CSSA supports the conservation of xerophytic plants and their habitats through education, direct grants to conservation projects, and awards that recognize leaders in desert conservation. All of these programs are managed by the Conservation Committee.

Conservation news

The most recent updates from our Conservation Committee.

CSSA updates Code of Conduct regarding habitat collected plants


In order to address the increased pressure for field-collected plants, the CSSA Board of Directors, in cooperation with our Conservation Committee, has adopted a Code of Conduct for CSSA members. Please feel free to use this Code of Conduct as a template,…

 Why Conservation?

 A statement on behalf of the CSSA Conservation Committee. Reprinted from the Cactus & Succulent Journal – Fall 2024 Conservation Special Issue.


Conservation Statement

In the fall of 2023, the CSSA enacted a newly clarified conservation policy statement to guide our operations and suggest principles for our affiliate organizations to adopt for themselves.

Avoid being part of the problem

Conserving wild plants is complicated because poached plants are often trafficked in a way that masks their origin. By learning to identify endangered species and the warning signs a plant might be habitat collected, you can avoid being fooled when these are offered for sale.

Just remember, knowledge is only the first step. It’s still up to all of us to do the right thing when presented with an offer that seems “too good to be true”.

A poster that teaches people to identify and avoid purchasing poached plants that were collected from habitat
Courtesy of our friends at

Conservation Awards

The Conservation Committee selects an awardee for the CSSA Conservation Award presented at each CSSA convention. Nominees for this prestigious award may be individuals, groups, or organizations. Nominees need not be CSSA Members, but should have had a broad impact on promoting the initiatives of CSSA.

List of winners coming soon

The CSSA Conservation Committee

We promote the conservation of succulent plants by drafting Society policy, researching and advocating for best practices, and disseminating conservation information. 

Committee Members

The Conservation Committee is comprised of board members, CSSA members at large, and advisors from partner institutions.

Co-Chairs: Irwin Lightstone, Buck Hemenway
Members: Rod Haenni, Jeff Pavlat, Kelly Griffin, Ann Hopkinson, Peter Breslin, and Michiel Pillet