South Puget Sound Site Evaluations for Reintroduction of Golden Paintbrush

The recovery plan for Castilleja levisecta, or golden paintbrush, calls for twenty populations of at least 1000 plants on protected land (USFWS 2000b), and for the creation of a reintroduction plan. Reintroduction, in this case, is used broadly to refer to three distinct activities within the historic range of the species: reintroducing plants to sites from which they were formerly known, introducing plants to suitable sites within the historic range for which we have no evidence of past populations, and augmenting current populations to increase the population and/or its genetic diversity.

There are now eleven known extant populations of Castilleja levisecta. Half of these populations have less than 1000 plants, and only four populations are considered stable or possibly stable. Reintroduction will be a critical part of the recovery of C. levisecta . This document identifies the objectives, strategic and managerial considerations, the site election process, genetic and demographic considerations, ecological considerations, and technical considerations to be considered in the reintroduction process. Appendices include seed collection guidelines, recommendations from the genetic analysis, soils analysis of known sites, the site selection process, and suggested research prior to largescale reintroduction.

This document recommends the following as essential to successful reintroduction.

• An emphasis on augmentation and protection of existing sites over the creation of new populations. • The active participation of the technical team in reintroduction planning. • A systematic approach to site selection. • The protection through conservation agreements or easements of all sites used for reintroductions. • The development of site specific reintroduction plans, including provisions for planting and experimental design, monitoring, site management and restoration, adaptive management and information sharing. These individual plans will be included as appendices to this reintroduction plan as they are completed.