Here's the whole article. Glad to see that stupidity is not just confined to the lower 48.
Alaska battle over invasive weed threats to turn activists into garden outlaws
Written by ANNE SUTTON
Friday, 03 February 2006
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) _ Activists scored a minor victory when their Hawkweed Manifesto _ urging people to ``be prickly and hard to eradicate, join the resistance'' _ helped stop the spraying of weedkiller on an aggressive, nonnative plant.
R.G. Denny, wears his protest sign as he stands by one of the two cable rolls on which he painted "Orange Hawkweed Preserve" on his property in Talkeetna, Alaska Jan. 18, 2006. The Upper Susitna Soil and Water Conservation District planned to spray a herbicide on the helipad at the Talkeetna airport to get rid of the invasive Hawkweed that were blanketing the pad's gravel surface.
They even advertised a place to buy seed for the botanical alien, orange hawkweed, which flaunts its presence with showy, bright-orange blossoms.
But now the battle has moved to the Alaska Legislature, where a bill has been introduced that could make garden outlaws out of the activists by banning the import and cultivation of that and another plant invader, purple loosestrife.
Officials say the two plants could invade Alaska's wildlands and choke out native species. They're both considered threats elsewhere in the nation, too, and various state and federal agencies are trying to control them.
The Upper Susitna Soil and Water Conservation District set out last year to spray herbicide on orange hawkweed at the Talkeetna airport, 120 miles north of Anchorage, a springboard for climbers heading to Mount McKinley.
The weed, Hieracium aurantiacum, also known as the ``devil's paintbrush'' and ``grim-the-collier,'' was blanketing the gravel helicopter pad and district officials feared its barbed seeds would catch on a helicopter, ride into the wilderness and muscle out native plants.
The project was stopped, in part because of opposition by the authors of the Hawkweed Manifesto, who scoffed at the idea of the weed going wild and didn't want herbicides sprayed around.
``These plants spread into disturbed areas, not wilderness,'' said Paul Bratton, a Talkeetna homesteader, commercial fisherman and occasional lawyer.
He and his wife, Judy Price, are concerned about health and environmental effects of herbicides. In the 1970s, they fought the spraying of herbicide on railroad tracks near their home.
The manifesto of their new campaign advertised a garden catalog where hawkweed seed could be purchased in bulk.
``The more they spray, the more we will propagate,'' the declaration read. ``Let the Hawkweed bloom free.''
Kristie Renfrew, general manager of the Susitna soil and water district, called the campaign ``ecoterrorism.''
``Shame on them,'' she said. ``We don't need those plants ruining our beautiful wildlands.''
After seeing the manifesto on the Internet, officials in Kodiak persuaded state Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux to introduce the proposed legislation outlawing the plants. Aides said it will likely come up for a hearing in a couple of weeks.
There is a native Alaskan hawkweed, but Blythe Brown of the Kodiak soil and water conservation district said orange hawkweed probably arrived in Alaska more than 40 years ago as someone's potted plant. Under the proposed legislation, having that potted plant or seeds could net an offender as much as a $10,000 fine and a year in jail.
Brown said the island town of Kodiak is overrun by orange hawkweed.
Larry DeVilbiss, director of the state Division of Agriculture, said the legislation might not be broad enough. Rather than focusing on just two weeds, DeVilbiss said the state should develop a regulatory list of plants that can be adjusted as needed.
Outside Talkeetna, R.G. Denny owns a few empty acres where he has posted a pair of 8-foot signs declaring: ``ORANGE HAWKWEED PRESERVE.''
Denny rails at a law that would tell him what he can and cannot plant.
``How's that law going to work?'' he asked. ``Are they going to raid garden shops? Are they going to go through the post office and print up posters that say ``No ammunition, no explosives and no orange hawkweed seed."
Some people just won't get it until their ox is gored.
Doesn't mention their respective professions, but I imagine the Manifestites' outrage when a pest plant (or the like) starts impacting their livelihood. They'll be first in line at the government's door, looking for remuneration.
I've got this highly invasive plant up north on my property in the UP. It rips out of the ground quite nicely after a good long rain. Just in case folk don't know what Devil's Paintbrush looks like. Meet Orange Hawkweed (Hieracium aurantiacum)-
I have a lot of interest in native plants and am growing a bunch of them, but when I see this kind of self-righteousness about some plants, I don't want to have anything to do with people who are into native plants. It's like being around people who are violently opposed to immigration or who are fundies. It's unpleasant and non-productive. I mean, what have you accomplished by posting this way? II suppose you have attracted some other self-righteous people to your cause, but people like me who actually have an interest in native plants just are put off by this attitude. It makes me not want to read any posts here.
Ah, paracelsus, you beat me to it. I agree with you wholeheartedly. This type of post keeps me out of the forum, and it's a forum that I have really enjoyed being a part of in the past. I don't see where posts like this are helpful or even actually apply to the intent of this forum.
Excuse me, what in the heck is self-righteous about this article? It's an article from a newspaper. It reads like a bunch of facts to me. Orange Hawkweed is an invasive non-native plant. This is a fact, not a judgement. This forum is about indigenous plants. An article about the fact that people would want import a plant that will crowd out their indigenous plants, just so they can "stick it to the Man", does apply.
The other point in the article is that Alaska is now considering legislation to prohibit the importation and planting of hawkweed and purple loosestrife. Good for them! This does have impact on indigenous plants, also.
Habitat loss and agressively spreading non-native plants are the biggest threats to native plants today. The US spends more than $170 Billion of our tax dollars a year trying to eradicate non-native plants from sensitive environmental areas.
If I may bud in here ever so gently?
Speaking from experience, since we own 57 acres consisting of woodland, meadow, wetland, a large pond, the biggest threat to our native plants in NE Pennsylvania are Deer. ( I have mentioned this before) And now I will respectfully bow out again and go back to lurking.
I have a lot of native plants and I enjoy growing them. But... I also have thousands, and I do mean literally thousands of well behaved non-native plants growing here that respect property lines and are not injurious to public health (or the tax payer's pocket book) and do not take a toll on watersheds and do not cost farmers thousands and thousands of dollars to eradicate from their fields. I like my non-native plants very much and I hope the day never comes when I am disallowed from planting anything here on my property that isn't a native plant but sadly, that day may come. Increasingly, home owners associations around me are adopting by-laws that prohibit land owners from planting anything that is not native just so they don't have to deal with what they deem to be unreasonable people. Some nurseries have responded by providing lists of "approved" plants provided by HO Associations to assist their homeowners when selecting plants for their landscapes. The President of my HO association (whom I fondly refer to as Mrs. Kravitz) is repeatedly trying to enlist my support to sign her little petition. She knows if she can get me to sign, others will sign. Well, it isn't going to happen because I am a native plant person and because I know enough to know that the vast majority of introduced species have benefited mankind and that only a small percentage are truly destructive. I will never sign her petition and I will share my reasoning with any other neighbor around here who wants to know why and I have done so. Would I sign a petition that banned the planting of about 20 alien species and their cultivars... yes. But that's not what Mrs. Kravitz wants. She wants all alien flora to be banned. Signing her petition would ultimately result in nothing but people taking one side or the other who fail to accept that most native plants can and do co-exist quite nicely with many alien species. There are exceptions to the rule but very few.
