BEST PLANTS, BEST PRACTICES

A guide to conservation planting in Napa County

About Best Plants, Best Practices

From decades of experience, staff of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) have developed lists of recommended plants for many different conservation practices, articulated across a variety of soil types and available water. Using this website, Napa County land owners and managers can take advantage of this knowledge to implement conservation projects on their own land.

Best Plants, Best Practices is all about using plants to achieve specific agricultural or landscaping goals. The website distinguishes between native and non-native plants, and recommends the use of local native plants whenever possible. It offers links to other sites for detailed information about the plants themselves (USDA PLANTS, Calflora) and their local availability (CNPLX). The website will also present details about how local people have implemented the various practices, in the form of conservation stories (see the link on the left).

 
Contributing Organizations

Napa County Resource Conservation District
The Napa County Resource Conservation District is a local agency whose mission is to promote responsible land management and resource conservation. Since 1945, the NRCD has promoted conservation through community involvement, education, technical expertise and scientific research. The RCD is committed to utilizing voluntary, cooperative and scientifically sound methods to ensure that the natural resources are conserved and restored within a landscape of productive agriculture, growing cities, and wild lands.

Resource Conservation Districts were a response to the problem with resource degradation epitomized by the Dust Bowl. Farmers, ranchers, and other land managers still need up-to-date scientific information and techniques to manage the natural resources on their properties. These land managers continue to face problems such as destruction of water quality by sediment, erosion, loss of wildlife habitat, and invasive plants.

In the Best Plants, Best Practices project, the NRCD is building on its long history of assisting landowners with using plants to implement conservation practices on private land.

   

Calflora
The Calflora Database is a California 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, which has been providing information about California native plants on the web for over a decade. The Calflora website (http:// www.calflora.org) is popular, with many thousands of visitors each month.

Calflora has developed several mapping applications to show users where wild plants have been observed in the state, as well as web applications which allow users to contribute plant observations. In 2007 Calflora developed the first web version of the eVegGuide for NRCS California. Version 2 of the eVegGuide was released in 2011 and is available to the general public.

The California Native Plant Link Exchange (CNPLX) utilizes plant data from Calflora to track which nurseries grow and sell California native plants.

   

NRCS California
Since 1935, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (originally called the Soil Conservation Service) has provided leadership in a partnership effort to help America's private land owners and managers conserve their soil, water, and other natural resources.

NRCS employees provide technical assistance based on sound science and suited to a customer's specific needs.


Best Plants, Best Practices was funded by a Conservation Innovation Grant from NRCS California, with matching funds provided by the Calflora Database, the Napa RCD, the Napa Sustainable Winegrowing Group, and the California Department of Conservation.