California Native Plant Society

RPTH Awards: General info and rules

Rare Plant Treasure Hunt

Annual RPTH Awards

Previous Years' Awards: 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010


2015 RPTH Award winners

2015 was a busy year for the CNPS Rare Plant Treasure Hunt (RPTH) program. We would like to thank our former RPTH Coordinator, Danny Slakey, for making it happen and selecting these award recipients based on their data submitted and time spent in the field. Congratulations to our winners and more details are included below on their accomplishments. Winners have been contacted individually and we will post this information on the website soon. We have a new RPTH Coordinator this year, Steve Schoenig, who is busy setting up trips and contacting volunteers to help make this another outstanding year. He can be contacted at Happy Spring!

Individual Awards details

  • 1st Place, Eric Nielsen
  • 2nd Place, Jane Tirrell
  • 3rd Place, Toni Corelli

Chapter Awards details

  • 1st Place, Santa Clara Valley Chapter
  • 2nd Place, Alta Peak Chapter

Photo Contest Awards details

  • 1st Place, Clyde Golden
  • 2nd Place, Vernon Smith
  • 3rd Place, Sylvia Wright

Significant Contribution details

  • John Dye
  • Tom Biglione


Individual Awards for Most Rare Plant Occurrences (individual or small group)

Given to the top 3 RPTHers (or small groups of RPTHers) who documented the most rare plant occurrences.

1st Place: Eric Nielsen.  This new RPTH volunteer spent dozens of hours hiking, biking, botanizing and documenting the rare plants of the Red Hills Area of Critical Environmental Concern.  Especially noteworthy are Eric's data on four occurrences of Githopsis tenella.  Before his work, there was only one recently-documented occurrence of this plant in California! (24 occurrences total)

2nd Place: Jane Tirrell is one of our tireless and most consistent volunteers, year after year. She spent many hours this past year getting to hard-to-reach peaks in the southern Sierra Nevada to document some very remote rare plant occurrences.  Thanks to Jane, we have updated data on many rare plants that might otherwise not see a botanist or any form of documentation for many decades!

3rd Place: Toni Corelli was a huge asset to the RPTH in 2015.  She spearheaded the Santa Clara Valley Chapter's rare plant survey efforts last year, and gathered lots of rare plant data from the San Mateo Coast.  Perhaps her single most noteworthy contribution from last year was bringing Leptosiphon croceus to the attention of the CNPS Rare Plant Program, by leading a RPTH to document what may be the last surviving population of this plant.  Toni is retiring as rare plant co-chair of the SCV Chapter this year, and will be sorely missed.


Most rare plant occurrences (chapter)

Awarded to the Top 2 Chapters that documented the most rare plant occurrences.

1st Place: Santa Clara Valley Chapter took first place among all CNPS Chapters last year, thanks to the leadership of rare plant chairs Toni Corelli and Don Mayall, as well as several dedicated volunteers in the group that either adopted certain plants or certain parts of the SCV Chapter Region.  The Santa Clara Valley Chapter is a great example of what can be accomplished by a few dedicated volunteers!  Both Don and Toni are retiring as rare plant chairs this year, so their replacements Steve Rosenthal and Elan Alford will have some big shoes to fill!

2nd Place: Alta Peak Chapter had a small contingent of dedicated volunteers get their RPTH project off the ground last year.  These volunteers attended several training events, and undertook the rigorous tasks of acquiring collecting permits and collecting specimens.  We look forward to seeing more of what Alta Peak Chapter members will accomplish in upcoming years!


Photo Contest Winners

Click on the photos to see larger, high-resolution images

Clyde Golden, Nemacladus secundiflorus var. secundiflorus, CNPS Rank 4.31st Place:
Clyde Golden, Nemacladus secundiflorus var. secundiflorus, CNPS Rank 4.3
Vernon Smith, Clarkia concinna ssp. raichei, CNPS Rank 1B.12nd Place:
Vernon Smith, Clarkia concinna ssp. raichei, CNPS Rank 1B.1
Sylvia Wright, RPTH volunteers investigate Streptanthus3rd Place:
Sylvia Wright, RPTH volunteers investigate Streptanthus


Significant Contributions

Given to volunteers who made outstanding contributions to the project, but might not be recognized in other ways.  

John Dye and Tom Biglione were an immense help to the RPTH in 2015.  Since the second annual Delta rare plant paddle in 2012, John and Tom have essentially made this event possible.  Not only did they provide loaner boats for our volunteers, they also provided paddling and safety instructions to ensure that everyone had a good and safe time.  Tom was also been instrumental in helping CNPS to clean much of the rare plant seed collected by the Rare Plant Program this past year, bringing his equipment and expertise to several seed cleaning events.


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