There will always be extremists. Every time a situation such as that which is occurring in Alaska is brought to the attention of the public, sides polarize and people ignore facts. It brings us that much closer to even more and more government meddling. Education is paramount and we've made a lot of progress in the arena of non native fauna such as Nutria and Rats and we have also made a lot of progress in the arena of native fauna such as the white tailed deer herd numbers that are negatively impacting the environment but I haven't seen this type of progress in the arena of flora. I don't think any one of us wants to see another tier/layer of government formed to police our backyards. I like my Hostas, and my Iris, and my Ginkgos, and my Dawn Redwoods, and, and, and... To the best of my knowledge, the members above are not purists either and I am relatively sure they have many non-native plants growing on their properties just like I do. I think, and I could be totally off base, that most native plant people want everyone to find some common ground and be reasonable so that we don't end up with nothing but a bunch of white lists on the books because some plants are invading farmer's fields and natural areas at an unprecedented rate. It comes down to the little farmer and the tax payer cleaning up the mess of some plants. Farmers have a difficult enough time keeping their heads above water as it is without the additional expense of all the chemicals they must purchase and use to keep it out of the crops that feed our Nation's masses. And chemicals do leach into ground waters and the tax payers get saddled with that clean up expense. There are other costs not readily seen. Non-native invasive plants should not be planted but I would prefer that people choose to not plant them without having some law on the books that forces the issue. People tend to buck the system when something they do not understand is rammed down their throats. .
I have had native plant people here at my home who were purists. I have been asked to take over a chapter of a native plant society. I would not feel comfortable getting involved because I have not been able to find that common ground with a few of the higher ups within the organization who stood here on my property asking me why I had daffodils? Why do I have daffodils? Interesting question but it spoke volume to me.
I hope I haven't offended anyone. I'm a native plant person. I love them but I think life is a lot more interesting (and so is my yard) with many non natives intermixed and I sure would like to be able to continue choosing what plants end up in the ground here.
Dodecatheon, I think when Dave says no discussion of current events, this is included. It is about politics pure and simple and I aplaud your enthusiasm , but I don't find it appropriate to this particular forum. I think we need to back out of this thread quietly and let it die a natural death.
I think that the article about invasive species control is appropriate to the forum. The comment about stupidity however probably does cross the line of polite conversation.
I think some concern about non-native plants and people's reaction is based on nomenclature. No native plant enthusiast is going to prohibit the planting of non-invasive, non-native plants anyplace else.
Do not confuse the term invasive species with alien or non-native. The native enthusiast is not out to ban all aliens or non-native plants. Please do not interpret that as so...
Sometimes people misintrepret the term "invasive" to mean non-native. Which is certainly, not the case. Many non-native, alien plants are well behaved and valuable parts of landscapes and gardens. Native enthusiasts do understand this.
However some plants, like mentioned in the article, and do take over, even in undisturbed areas. These are the plants that are targeted for control by some groups. And protested by others. I for one appreciated the article.
Since when does Hawkweed choose a political party? None of the people in the article mentioned a political affiliation.
I have plenty of non-native plants in my yard. The ones that even have a small chance of becoming invasive are deadheaded religiously. Butterfly Bush. Gooseneck Loosestrife. Yellow Flag Iris. They aren't going anywhere. I did my research. I accept responsibility and I am diligent about keeping these plants contained. Since the loosestrife is rhizomatous, it is planted in a buried container AND dead-headed.
I didn't put forth any enthusiasm...I just posted a dang article. Read it or don't. Agree with it or not. I also didn't mention who or what was stupid, and it's a fairly safe bet that there may be stupid people in Alaska.
I'm all for laws banning invasive non-native plants, since I spend a lot of my free time clearing them from my yard and state land. I don't really think it's fair that every year I spend hours and hours and hours and hours pulling up buckthorn seedlings in my yard because my neighbor decided to plant one in his yard.
This is why I feel like I do. I feel that a person's right to plant what they want ends at their property lines. When gets into my yard, or onto state land...party's over. It's like saying it's okay for the neighbor's dog to come and relieve itself on everybody else's lawn.
Welcome, JoePye. It's good to see your voice, LOL.
Orange hawkweed is considered a noxious weed by five states. 45 other states don't consider it a noxious weed. IOW, most states don't have a problem with this plant. Shoot, I remember picking it in meadows in Pennsylvania as a kid in the 1950s. Has it taken over Pennsylvania yet? No, it's not even a noxious weed there. But here's this hysterical article posted here. Why? So someone can feel self-righteous, that's why, about how other people are "stupid" and they are "smart" because they don't tolerate some plant. It's absurd.
As for yellow flag iris, it is considered an invasive species by two states and a noxious weed by another two. If other people plant noxious weeds or invasive species, that's "stupid." But some people are exceptions to the stupidity rule because they keep an eye on their weeds. Sure.
It is exactly that this sort of hysteria that evolves into white lists. We had a close call with the last one. It is NOT something that any gardener would appreciate once it was enforced. And many of the plants described as noxious, invasive, etc., are pestiferous only in certain situations and primarily because of very human and greed-oriented practices like over-grazing, mechanized and monoculture farming, and cutting down all the trees and shrubs (aka "disturbed land").
Why not just start a forum on invasive plants? Then you can confine all this self-righteousness and outrage to one place, and the rest of us could post about native plants without constantly running into this misplaced outrage.
I have found that I enjoy the Indigenous Plants Forum very much. I thoroughly enjoy being able to discuss issues intelligently and respectfully with others who also enjoy working with native plants. For the most part, I feel very comfortable here because ideas are attacked not people and a level of respect and courtesy has existed to those with differing views. Most people try to be objective and when someone writes an opinion they disagree with, I see many people trying their best to be civil. It would be unrealistic for any one of us to expect that we will all like each other and that we will all agree. This would be an unreasonable expectation. Perhaps it is time to revert to logic and facts and remove the emotion from the equation. This is an Indigenous Plants Forum and this will not be the first or the last time topics of this nature arise. Whether it be indigenous plants or invasive weeds being discussed, tolerance will be the ticket to our continued success. I look forward to topics such as this as it is an opportunity for all of us to debate productively. When all is said and done, we are all gardeners and we all love our plants.
Just because a plant doen't appear on a noxious weed list doesn't mean it's not a noxious weed.
Paracelsus, you're the only one here who's outraged. Again...please note that I did not say who or what was stupid. The only outrage evinced in the article was by the pro-Hawkweed folks. So what are you talking about?
Some plants do deserve to be whitelisted. The article was posted to share information. Period. No one held a gun to your head and made you read it. It's truly an honour to run across someone with such crystal clear insight into the motives of people they don't know, it must be a handy skill to have.
The "disturbed" areas where this plant might establish itself are along braided streams of which there are many especially in wilderness areas of Alaska. Here are some examples of braided streams: http://www.uoregon.edu/~millerm/braided.html The "disturbed" area would be from bank to bank along the length of the stream. I have personally seen yellow sweet clover hundreds of miles from civilization. Their concern IS NOT hysterical!! To not be concerned is unreasonable/hysterical!!
