Rare Plant Program

Protecting Mt. Tam’s Rarest Inhabitants

Mt. Tam is widely seen as a place like no other—a precious refuge for Bay Area residents seeking natural beauty and solace, and a critical natural sanctuary.

But what is it exactly that makes Mt. Tam so special? What exists here that cannot be found elsewhere?

The answer is, at least in part, the unique plants—and the habitats they create—that are found on Mt. Tam and nowhere else on earth. These plants, including rare, threatened,and endangered species, are intimately connected to each other, to the mountain’s soil, air, and water, to other plants and animals, and to us, and our experience of what makes Mt. Tam exceptional.

Mt. Tam’s thousands of acres of serpentine soils and other special habitats provide homes these rare plant species, but the mountain’s land managers do not know where they all are, or how they are faring—basic information necessary to ensure their long-term protection.

The OneTam Rare Plant Program will help get managers the information they need. By working together, Mt. Tam’s agency stewards can make great strides in coordinating data management, mapping, monitoring, and research, and be able to look beyond their borders to rare plant conservation across the mountain.

The sight of the beautiful pink flowers of the Mt. Tamalpais manzanita is one of the things that makes this place like nowhere else

The Mt. Tamalpais thistle is barely hanging on in small remnant populations

Mountain-wide surveys and monitoring will be a huge boon to rare plant protection

The Marin manzanita is one of the rare species that TLC partners would like to reintroduce to places where they once grew

Small controlled burns can help the seeds of fire-dependent rare plant species germinate