Date of Award:

2003

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA)

Department:

Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning

Advisor/Chair:

Joanna Endter-Wada

Abstract

Changes in Lone Peak Conservation Nursery customer profiles cause state nursery leaders to question what their products are being used for and how trends in native plant use are changing the market for Utah native plants. The Utah native plant market is changing as interest in native plants is expanding to meet new conservation objectives, oftentimes in urban settings. This newer demand for native plants appears to be motivated by current changes in urban conservation behavior, continued population growth in the arid West, scarcity of water resources, the increasing appreciation for indigenous plant aesthetics, and concern for bio-diversity. A survey of2001 American Society of Landscape Architecture (ASLA) Utah Chapter members sponsored by Lone Peak Conservation Nursery, a state-mandated nursery for the supply of conservation plants to Utah, conveys landscape professionals' philosophical base for native plant choice, experience of native plant use, information needs, desired products and services, and general perception of native plant market and demand in Utah. Landscape architects at the forefront of these trends and the profession have the opportunity to be even more actively engaged in integrating native plant use across the wild land to urban landscape spectrum while collaborating with other industry leaders.

Authors report on the significant findings from the Lone Peak ConservationNursery Native Plant Study to explain the complexity of native plant supply and demand in changing Utah markets. Increase in urban water conservation and aesthetic use of native plants and seeming instability in traditional restoration markets force local growers to face challenging decisions about plant production and business strategies. Business-driven decisions of suppliers may affect the availability of source-identified native plant products, and raises the question, "How native is native?" Current dilemmas in the Utah native plant market are identified as market pressures tend to generalize an ecologically specialized natural resource product. Continued research and industry collaboration is needed to better connect supply and demand to better balance the needs of private and public sector market actors sharing native plant resources.

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