I'm not outraged. I'm fed up. There's a big difference. Over and over I have seen native plants forums taken up with this idiotic self-righteousness about "invasive" plants that are invasive in SOME situations SOMETIMES. It turns something that ought to be pleasant and informative into an exercise in self-congratulation and scolding. And always hypocrisy goes with it - "I can plant invasive plants because I'm responsible. If other people do it, they're stupid and need to be given what for."
You don't get to dictate how other people respond when you post. You don't get to say, "Only respond if you agree with me, but if you don't, move along." That's not how it works. People get to respond however they please. Don't want people to disagree with you? Don't post.
Plants are just like people in the sense that they do well in some situations and less well in others, that they fit in well in some places and don't fit in in others, that they can be bullies in some situations and play well with others elsewhere. It isn't black-and-whitelisted. It's a lot more complex than that. This "all plants that are 'invasive' are bad and should be outlawed" stuff is trying to make something complex into something simplistic. It isn't thinking critically. It's thinking like a religious fundamentalist, where there is Us the good guys and Them the bad guys. Ecosystems are a lot more complex than that. Hysteria about plants or whatever does nothing but block any real understanding about the situation.
Kathleen, good idea but, I would like to continue with this discussion. This thread could then be moved to the new forum if and when it is approved. :-) e.g., disturbed soils are not necessarily man made
Some of the comments remind me of a situation over in the Butterflies and Hummers Forum where a person asked for advice on how to KILL caterpillars! Long story short. That person was strongly advised to ask that question in the Garden Foes Forum.
Hey everyone, remember me? lol. Maybe it's because I'm hibernating but even though I'm idealistically right behind dodecatheon I've learned a few things about Daves Garden since my last emotional explosion in the face of horticultural selfishness. That word is more acceptable than stupidity because it can be demonstrated, right? Before I go on let me just, with as much respect to Dave as is possible given my personal opinions, offer the increasingly obvious fact that Gardening and Politics can be separated about as well as seeds of different colored poppies. At some point soon Dave is going to have to admit that. Because thankfully we're reaching a point where most gardeners in many places around this country are realizing there's something big going on where our yards meet our national parks.. But being corrected when I first got to this forum on the politics rule, I'm fairly sure that Current Events is just fine to discuss.. and this article certainly fits into this forum.. You can't really talk about native plants without the unspoken comparison to exotic species and invasives. When I was told to curb my politics I was not told that invasives were off topic, it was the contrary.
I read this article and I laughed.. About people who were so bent out of shape about chemical toxins that they dumped biological toxins all around instead. I don't think this is a question of how pure of a native plant enthusiast you are. I plant only plants native to my area AND any plant hardy here that is not able to invade native habitats. I am doing this because I know it is the only answer, and that if gardeners do not start choosing this answer on their own then the government will do what is *has* to do.. Damage control. The government isn't going to waste money spraying unless there's a really good reason.. Both sides of the political spectrum would rather not have to pursue any control, so yeah, as far as politics goes in this case the danger was probably real.
I'm not sure how it is in other places.. In Syracuse I tell other gardeners about my native plants with more pride than my other garden plants, but I certainly don't hide the fact that I grow plants from all around the world. That was the point of gardening in the beginning.. and it isn't the problem. At this point most people in America can identify the problem as invasive species. Though one of the biggest problems is that most of us use this word without any working definition. I wsa taught a few years ago in an invasive plant ecology & management course that an invasive species is one that can establish a population in a given native environment. Yeah, that's a huge issue because unfortunately, habitat types do not respect state lines. Neither do dispersing seeds.
I unfortunately do have quite a few invasives, I mention those too and make sure to also mention the efforts I'm making to eradicate them from my yard to garden guests. Note that I mean actual invasives like Norway maple and European buckthorn- two of my long-term goals for removal.. not aggressive plants like lily-of-the-valley and gooseneck loosestrife, which need to be kept under control but which don't really pose large threats to the native environment. Gooseneck loosestrife is in a different genus altogether than its infamous relative. I have it in one clump in my yard, it had been there for about 4 years. It has not spread from that spot. It's not that I'm trying to be a hippocrite, but there aren't black and white areas here. But hey, there are zones, that helps. I can safely plant as much Opuntia cactus as I want here and not worry about it spreading. And there are different moisture requirements and soil requirements etc. I unfortunately have the yellow water lily as well, but a friend of mine who is a wetland ecologist in the area told me not to worry too much about it: It can be spread by birds but tends not to be, and definitely isn't if you deadhead. Further I grow it in soil but it is shown to be invasive in wetland areas. So how do we keep this a safe garden plant? It's really simple, it's called research. I did a bunch of it and ripped out the species I had to.. like the scraggly shoots of purple loosestrife growing in the bone-dry limestone clay in my yard on top of a hill.. far from any wetland area. However because I know that the seeds are wind and water carried, and that part of the problem is seed from gardens washed into stormdrains and out into native areas.. not to mention because it's an ugly ugly plant to me by virtue of all the wilderness it's destroying.. It gets a one way ticket to the brush pile. I'm all for white lists because it seems to be too much to ask the average American to be a real gardener and know what he or she is planting. Maybe the question is just having better label information, like what's going on with partially hydrogenated oils and trans fats.. so that people can make easier educated decisions. But I think it's really a question of laziness and image. People aren't gardening to grow plants, they're gardening to make their property more beautiful. Personally I don't care why people garden but there is a real self-evident truth in something dodecatheon offerred, I'm just going to paraphrase.. it isn't fair that I have to spend gardening time cleaning up my neighbor's gardens. And further the astounding amount of federal funds used to combat invasives on public lands (using dangerous methods in some cases) could most likely be better spent. It's not fair that gardeners can choose to be irresponsible and lazy and force everyone to pay for it.
As far as I'm concerned, it would be better that they not have gardens. That's my opinion. But unless we as a gardening community start owning up to our responsibilites to each other and to the native land here then our government WILL take our rights away... and I'll be supporting them because there are some things more important than my freedom to plant whatever I want.
As far as hawkweed goes.. if the Alaskan government was spraying herbicide then there was probably a very real chance of it being spread.. and I think airstrips are a very real concern there. It's in the dandelion family with fluffy wind dispersed seeds. And yes, it only moves to disturbed environments. Unfortunately most of the US cannot be classified as undisturbed. Removing one tree is enough disturbance to grow hawkweed. Granted it has to be one big tree, but then again there are also a few unique habitat types in Alaska that I'd be willing to bet hawkweed would be able to invade as is. The one that comes to mind first is alpine peatlands.. and all of the amazing native carnivorous plants that grow in the precise humidity and acidity found combined with high light in bog areas where unless the hawkweed dislikes acidity very much I could see it doing quite well. Besides the fact that there are very many native species that specialize in moving to disturbed areas as well.. many are rarer since disturbed areas in nature occur randomly, treefalls and other events. This is just one more excellent competitor for that niche.
