The mission of the TNS Program is to collect, evaluate, increase, release, and commercialize ecotypic native seed selections of common native plants in Texas for use in restoration and reclamation projects by the public and private sectors. TNS operates as a network of six collaborative regional native seed development initiatives, including the South Texas Natives Project, West Texas Native Seed Project, Central Texas Native Seed Project, Permian Basin and Panhandle Native Seed Project, East Texas Natives Project, and Coastal Prairies Native Seed Project (Figure 1). Other objectives include conducting research and providing science-based guidance on native seed selection and restoration and reclamation methods to practitioners, agencies, and private landowners, and to demonstrate the successful and practical use of native plants for restoration and reclamation purposes.
In many areas of Texas, existing commercial seed supplies of native plants for use in rangeland restoration, reclamation, wildlife habitat improvement, pollinator plantings, and conservation programs is inadequate to achieve desired outcomes. This agreement will help address the growing demand for large supplies of ecologically appropriate, cost-effective, high quality, and reliably sourced native seeds for restoration and reclamation projects, as well as increase their use throughout Texas. These seed sources are desired by private landowners, agencies such as NRCS, and industries such as energy producers, pipeline and utility companies, and the transportation sector that impacts much of Texas and the adjacent private lands. Needs for native seeds sources by region include: