1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
The purpose of the MOU is to provide a framework for cooperation and coordination between the ARS and the Forest Service (FS) in achievement of their mutual goals. Cooperation and coordination may involve a wide range of activities, including, but not limited to, the following: conducting assessments, inventory, collecting germplasm, research, training, monitoring, protection, restoration and other activities necessary to conserve, manage and restore native plant species and their habitats and ecosystems.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Both the ARS and the FS have responsibilities and interests in the conservation and management of native plant species, their habitats and associated ecosystems.
This project facilitates the establishment of in situ (on site) germplasm preserves on U.S. Forest Service managed lands that complement NPGS ex situ (off site) germplasm collections. In FY 13, a strategic framework on the conservation and use of crop wild relatives was jointly developed by the ad-hoc ARS-USFS task force. This document is currently under review by both agencies. In addition, the task force on the complementary in situ/ex-situ conservation of the native cranberry identified additional native populations of Vaccinium macrocarpon (cranberry) and Vaccinium oxycoccus located on land in the Eastern and Southern Divisions of the USFS. A protocol for the collection of leaf-tissue for molecular analysis was developed and distributed to botanists and ecologists in targeted national forests, leaves were collected and sent to the ARS Cranberry Genetics and Genomics Laboratory for analysis. Site visits to candidate native cranberry populations in the Monagahela and George Washington National Forests in West Virginia and Virginia helped test the developed protocol.