeland. Salvaged plants should be kept potted long enough before sale
     to ensure that they will survive the shock of transplant.
     6) Wildflower shows should make maximum use of their educational potential. Inform the public of the
     goals of NPSO: explain the guidelines your chapter follows in studying, enjoying, and using native plants –  
     including guidelines followed in collecting for the show; consider using all other educational options (slides,
     artwork, publications, herbarium collections, news media, etc.); and continue the educational "life" of display
     materials after the show by donating them to schools,