© U.S. Bureau of Land Management (Colorado Plateau Native Plant Program)

The Vision of the Colorado Plateau Native Plant Program is a 
Colorado Plateau that supports healthy and resilient native 
plant communities now and for future generations.

Welcome to the Homepage for the Colorado Plateau Native Plant Program (CPNPP). The CPNPP is a partnership that includes federal, state, and local agencies; tribal nations, non-governmental conservation organizations; university researchers and curators; commercial plant materials industry (seed and seedling growers and sellers); and seed testing and certification entities.


The vision, goals, and objectives of the CPNPP were originally conceived in 2007 by a cooperative working group comprised of representatives from the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, Northern Arizona University and State Wildlife Agencies from across the Colorado Plateau geographic region.

In 2009 the Utah State Office of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) hired Wayne Padgett as Coordinator to oversee what was then known as the Colorado Plateau Native Plant Initiative.

Colorado Plateau Region

The Colorado Plateau in the American Southwest is a land of extremes. With elevations near 2,000 feet at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, to over 12,500 feet at the top of Humphries Peak near Flagstaff and Mount Peal in the LaSal Mountains, the Plateau experiences hot summers with monsoonal rains, and cold winters with significant snow depths at the higher elevations. The plant communities of the Colorado Plateau are representative of the highly variable and extreme conditions that occur here.

Program Goals

The major goals of this effort are to increase the availability of native plant materials, and to provide the knowledge and technology required for their use in restoring diverse native plant communities across the Colorado Plateau. The CPNPP’s own goals support the National Native Plant Materials Development Program. On a daily basis, CPNPP staff and members work to coordinate and facilitate the collection, research and development, and market production of native plant materials; as well as the use of those materials in revegetation projects.

GOAL 1 – Native Seed Collection in Support of Evaluation and Development

GOAL 2 – Evaluation and Development

GOAL 3 – Field Establishment

GOAL 4 – Seed Production by Private Growers

GOAL 5 – Seed Storage

GOAL 6 – Restore Native Plant Communities

GOAL 7 – Monitor Restoration Activities

GOAL 8 – Communication with Partners and the Public

Ecology and Plant Communities of the Colorado Plateau

The Colorado Plateau has been defined in various ways by different agencies and organizations.  The EPA defines the Colorado Plateau Level III Ecoregion as primarily the southeastern portion of Utah and southwestern portions of Colorado, with minor inclusions of northern Arizona and northwestern New Mexico. The U.S. Forest Service, on the other hand, defines the Colorado Plateau Semidesert Province (3.9 mb) as primarily in northern Arizona and northwestern New Mexico with relatively minor inclusions of Utah and southwestern portions of Colorado. 

For this reason, and because it has been defined in such broad terms, the Colorado Plateau Native Plant Program (CPNPP) has chosen to combine these definitions for the most part, by including the Colorado Plateaus, Arizona/New Mexico Plateau, and Arizona/New Mexico Mountain EPA Level III Ecoregions (see figure “2010-12-03 EPA Level 3 square figure web”). Colorado Plateau includes the Uinta Basin in the north and runs about 550 miles south to the Mogollon Rim in Arizona.  Elevations of this area range from near 2,000 feet at the surface of the Colorado River as it runs through the Grand Canyon to over 12,000 feet in the Henry and LaSal Mountains of southeastern Utah.  And vegetation patterns in the Colorado Plateau are indicative of this. It includes the red rock desert ecosystems as well as high elevation plateaus with expanses of pinyon-juniper woodlands and shrublands, sagebrush shrublands, blackbrush-Mormon tea shrublands, salt desert shrublands, communities and isolated mountain peaks.

Conservation Projects

Number of projects: 108

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