The MPWG, formed in 1999, is the largest of three working groups under the Plant Conservation Alliance (PCA) [http://www.nps.gov/plants], a consortium of 10 U.S. federal agencies and more than 190 non-federal cooperators, who work together on issues associated with native plant extinction and native habitat restoration. With more than 250 members representing industry, government, academia, native people, and environmental organizations, MPWG facilitates a multi-stakeholder approach to the sustainable use and conservation of medicinal plants.
The Native American Elder’s Circle serves as an advisory committee to the MPWG, providing guidance on Native American medicinal plant priorities and perspectives. The Elder’s Circle includes: Susan Burdick (Yurok/Karuk, California), Ray Couch, (Cherokee of the Appalachians), Tis Mal Crow (United Lumbee/Hitchiti, Tennessee), Jane Dumas (Kumeyaay, California), John George (Catawba, South Carolina), Rudy Hall (Accohanock, Maryland), Cecelia Mitchell (Mohawk, New York/Canada), and Leon Secatero (Canoncito Navajo, New Mexico).
The MPWG-Industry Committee, formed in 2002 after the first Industrial Symposium, is chaired by Michael McGuffin, president of AHPA. They serve as advisors to MPWG on industry perspectives regarding medicinal plant sustainability and conservation issues.
How Companies Can Join the MPWG
Any member of the herb and botanical trade or nonprofits interested in issues of sustainability can join the MPWG. First, join the MPWG listserve through the following website: http://www.nps.gov/plants/medicinal/mpwglist.htm. Or directly contact Patricia De Angelis, PhD, Botanist, Division of Scientific Authority and Chair of the Plant Conservation Alliance-MPWG, and she will forward the request to the listserve manager. Information about the use and functioning of the list is also available at the above website. Second, become a “Cooperator” of Plant Conservation Alliance (PCA). Information about the definition of a Cooperator is available on the PCA website at: http://www.nps.gov/plants/faq.htm. To become a Cooperator, fill out and send the form at this address:http://www.nps.gov/plants/coopform.pdf. To obtain a packet of information about the PCA, contact the PCA-Chair, Peggy Olwell at the Bureau of Land Management, 1849 C Street NW, LSB-204, Washington, DC 20240, Ph: (202) 452-7764, Fax (202) 452-7702. Or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. The packet will contain general information about the PCA, including details on projects and funding.
–Patricia De Angelis, PhD,