This forum is for people who care about native species, I would hope more than just to have a garden of them.. And they're in trouble. The problem is that we can't throw up our hands and say "well what can we do?" because we're *causing* the problem. Man I really thought this post was going to be more de-fusing than it came out. I'm sorry about that. But if for no other reason, if you're under the impression that I'm getting aggressive and irrational... take into consideration for two seconds that you might react the same way if a situation really hurt you somewhere deep. I feel like I've learned a lot about what's happening to our native plants. And the more I learn the more it hurts to know that the truth of the matter is.. unless we make changes in what we each are doing.. then what we're doing is going to irrevocably make changes to our landscape. I'm just wondering how many more species have to be lost before we realize how important limitations are. They're almost as important as freedoms.
That was the part I was really trying to get across... I'm just really bad about doing it without the attitude. We all have our faults.. I've made progress but I have a ways to go. Thanks for taking the time to see through the rest.
And yeah, I couldn't stay away from this, could I? Actually I read the article randomly online but.. didn't think to bring it up here. But I wish I had.. I think sharing information like this is part of the challenge. We can't form working opinions without knowing the facts around them... or maybe I wish it were that we can't. We shouldn't.
But not here. This is not a soapbox for US gardeners, this is a world wide forum - for watching the Israeli spring with salvia_lover, for going on a hike in Ireland with cinemike, for helping with identifications and sources. Inspite of the fact that I am concerned about some of the recklessness in the American nursery business, I don't feel comfortable discussing that here.
Dave is setting up an invasives forum. I'm pretty sure there will be some strict guidelines. This thread displays why it shouldn't be here in the personal attacks and evident hard feelings.
Darwin, I printed your post out, had to go down and do some work and took it with me. It shouldn't be about white lists, it should be about education - oh, yes, I do agree. But I think what the people in Alaska are really upset about isn't pesticides or orange hawksweed, but the other freedoms that are getting away from us, and that's a can of worms that we really need to stay away from.
Garden Tours is designed for DG members to showcase their gardens after they've recorded their images in a diary. Kathleen's references are to some randomly-captured images of wild plants that others have shared with us over the years.
I agree with everyone who has pointed out the need to keep things civil.
That said, I'm extremely concerned about invasive plants, and think having a way to make people more aware about this is extremely important. I knew close to nothing about this issue 6 years ago. I had heard about kudzu, but didn't know all the Japanese barberry and burning bushes that came with my property was harming the wild areas near me. (and believe me, I've seen these plants taking over at some of them)
It was GW's birding and wildlife forums' having the topic of invasiveness brought up that gave me an opportunity to learn about it. There is more press about invasive species now, but I think most people still don't know much about it. It is an international problem (although of course the problem plants vary from place to place).
I understand (and I suspect so do some other people who came here due to changes at GW) concern at seeing a forum you care about change for the worse. I'm hoping for a solution where we can keep things civil, but still be able to bring up the issue.
Kathleen I assuredly respect your opinion and I know you put plenty of thought into it, but I disagree with the idea that the US's horticultural problems don't belong in a world wide forum.. I think there are probably a few well informed gardeners who aren't US citizens who are very concerned with what's going on here. I enjoy the pleasant aspects of Dave's Garden as well, and I've (believe it or not) made quite a few friends here I think. I don't want to disturb anyone's peace on this site but there are crucial facts that need to be addressed by gardeners.. and there isn't currently any other forum to do it in. If Dave is making up an Invasives forum that's terrific, I'll have to spend some time there.
I had a quick thought and I wanted to share it. The idea that politics isn't allowed here is interesting to me, but the more I think of it the more it looks to me like if these forums were as effective as they could be at creating a more unified information base for gardeners everywhere.. then we wouldn't need politics in gardening at all. But without being able to discuss the issues that politics are trying to control we prevent that from ever happening.
I don't think the people in Alaska are up in arms about their freedoms.. I think they've been incited by some very passionate and very misguided people who truly believe that they are doing no harm. Most people I talk t oreacted the same way I did, not out of concern for the herbicide or the rights of people to 'grow what they want.' It was disgust that people would put their surrounding wilderness at greater risk by disseminating more seeds of a known problem plant just to prove a point.
Re: white lists (last thing bob, sorry for the novels). I think the thing that gets lost in headed discussions is the following: No one *wants* to be told what they can plant and not be able to plant outside of that list. There are two ways not to get there. One is to forget about conserving our native habitats. The other is to govern ourselves. Now, here's where I should quit while I'm ahead. Which is the smart choice? And what's the opposite of smart? And what are the people spreading invasive seeds around heading for? So...?
"it isn't fair that I have to spend gardening time cleaning up my neighbor's gardens. "
It's not fair. But that's what being part of a community means. It means that you don't always get exactly what you put in--sometimes you have to put in a lot more. And it means that someone else is putting in a lot less. That's part of the deal of being in a community. Don't believe me--go read some John Stuart Mill, whose ideas about a social contract are at the foundation of the US and the idea that we all benefit if we all share, but that doesn't mean we all put in exactly the same amount or take out exactly the same amount.
The invasives issue is, IMO, not associated with the topic of native plants. It is a separate issue, and I am glad it will have its own forum.
People's interest in native plants are as varied as different species of tomatoes.
Some people perhaps view native plants as another type of plant to propogate like any other rose, shrub or tree. In this context it might be easy to seperate issues about invasives from natives.
But many people who fall in love with natives are working to re-establish diverse habitats. The work involved in rejuvinating dormant native plants in a remnant seedbank is integrally linked with invasive species control and cannot be seperated.
Its easy to control invasive species in my yard. Its not so easy to control invasive species on 1500 acres of pubic land that has limited resources for labor and maintenance.
Raisedbedbob..who's fighting? I'm not. I posted a article. If people want to fight about it, that's their problem. I reserve the right to defend myself. I posted the article as an FYI. Period.
I don't think there should be a separate invasive plants forum. Invasive(meaning exotic plants that don't play nice with others, no matter where on the planet) plants are a world-wide problem, and cost tens or hundreds of billions of dollars to governments everywhere. Right now...there are native plants of US origin causing big problems over-seas, belive it or not. Read an article about it Sunday, but I won't post it because, well, I'd be accused of politiking. Or being self-righteous. Or too current. Though I have to admit I don't understand how plants can have a political affiliation.
I'd be really interested in reading or hearing about plants that are native here causing problems in other countries.
You can't talk about plants native to your area without talking about the plants that are not native and invasive, that are pushing them out. It's kind of like seeing the barn fire while ignoring the fact that your house is also burning.
I might also pull out a big future picture here... the scope of invasives vs. natives isn't limited to just pushing other species out. Let's not forget that invasives provide pathways for both disease and pest vectors from place to place.. either native or exotic diseases or pests... For those who love native plants but don't want to be involved in the invasives debate... I don't know what else I have to say other than if you might as well enjoy your native plants while you can.
