Cultivating Peyote as a Means of Ex-Situ Conservation : A Conversation with the "Peyote Lorax"

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In this episode we talk with a gentleman who cultivates Peyote for the Native American Church. We discuss his efforts to protect wild populations of the plant by teaching NAC members to grow the plant from seed as a form of ex-situ conservation and to ensure that the species will be available for indigenous use despite declining populations in habitat and declining harvests among the Peyoteros.
Ex-situ cultivation of Lophophora williamsii - Peyote - is a means of preserving it for use by the Native American Church.
As many botanists in the US and Mexico who study Chihuahua Desert ecology already know - populations of the plant in habitat are declining due to poaching - and to a greater extent - land clearance.
Leonardo aka "The Peyote Lorax" informs us of his cultivation methods, his history with the plant, and the ceremonial use of the plant by indigenous peoples of North America for the past 6,000 years. We talk about his work with the Morningstar Conservancy, his efforts to teach his fellow indigenous users of Peyote how to establish and grow Peyote in states like Arizona and New Mexico where the plant is not native but where it can be grown in the ground with winter protection, etc.
This was a great conversation and I'm thankful to Leo for making it happen.
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