May E-Newsletter 2020
Our mission is to conserve native species and habitats through restoration, research
and education. 
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"The world's favorite season is the spring. All things seem possible in May." — Edwin Way Teale

Featured Articles
Restoring the land for wildlife and people: Seven years of restoration at Champoeg Prairie

Please note: IAE's work at Champoeg Prairie is currently on hold due to COVID-19.
Willamette Valley native prairies occupy less than 1% of their original range, and are now among North America's rarest ecosystems. Once blanketing the Willamette Valley with diverse forbs, grasses and shrubs, prairies have always provided critical food and shelter for pollinators, birds and wildlife. Burning by tribal peoples kept habitat open and sustained the life-giving prairie plants. However, beginning in the 1830s, settlers started converting prairies for agricultural use, plowing the rich soils annually and planting crops. These practices drastically altered the landscape of the Willamette Valley, not only removing pollinator and wildlife habitat, but also forever modifying the open spaces that provided food and vital resources for the tribal peoples who had lived in the area long before the settlers arrived.  Read More
Botanizing the Serpentines in Southwest Oregon

Here’s a photo essay of some great botany from Oregon’s Illinois Valley in Josephine County. We recently had the opportunity to conduct field work in a socially-distant way to monitor populations of Cook’s desert-parsley ( Lomatium cookii ) and check for seedlings in seed-based population reintroductions in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management. Along the way, we worked in three Areas of Critical Environmental Concern managed by the BLM: French Flat, Waldo-Takilma and Woodcock Bog. Here are some scenes from those rich and seldom visited places . Read More
Extraordinary Measures by Extraordinary People for the Sagebrush in Prisons Project

“Just because there is a virus doesn’t mean nature stops for us,” IAE contractor Shannon Swim commented recently from Nevada. The Institute for Applied Ecology (IAE), our contractors and Department of Corrections (DOC), with extensive Coronavirus safety protocols in place, have taken extraordinary measures to continue to engage adults in custody (AIC) in the Sagebrush in Prisons Project (SPP). Despite the pandemic, dedicated IAE staff, IAE contractors, and DOC personnel have pulled out all the stops to make it possible to keep the education program going and producing native plants for Bureau of Land Management (BLM) habitat restoration efforts. Prison wardens and superintendents in Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Wyoming and California have voiced their commitment for continuing the program this season. Staff at Honor Farm Prison in Wyoming noted, “This is a really good program, and it is so positive for the adults in custody. Read More
A living legacy
Our deepest condolences go to the friends and family of Alice Smith, who lost her battle with breast cancer in February. Alice was a botanist for the U.S. Forest Service on the Sweet Home Ranger District for 35 years, who loved to lead interpretive hikes and share her passion for the environment with her community. IAE extends our thanks to those who knew Alice and donated to IAE in her memory. These gifts will directly continue her work and legacy of native plant conservation and habitat restoration by restoring native plants and creating more wildlife and pollinator habitat. Read More
Natural Areas Association Webinar: Native Seed Selection for Ecological Restoration, 5/26/20
Register today for a free, live Natural Areas Association webinar with IAE Executive Director Tom Kaye , noon-1pm EDT, Tuesday May 26, titled Diversity is Magic: Emerging Issues in Selecting Appropriate Native Plants for Ecosystem Restoration.
Selecting species and seed from appropriate sources to maximize project success faces many challenges, and this presentation will review plant selection for ecosystem diversity for economically and ecologically practical outcomes. SPACE IS LIMITED! Please Register Here.
Board Spotlight: Sunia Yang

IAE is fortunate to have Sunia Yang join our Board of Directors. Sunia has long been interested in natural history: birds, plants, and recently lichens and bryophytes. She’s volunteered as a natural history guide, conservation easement monitor, oak babysitter, bird surveyor and webmaster. She recently retired from network engineering, but remains interested in data visualization and data usability. She’s currently working on various lichen projects in the OSU Botany and Plant Pathology department, including an online interactive key for Common Macrolichens of the Pacific Northwest. One of her main retirement goals is to continue to turn her garden from an old horse pasture to a biodiversity mini-hotspot, including a small native meadow. She’s also interested in all things boats and water. Read More
IAE staff go LIVE for Natural Areas Celebration Week
We are still working when we can do so safely, and now you can join us virtually! Executive Director Tom Kaye was live from Facebook last week, sharing ecology with you from serpentine areas of Southern Oregon. And Restoration Ecologist and Farm Manager Ian Silvernail gave a tour of IAE's native plant production field. Even if you don't have a Facebook account, searching for IAE on Facebook will enable you to watch by clicking on "All Videos." Visit IAE on Facebook
Brief Updates
Conservation Research
IAE's Conservation Research crew has been busy developing protocols that keep our employees and the communities where we work safe and allow us to continue our work for native species and habitats. We are fortunate that we are able to continue with a subset of our projects, and now have many of our planned seasonal staff coming on board. Lauren Merrill and Annie Jolliff have teamed up with last year's pollinator crew member, Steve Walters, to continue research on pollinator communities of Willamette Valley prairies. Nadav Mouallem has returned for his 3rd season at IAE, teaming up with Denise Giles and Lisa Schomaker to monitor rare plant populations for our long-term projects.
Southwest Office
Native bee studies in New Mexico expand! Thanks to funding from the New Mexico Bureau of Land Management, IAE bee contractor and researcher Olivia Carril is conducting two new projects in 2020. Olivia is eager to discover what bees occur on the rare and beautiful   Kuenzler's hedgehog cactus  ( Echinocereus fendleri) (SE New Mexico) and on lava flow habitats hosting unique plants at the El Malpais National Monument (Grants area). Her work continues a 4th year at   Rio Grande del Norte   (Taos), making it one of the longest running bee studies in the west. Photo of Kuenzler's hedgehog cactus (right) by Bob Sivinski.
Habitat Restoration
IAE Restoration Ecologist Peter Moore has been visiting project sites for the new Kincaid's lupine recovery project, funded for the next three years by the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board. This project focuses on increasing populations of the threatened Kincaid's lupine in Salem West and Corvallis West Recovery Zones with the help of many partners, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Oregon Department of Transportation, Polk and Yamhill Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Bonneville Power Administration, Benton County, Greenbelt Land Trust, and several private landowners.
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IAE Board of Directors:
Ken Bierly, President; Cary Stephens, Vice President; Laurie Halsey, Treasurer; Deborah Clark, Secretary; Jason Bradford, Anne Bradley, Mak Estill, Brandy Humphreys, Debbie Johnson, Shinji Kawai, Carol Savonen, Sunia Yang