I'm not sure I'm all for community if it means cooperating as much or as little as you please. I'm for community being cooperation as much or as little as you can. And no one is going to be greatly crushed by being told they cannot buy and should not grow invasive species on their property. Maybe that's just as unfair as making your neighbors (and your entire community when things get bad enough to diver tax money to fixing invasions) clean up your seed spread but at least putting limits on what can be grown where doesn't result in losing things that aren't really ours to begin with. I know life isn't fair but the injustice I'm more concerned with is that in our grandchildren's generations some of the rare plants that my ecologist friends get excited about seeing in the field.. so many orchids in the Central NY wetlands I've never heard of.. They'll be gone and there won't be any way to bring them back.
Honestly I just don't see how you can seperate invasives and natives when you get right down to it... but if a completely seperate forum allows some practical discussion that is allowed to civilly discuss policy and pros and cons of different options... then maybe the spread of knowledge would be worth losing the attention of the native plant -interest people.
I am reading/"listening" along here, and I am wondering how much in this thread comes from personal observations versus reading lots of articles on the subject of invasives.
I have read a lot of Equilibrium's very interesting posts, but how about Darwin and Dodecatheon, may I please direct a question to you both? Can you tell me how many hours during the growing season are you spending not just in your backyard but truly outside walking through rural and not artificially landscaped areas? Looking around in undisturbed woods, meadows, swamps, ponds and such?
This is simply a question, I honestly do not expect to get a dissertation. :-)
This way I am perhaps better able to form some sort of mental picture here.
edited to say:
defining undisturbed: not dug over, not groomed, not bulldozed, allowed to grow as is for at least 10 years.
I was working on a masters in conservation biology at SUNY ESF until recently, I got interested in invasives and their spread in a course I took, three credit hours of "Ecology and Management of Invasive Species," and focused on invasions in Australia and Hawaii.. though to be fair I was working on amphibian and fungal invasive and am not a plant ecologist. Two of my close friends are, however, and two summers ago I spent a good amount of time hiking fenlands (maybe once or twice a week for 3-4 hours of counting and IDing fen species, not consistently all summer but I enjoy it so I was invited often) for his dissertation. I took three 4-credit classes (field/lab classes) which involved field trips every other week into some of the more undisturbed areas around here. The classes were bryophyte ecology, mycology, and herpetology. Aside from that I try to take my dog for a substantial hike every week in warmer seasons, and I do take her into areas of habitat with varying disturbance levels and native plant diversity. My yard backs on a hillside (not pristine environment by any means.. but I have a pileated woodpecker) with huge black walnuts that have been there close to a century.. if not longer.. and which are now being threatened by virginia creeper planted by people who owned my house between 12 and 15 years ago sometime.
There's a lot to be said for book knowledge and a lot to be said for actual observations. But please don't be fooled into a sense of security (and I'm not saying you are) by observing places in your environment which seem to be doing well and free of invasives.. and thinking the problem is being exaggerated. I grew up on Long Island.. the 'forests' there are a sad shadow of native habitat.. I don't know of a single place I can go on Long Island that retains a native habitat without any invasives.. While in Central NY I think that may be more plausible.. though I don't have the facts to back that up ;).
I'm a restoration volunteer at both Moraine Hills State Park and Glacial Park in McHenry, IL. I have been putting in 10/hrs a month at Moraine for the last 5 years, and 10/hrs monthly at Glacial for the last 3 months. I also do extensive hiking at both places, probably an additional 10 hours a month at each.
My first involvement with prairie/woodland/wetland restoration was probably the West Chicago Prairie, around 15-20 years ago.
A good example of invasive plants can be seen where I live in upstate NY. Garlic mustard, specifically. It's growing, for instance, all along the creek that borders the back of my yard. It's a non-native that was originally brought here as a pot herb by the Colonists, which shows how long it has been here (and they must have been desperate, because it tastes pretty bad). But it's not an invasive because it's foreign. It's an invasive because the white-tailed deer won't eat it. They would rather eat native plants, and that's exactly what they do. Their population is gigantic, larger than it has ever been in the history of North America. They are the largest habitat destroyer outside of human beings. So is the problem garlic mustard, a furrin invasive? Is it that simple? NO. If there were no garlic mustard, there would still be enormous losses of native woodland plants in upstate NY because of the deer, and the deer population is out of control because of the loss of predators, and the predators are lost because of our killing them and destroying their habitat, so it all comes back to us, not the garlic mustard.
And the example of garlic mustard shows how the invasive question is much more complex than has been portrayed here. Crying about how we need to restrict which seeds people can buy is not going to do a thing to solve it. All that's going to do is put more money in the pockets of the hybridizers of bedding plant seeds, like the world really needs another petunia. The problem is not the garlic mustard at all. It has been here all this time and has not taken over the world. The problem is the destruction of predators like wolves that controlled the deer, the destruction of woodlands by human beings who cut them all down and turned them into paper and lumber, and on and on.
There is no easy answer to this. When I see people trying to make something this complex into an Us vs. Them thing, it gives me the creeps. As far as I am concerned, this Us vs. Them thing is at the root of many of our problems in our country. It isn't thinking. It's reacting. And personally I just don't want to read about it, especially when it concerns plants native or otherwise, which I do indeed care about. So if you want to cry about those nasty, dirty, disease-carrying furriners that are just ruining our country, please just go to a forum specifically devoted to that.
"Remember to be gentle with yourself and others. We are all children of chance, and none can say why some fields will blossom and others lay brown beneath the August sun. Care for those around you. Look past your differences. Their dreams are no less than yours, their choices in life no more easily made. And give. Give in any way you can, of whatever you posesss. To give is to love. To withold is to wither. Care less for your harvest than how it is shared, and your life will have meaning and your heart will have peace."
Thank you for the welcome equilib. You're right, it sure does sound like one of those e-mails you get, lol. Actually, I was making myself a cup of tea and that was on the tea box. DG has been a great place and I've learned a lot since joining a month ago. So many great people and it's honestly the 2nd best investment I've made since I can remember. The first place winners are my kids. :)
Hey Megan, I've learned a lot too. I also was sent an incredible amount of white flowering seed for a moon garden I've been working on. The seed shared with me was seed that I was having difficulty locating for sale. To top it off, I was offered some skunk cabbage seedlings and that's a plant I've been looking to purchase for a while. The greatest goodies were those that were intangible and it would appear you figured that out already. You will like it here more and more as every day goes by.
I think you have simplified why garlic mustard is invasive. Deer is not the sole reason. The plant has other characteristics that makes it opportunistic over native plants, the overpopulation of deer aggravate the situation; but are not the only reason why it has taken the opportunity to outcompete the natives.
Yes, garlic mustard is a really prolific son of a gun, but without the deer eating all the natives and helping to spread its seeds on its fur, it would have a much harder time of it. I go up in the woods around here a lot, and plenty of areas have no garlic mustard or other invasives but they still haven't got much in the way of natives because the deer eat so much. I keep thinking if only I could get to like the taste of garlic mustard, I could easily get rid of all the stuff that is growing by the creek by freezing it to eat in winter. Unfortunately, I have to agree with the deer in terms of their rejection of the taste of garlic mustard. The only good thing about garlic mustard is that it is done pretty quick in the season. I am trying to come up with natives that I can plant in that area that will give the garlic mustard a hard time. So far, only the very non-native orange oriental poppy has out-competed it, and the deer won't eat that either.
