A Natural Legacy of Achievement
NatureServe’s Evolution: 0 + 10 = 37
2011 marks the 10th anniversary of NatureServe as an independent organization. In that time, we’ve served countless agencies and organizations with high-quality data, tools, and expertise that inform decisions and policies and provide the scientific basis for effective conservation action.
Officially established in 2001, the NatureServe legacy extends back even farther. Since the founding of the first natural heritage program, the South Carolina Heritage Trust, in 1974, NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs have led the way in amassing and disseminating information that supports both conservation and land-use decision-making while accounting for impacts on biodiversity.
The NatureServe network today represents the most comprehensive database of scientific information about the nation’s rare and threatened plants, animals, and ecosystems. This information relies on the rigorous scientific methods and quality control we’ve developed and now represents more than 35 years of field inventory, data collection, and analysis of species and ecosystems.
1974 – The State of South Carolina and The Nature Conservancy establish the first first natural heritage program, creating an inventory that could support both conservation and land-use decision-making while accounting for impacts on biodiversity.
1994 – A group of natural heritage program directors begin focusing on the development of network-wide information products, leading to the establishment the Association for Biodiversity Information (ABI), an independent nonprofit membership organization.
1999 – TNC’s natural heritage network and ABI formally join forces, with the Conservancy transferring its databases, professional staff, and scientific standards and methodology to ABI.
2001 – ABI completes spinoff from TNC and is formally established as NatureServe.
2011 – NatureServe celebrates its 10th anniversary of providing the scientific basis for effective conservation, built on 36 years of the natural heritage excellence of its network.