An initiative started in 1994 to look at the feasibility of using native seed for rangeland rehabilitation, road reclamation and for ecosystem restoration. The first trials examined the use of native seed from various seed suppliers from the Pacific Northwest. Seeding occurred in the spring and establishment was almost nil. A second trial was undertaken with native seed from Alberta and some from a local collection, but this time, seeding took place in the fall once the ground was almost frozen. Again establishment was nil, however, many of the plants germinated in the spring but then died. Site factors were thought to have been the limiting factor in these trials. The site is hot, dry and very windy from early spring to late fall and the soils are shallow with many stones and rocks found in the soil. It was assumed that the hot, dry springs were responsible for the death of the seedlings.
In light of this, it was proposed that native seed be grown by the Ministry of Forests nursery into containers called plugs. These plugs would then be planted on the site to see what kind of results occurred.