Yep, I've got garlic mustard too. It has a short life span inthe spring but then it starts growing again for the next season as well.. or it does here.
Paracelsus I'm interested in knowing your rationale for your stance.. but I know you've chosen your opinion and at this point nothing I can say is going to break it. That's fine. You don't want to be told what you can't plant, and you don't want to read about anything but native plants in this forum. In general, that is the attitude that will ensure the eventual application of a white list. Because thankfully people making those decisions don't poll Dave's Garden to see what's best for gardeners. They ask agencies that employ researchers that can show pages of numbers detailing what species are declining and what to do to help. WE as gardeners (not seperating anyone here) either have to accept that there is more responsibility to gardening than just planting and growing any plant we want or the system we have in place will regulate us. It'll start happening when the endangered species list starts growing, like when purple loosestrife turns most of the Upstate NY wetlands into purple monocultures. I'll bet when lady's tresses orchids lose their habitats that NY will finally ban purple loosestrife from being sold in the state or shipped into the state.
This is already common practice for plants that are vectors to fungal pathogens with multiple stage life cycles, it is the reason you cannot ship currants and gooseberries into New Jersey.. to protect the pine barrens from a fungus that lives part of its life on species in the currant family. I would plan on this happening with a lot of garden plants in the near future. Unless you care to help start a massive campaign informing gardeners of the need putting just a bit more care into planting.
Blue fescue grass is something that garlic mustard cannot grow through.
And please quit with your insults, Paracelsus. I can do that, too. If you want to impugn my motives or whatever...please send me an email...I'd happily battle you there. Here's my personal e-mail: email@example.com
I've been involved with restoration ecology for about 25 years.
The problem with GM is not that deer won't eat it. Deer are a very minor part of the GM problem. The problem is that there are few native plants that can out compete it. The reason this plant is a problem is that IT DOESN'T BELONG HERE. The other problem is that it has no natural insect predator in this country, much like purple loosestrife. So, in restoring a savannah...we seed blue fescue grass. The GM will not grow through it. Then we burn off the fescue. Which kills the fescue completely. Fescue is wimpy, GM is wimpier. Repeat the process. GM is not such a problem after that.
Or, alternately...there are imported bugs that eat the roots of garlic mustard, and only garlic mustard. Or, there's always glyphosate used very early or late in the growing season.
>>So if you want to cry about those nasty, dirty, disease-carrying furriners that are just ruining our country, please just go to a forum specifically devoted to that.
"So if you want to cry about those nasty, dirty, disease-carrying furriners that are just ruining our country, please just go to a forum specifically devoted to that. "
Please go to a forum specifically devoted to methinks the lady dost protest too much.
Huh? What ARE you talking about? I'm talking about PLANTS. Speaking of diseases ...why don't you do some reading on Sudden Oak Death, and how it got here, and where it came from. For most people…it would prove quite enlightening. Or Dutch Elm Disease? Or the Pine Bark beetle? Or the Emerald Ash Borer? Or Chestnut Blight? Or how about that Japanese Long Horned Beetle? I guess you think these things are all great news for native vascular plants? Change is always a good thing! Right!
Did you know that the destruction of chestnut groves might have been instrumental in the extinction of the Passenger Pigeon?
You carp and carp about how complex nature is, then you say something utterly simplistic like the above. Anthropomorphizing non-native and invasive plants is kind of silly.
Hi Exhortation, dolabriform, paraclete, Darshan, jucundity, others:
I've been dodging the flamethrowing above. I hope that the excitement and hyperbole are temporary and comparing/contrasting restarts the conversation. Keeping the personalization of the argument to a minimum elevates the debate (somewhere in there I wanted to add rational, but that can be perceived as individually offensive).
I agree with the premise of the complexity of the issue.
I also agree with the simplicity of the origin of problems from "what doesn't belong here," though that must lead to further complexities of finding solutions, because someone's ox is going to get gored.
I bet even paracelsus and dodecatheon would hold hands and sing a stanza of Kumbaya on the belief: It shouldn't be the indigenous plants.
Sounds like white-tailed deer population moderation is a concern in NY. I don't see where that precludes the belief that introduction of invasive non-indigenous plants ought to be diminished or stopped. I agree absolutely, what humans do to change the land they inhabit has led to some really bad conditions. I believe that there is incremental change away from those worst habits of the past (OK, at least minimal recognition that things can't go on exactly as before -- it's never fast enough change for those who want it the way it was). This behavior should reflect positively for indigenous plant communities.
No matter what we change in our behaviors, though, won't stop or slow down the behavior of invasive non-indigenous plants. If white-tail deer populations were reduced to a static level appropriate for regeneration of the indigenous plant community, those plants would still be suppressed or eliminated by invasives (like garlic mustard, Amur honeysuckle, pick your local thug) precisely because the invasives are not affected by any community-balancing pathogens.
So, paracelsus, your animal argument supports your forensic opponents. The sides are not so far apart. Time for a second stanza. I'll join the growing chorus circle this time. Anyone?
Oh my, you've been in the "E" section of your dictionary again! You silly man! Ummm, might I suggest that we debar discussing hooved rats for a bit. I think I'll sit this round out and go on line to pick some nice iris rhizomes to sink in the ground next fall. I got a thang for iris.
Exhortation signing off but willing to hold hands and sing Kumbaya with everyone... to include V V who keeps coming up with all these really cute E names for me ;)
"You don't want to be told what you can't plant, and you don't want to read about anything but native plants in this forum. In general, that is the attitude that will ensure the eventual application of a white list. Because thankfully people making those decisions don't poll Dave's Garden to see what's best for gardeners."
The reason why the white list was stopped the last time around was precisely because of the protests of lifelong gardeners like me and small seed sellers like Richter's and J.L. Hudson. But according to you, we don't know anything and the USDA, which is concerned not with native plants but with agriculture and the US seed industry, does. It couldn't be that the USDA might care more for the concerns of bedding plant hybridizers than it does for gardeners and mom-and-pop seed sellers. The white list has nothing to do with natives or invasives. It has to do with propping up the US hybridized seed trade. It is about protectionism of an industry, not of an ecosystem.
There are non-native plants that are not invasive, and there are native plants that are. Invasiveness has nothing to do with whether something is native or not. It is a separate issue. For instance:
If you do a search on "invasive native plants," you will find varous examples, such as native horsetails, Joe Pye weed, creeping cinquefoil, etc. Plants are invasive not because of where they come from but because of the situation they are in, normally one where human beings have disturbed the environment, for instance, by creating lawns, pastures, and monoculture farming. So the problem is not the plant but human behavior. And that's what needs to change. Of course, that's a lot more challenging than haranguing people on forums.
I haven't insulted anyone here. Disagreeing is not insulting, although in the Us-vs-Them world, I suppose disagreement can be taken that way. If you like it when everyone thinks the same, I hear Iran is great that way. In the US, though, we are still allowed to disagree all we want.
I spite of some of the harshness, the folks on this thread really aren't all that far apart. Just don't dig your heels in and decide you are opponents to the bitter end. It seems to me that ya'll are on the same side.
