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ACR-173 Native Plant Week.(2009-2010)

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Assembly Concurrent Resolution No. 173

Relative to Native Plant Week.

[ Approved by Governor  September 14, 2010. Filed with Secretary of State  September 14, 2010. ]


ACR 173, Evans. Native Plant Week.
This measure would proclaim the 3rd week of April, each year, as California Native Plant Week and would encourage community groups, schools, and citizens to undertake appropriate activities to promote the conservation, restoration, and appreciation of California’s native plants.
Fiscal Committee: NO  

WHEREAS, California’s native plants provide unparalleled and unique iconic, economic, artistic, historical, and environmental values to the state; and
WHEREAS, California’s over 6,000 native plant species, subspecies, and varieties, of which over 2,150 exist only in California, make California home to more diverse plant life than all other states combined; and
WHEREAS, California’s native plants include some of the oldest, tallest, and most massive living things on Earth; and
WHEREAS, The Department of Fish and Game recognizes nearly one-quarter of California’s native plants as “special status plants” that warrant additional protections; and
WHEREAS, California currently contends with over 1,000 nonnative plants, some of which compete with native plant species, degrade soil, facilitate erosion and catastrophic wildfire, and alter the state’s natural landscapes; and
WHEREAS, Many native California plants have played a vital role in the history of our state and our nation, compelling Congress, the Legislature, and many communities to protect the beauty, power, and grandeur of our wild places; and
WHEREAS, California’s first Indian nations lived and thrived by their knowledge of native California plants, which provided them with food, clothing, shelter, dyes, tools, medicines, and fuel for centuries; and
WHEREAS, California’s citizens have consistently supported efforts to protect our wild landscapes, including numerous areas within the Coast Redwoods, the Sierra Nevada Mountain range, and the Mojave Desert, spurring a conservation and environmental awareness that helps define California today; and
WHEREAS, California’s native plants have played a vital role in inspiring the creation and management of our National Park Service, including President Lincoln’s 1864 signing of the Yosemite and Mariposa Big Tree Grove Grant to California, designating a park “to be held for public use, resort, and recreation ... inalienable for all time,” and the adoption of the Sequoia cone as an official insignia of the National Park Service; and
WHEREAS, In 1899, 1903, and 1904, members of the 9th Cavalry and 24th Infantry Buffalo Soldier regiments were dispatched to Sequoia and Yosemite national parks, where they protected giant sequoias from illegal logging, built trails and fences to enhance visitors’ experiences among the giant trees while protecting park resources, and developed the first museum in a national park, a California native plant arboretum in Yosemite Valley; and
WHEREAS, An interest in protecting California’s native plants has played a vital role in the creation of many California state and regional parks, including California’s oldest state park, Big Basin, created in 1902 to protect old growth Coast Redwood forests; and
WHEREAS, The impact of California’s landscape has influenced literary and artistic works, including the works of Mark Twain, John Steinbeck, Ansel Adams, and many other internationally known figures, furthering California’s legacy; and
WHEREAS, California’s native plants have provided and continue to provide foods, medicines, and other products, from the origins of California’s strawberry industry to Taxol for cancer treatment; and
WHEREAS, California native plant horticulture is a thriving, vital, and growing industry employing thousands of Californians, and the benefits to water conservation and natural area restoration help provide economic stability within the state; and
WHEREAS, California’s native plants provide essential watershed protections by helping to recharge natural aquifers, filtering water flowing through mountains, hills, and valleys, lessening erosion and flooding, and enabling efforts to beautify and renew our state; and
WHEREAS, Gardens and landscapes comprised of California native plants, being perfectly suited to California’s climate and soil, require far fewer fertilizers, soil amendments, or pesticides, and use 60 to 90 percent less water than conventional landscapes, exemplified by a City of Santa Monica experiment, in which a native plant garden using appropriate watering methods was shown to use nearly 220,000 fewer gallons of water than a similarly sized conventional garden, a 77 percent decrease in water use; and
WHEREAS, Restoring California native plants provides natural links to wild land areas, while introducing people to their beauty and instilling a greater understanding and appreciation for California’s natural heritage; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, the Senate thereof concurring, That the Legislature recognizes the essential value and importance of California native plants to our history, economy, landscape, and environment; and be it further
Resolved, That the California Legislature encourages community groups, schools, and citizens to undertake appropriate activities to promote native plant conservation and restoration, and to inform their neighbors and communities of the value of native plants in nature and in horticultural settings; and be it further
Resolved, That the California Legislature hereby declares the third week of April, each year, as California Native Plant Week; and be it further
Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies of this resolution to the author for appropriate distribution.