Patricia Gordon-Reedy Retires
*This piece was a collaborative effort between CBI and SDMMP, with coordination by CBI and main text prepared by SDMMP.
Few people have contributed more to plant conservation in San Diego County than Patricia Gordon-Reedy. A native Californian, she has been a quiet and respected leader in the San Diego environmental community for over 30 years. We are honored to have had Patricia spend the last 12 years of her career working with CBI.
Patricia’s aspirations to become a botanist sprouted during one of those epic blooms in Central California, and she ultimately applied her skills to vegetation ecology and plant conservation and management. Perhaps her most enduring legacy is in developing science-based strategies for regional conservation, management, and monitoring of rare plant populations in San Diego County.
Patricia was the lead plant scientist in developing the Multiple Species Conservation Plan and the Multiple Habitats Conservation Plan in the early 1990s, and contributed to other NCCPs in California. These were among the first multi-species plans in the country. Previously, all land use planning had been development-based instead of resource-based. So, there were no science-based prototypes for this form of large-scale regional conservation planning across multiple jurisdictions. In this role, Patricia organized and managed a team of many biologists in vegetation mapping, rare plant surveys, and aerial photointerpretation of over 400,000 acres of San Diego County. She researched principles of plant conservation to develop species conservation guidelines and conduct species coverage analyses which were critical in designing the MSCP and MHCP preserves that we cherish today.
Planthopper; image by: Patricia Gordon-Reedy
Zigadenus fremontii; image by Patricia Gordon-Reedy
Once the San Diego Management and Monitoring Program (SDMMP) was formed, Patricia participated in the review of SDMMP products, including Rare Plant and Fire Management objectives for the updated Management Strategic Plan and the updated vegetation classification for western San Diego County. She developed conceptual models for edaphic endemic plants, and individual regional conservation strategies for Dehesa nolina and San Diego thornmint, which have served as models for other rare plant species. She was the lead author of the management strategic plan for invasive non-native plants in San Diego County. Most recently she completed the Framework Rare Plant Management Plan and Strategic Plan for Seed Collection, Banking, and Bulking, in collaboration with Jessie Vinje of CBI, SDMMP, and AECOM. Again, there were no previous models for these large-scale science-based strategies.
Left photo: Brodiaea orcuttii; Right photo: Insect on Brachypodium. Both images by Patricia Gordon-Reedy.
Patricia (affectionately known as PGR) has worked in conservation and management all over California, in parts of Utah, Arizona, and Colorado, and is respected for her professionalism and dedication in working with land managers, academics, agency staff, and decision-makers to develop cost-effective, implementable products. We will miss Patricia dearly at CBI and wish her all the best in this next phase of life. Happy retirement, Patricia!
Photo by Spring Strahm.