First, the white list will continue to be proposed until it passes simply because MOST gardeners REFUSE to research what they're planting (and not plant the things that shaw invasiveness in their area). If you don't want to believe it, just wait! The laws in the US are really clear about endangered species and it will take a lot of effort change those laws, it will be easier to protect countless species by knocking out the rights of people causing problems.. like nurseries that refuse to take known invasives off their shelves.. and a white list because we have plenty of non-native thugs already and since no one who imports new plants is running invasiveness experiments.. that's the only way to keep new invasions at a minimum.You may be right, maybe our native lands will be destroyed long before the government can ratify these measures... but I know you're not hoping for that solution.
Second, I'm going to probably quiet down for a little while. There's a big problem here having to do with a whole lot of words we're using without standard definitions. The largest part of that problem is the word invasive vs. native. By definition a native plant is what? Because my definition of native plant is a plant that grows in a specific place without human involvement, or grew there historically before human removal of whatever sort. And invasive is a species displaced from its native habitat which is able to establish and spread in a particular new environment. So how do you get an invasive native plant? Unless you have changed its native habitat SO MUCH that the species is freed of all competition/predation/other population checks (Wolf removal in NY... Hello deer! But we still don't call deer invasive). The other problem with defining invasives is they are COMPLETELY locally dependent.. In the end the way to make lists of what can and can't be planted is probably going to have to involve community (town, city) based committees creating lists and probably state oversight of those to make sure they're actually doing what they're meant to do. But I'm not a politician and I don't know what's going to work.. but one thing I do know, members of this forum.. if you say you care about native plants you'd better also learn to care about invasives and invasive management. It's not going away, it's getting worse.
Here's some really good reading material, well written (pleasant read) and really insightful.
The Song of the Dodo, by David Quammen
Nature Out Of Place - Biological Invasions in the Global Age, by Jason Van Driesche, Roy Van Driesche
Like ViburnumValley, I have been dodging the flamethrowing. But now "my ox is being gored".
Wisconsin has a long tradition in conservation leadership (Aldo Leopold, Gaylord Nelson, etc). The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) tries to follow in this tradition. Referencing them out of context to support a position that they would not take is not appropriate. All that's necessary to get a more balanced view is to click on a few more links on the left. For example:
Your ox is being gored because I cited a Wisconsin state site that lists native species that are invasive??? You're personally offended by that??? Good grief.
It really is about self-righteousness here. So I will leave you all to the shrieking threads consumed with that self-righteousness about other people planting invasives. I will leave you to the Know-Nothing approach to non-natives and the exceedingly naive ideas about the role of the USDA and the white list. Don't ever think that this invasives situation might be more complicated than Us vs. Them, natives vs. furriners. Your ideas should never be challenged under any circumstances by anyone. That's just an insult to you and a horrible outrage and a personal attack. And whenever you run into anyone who disagrees with you, feel free to call them "stupid."
Enjoy yourselves, but realize that you don't win people over to your ideas by acting this way. All you do is make yourselves - and your cause - look bad. You have certainly gone a long way towards convincing me that the whole invasives argument is reactionary in all senses of that word. If I have anything to post about my native hedge project, I will do it in the perennials or annuals forums.
I've lost track of why this became an argument as opposed to a discussion.. but certainly the word self-righteousness I remember being part of it. I'm sorry paracelsus if there are a great many people who are concerned with both growing native plants and helping them survive outside of gardens. I realize you feel like "we" have taken over your forum. It certainly shouldn't be that way. The original article that was posted should have conveyed at least a thought to the fact that maybe spreading invasive plant species in retaliation for anything is a bad idea. If your opinion differs from that.. Then I hope you retire your trowel and gloves because I personally don't think we need any more close-minded gardeners who refuse to admit that the problem needs a solution. I hope you may try, in all parts of life, stop every so often and make sure what you're branding as self righteous (and thus, disregarding) might actually be right.
One thing I will agree with paracelsus is.. No matter how frustrated I am that a neighbor of mine is vehemently expressing what I view as a shortsighted and uninformed opinion, trying to berate him isn't going to change his opinion nor is it really going to help change the opinions of others reading this thread. Though I wish we could all see that this cause is much too important to rally against simply because there are disagreements with people who are standing up for it.
Having read down through most of these posts, I find you all painting yourselves into corners as to why this must appear in the Indigenous Plants Forum. If you are indeed intent on educating gardeners, then posting this here is pretty much preaching to the choir. Also, at this point in time, off topic, as there is now an Invasive Plants forum. If you really want to educate, then there are many other forums that would have been better as far as getting this out to the gardeners who might not know. I think I can safely say that most people who grow and study natives are well aware of the problems faced.
Now, please, play nice and take this to the new forum.
Do any of you really want to face the consequence that people stop listening to you at all just so you can keep flogging this poor and most definitely deceased nag? Do you really need to be seen to be right all the time?
DG for me has been a place for education, nurture and positive encouragement with a great emphasis on enthusiasm and friendliness. You've all got valid points here on this thread, could we please leave it at that by burying this foetid equine and find some new live horses to nurture?
" The original article that was posted should have conveyed at least a thought to the fact that maybe spreading invasive plant species in retaliation for anything is a bad idea. "
Exactly. And how is everbody so sure I was calling anybody stupid? I didn't mention who or WHAT was stupid. Not one stinking word.
Some people also seem to think that if you mention anything about invasive plants, you're trying to tell them what they can and cannot plant. I think people should plant what they want. When it spreads to natural areas...we all get the bill, unfortunately.
That's great, except that if we all have to pay for it then there's no incentive for any gardener to be cautious about what he or she is doing. And.. for a lot of this the cost isn't measured in currency.
Chewing rubber bands- that comment made me laugh. I've still got Mrs. Kravitz running around with her little pink pad of HO Association nasty grams and she is ready and willing to use them on fron't doors but my Tall Bearded Iris are all doing just fine... much to her chagrin.
She wants to do away with your Iris? I'd bring her a
big bouquet on May Day, LOL.
Mrs. Kravitz, that is so funny. When I first read your
post further above, I cracked up. Homeowners association?
Egads. They would die if they saw my place. We have
tires cut like flowers filled with plants. Wouldn't she fall over
and faint seeing one of those in your yard? ;-)
No HO would want my place in their vicinity, either...:-) Of course, I wouldn't want to be in their organization, either...unless it was to regulate the installation of gigantic lights that point to my place or block the stars.
I planted about 100 more TB iris in her honor last year. Couldn't help myself. Mrs. Kravitz brings out the Iris lover in me. She's got a good pair of binoculars. I have no doubt she spotted me planting them around a birdbath and adding more along the sidewalk to my front door last year. This woman has nothing better to do with her time and in spring before the trees leaf out, she's got a clear shot with her super sleuth binoculars to see my TB Iris. Oh oh oh, Maxine gave me some Siberian Iris and I planted those too. Oh oh oh, I participated in a co-op run by Pixydish last year and ordered quite a few hostas. Bet her husband had to pull out the fainting couch for her the day I planted those.
Mrs. Kravitz left a little pink note on my door one year because I (gasp) had an old lonely "not long for this world" horse on a lead gardening with me a few weekends in a row when it wasn't too hot out for him. The woman is totally off her rocker. I ignored her because I couldn't find anything in the bylaws stating I couldn't garden with a horse in tow. She walks her exotic dog on a leash so what's so wrong with walking an exotic horse on a leash. I once considered letting my kid get a pet rooster for a 4H project. Sheesh, we're all up at the crack of dawn anyway so why shouldn't she join us?
Tires in a landscape design? Those would probably be a double pink sticky on my front door and she's most assuredly be hyperventilating as she scribbled out her infraction. She's a double bagger in my book anyway. Hmmm, no mention of half sunk in the ground bathtubs in our bylaws that I can think of. You know the kind where you put the concete or plastic Madonna and child in them? Those kind. Not that I would want one but I might... ;) just for her. Remember, I live where you can have plastic pink flamingos and a clothes line as long as you have it in your back yard out of view from the curb.
Time for me to go check the UMW Round Up thread to make sure BigCityAl stuck my name on that nice exotic 'Blue Wave' Hydrangea. I feel a smelling salt episode in the making.
All joking aside, please know that overall I've planted about 99 natives to every 1 exotic I plant. I really do prefer natives but I do like my exotics. They sort of grow on ya if you know what I mean.
Could you ask Mrs. Kravitz what type of binoculars she uses? Mine don't have a very good zoom on them and I can't see the birds thru them very well...ask her before she's done with her fainting and all ;)
You ask her... I'll point out her house to you this coming summer. I don't know what brand they are but her pair bends in the middle if that helps. I've watched her with them and she can adjust them. The pair we had didn't do that and neither does the set we currently have. The binoculars we had were from a garage sale and they were around 30, maybe even 40 years old or older. They went camping and took them with and somehow our pair went home with somebody else and we ended up going home with a different pair. We now have a pair that is newer but no where near as good as the old one we had. I was thinking that if we ever got another pair, I wanted to get a pair like hers. Makes sense. More than one person can use it because it's adjustable. The newer ones are a lot smaller too which means they aren't as heavy. Better optics too. I've looked through some of the newer pairs at Bass Pro Shops and you can see really well with them.
I've never seen a pair that doesn't bend in the middle. My husband adjusts (bends them) them to see different than I do. Mine are small and are Bushnell's, but I got them for free. So I guess they didn't give away the better ones.
You'll point her house out this summer or this spring? When do my plants arrive on your doorstep?
It's been a while and something just popped up in my e-mail that reminded me of comments made by DarwinESF right about the time this thread was moved to Invasive Species,
Quoting: First, the white list will continue to be proposed until it passes simply because MOST gardeners REFUSE to research what they're planting (and not plant the things that shaw invasiveness in their area). If you don't want to believe it, just wait! The laws in the US are really clear about endangered species and it will take a lot of effort change those laws, it will be easier to protect countless species by knocking out the rights of people causing problems.. like nurseries that refuse to take known invasives off their shelves.. and a white list because we have plenty of non-native thugs already and since no one who imports new plants is running invasiveness experiments.
It also reminded me of comments made by ViburnumValley,
Quoting: Some people just won't get it until their ox is gored.
Doesn't mention their respective professions, but I imagine the Manifestites' outrage when a pest plant (or the like) starts impacting their livelihood. They'll be first in line at the government's door, looking for remuneration.
Looks as if DarwinEFS hit it on the head which is most unfortunate as I'm personally not a proponent of more government regulation. It would appear some very big oxes got gored. Looks as if the white lists are going to be making a comeback only this time they're coming back in through a back door (Q-37) with projected economic cost savings attached to them that will be hard to ignore.
New Study Examines System for Reducing Import of Invasive Plants into the U.S.
Implementing Australian Weed Risk Assessment Program in the United States
Would Save Billions and Reduce Process Time
"The invasive plant screening approach used by the U.S. government pales in comparison to other more effective and readily-available systems used by countries such as Australia and New Zealand, according to a new Nature Conservancy and University of Florida study published today."
Quoting: “Countries around the world have significant economic interests in preventing the introduction of invasive species,” said Stephanie Meeks, acting president and CEO of The Nature Conservancy. “Implementation of more effective invasive plant screening system in the United States is very feasible, and would go a long way towards preventing negative environmental and human impacts.”
Invasive species are non-native species that have been introduced into a new landscape, which often lacks natural competitors and predators, causing the invasive species to displace native plants and animals, disrupt food webs, and alter fundamental natural environmental processes. With increased global trade, invasive species are spreading around the world at an unprecedented rate and scale, contributing to one-third of all species extinctions in the last 400 years.
The economic costs of invasive species can also be huge. Each year invasive species are estimated to cost the United States $120 billion in control efforts and environmental and economic damage. Invasive plants represent over $34 billion of that expense. Yet this number continues to increase as more species are introduced. For example, carrotwood was introduced in Florida as an ornamental tree in the 1960s and spread to most coastal south-central counties Florida by the late 1980s. Although Florida prohibited the sale of carrotwood in 1999, the state continues to spend an average of $385 per acre to control this and other invasive species located in coastal areas.
The research published today in the journal Diversity and Distributions tested the regulatory weed risk assessment system (WRA) in Australia and New Zealand, and concluded that WRA is effectively and efficiently reducing the economic and environmental threats of importing invasive weeds. Nature Conservancy scientists are also calling on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to implement the WRA in the United States, and to do so now as the agency is updating its plant quarantine law, known as “Q-37.”
“The WRA system can be used to test all new plants proposed for import and determine whether or not a plant should be allowed entry into a country in under 24 hours,” said Doria Gordon, Associate Director of Science for The Nature Conservancy’s Florida Chapter and lead author of the paper. “Under the current U.S. law, few species are tested and the process can take up to eight weeks.”
Further, economic analysis by Notre Dame researchers showed that the WRA was cost-effective after 10 years in Australia and will save that country $1.8 billion (Australian) over 50 years.
Gordon’s study compared the accuracy of the WRA in Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii and the Pacific Islands, Bonin Islands (Japan), Czech Republic, and Florida. Specific findings include:
* Across all of these geographies, non-native plants with clearly harmful impacts on economic or environmental systems were correctly predicted 90 percent of the time.
* A plant of unknown invasive potential is likely to be correctly accepted or rejected over 80% of the time. In contrast, the U.S. has no screening system for plants with unknown invasive potential.
* The WRA could be implemented relatively quickly and easily in the U.S. as an initial screening mechanism for preventing import of new invaders. Species requiring further or a more detailed evaluation will require additional analysis currently under development by USDA, but this first level of screening could be implemented now.
The United States system and quarantine regulations were developed when plants were imported from only a few foreign locations. Under the current system, fewer than 100 non-parasitic plants are blocked. Other plants new to the United States are allowed immediate entry into the country. In 2005 alone, more than 2.6 billion individual plants were imported into the U.S.
This virtually open border approach is insufficient for today’s globalized trade and fast-paced economy. Recognizing this need, APHIS is currently revising the agency’s quarantine law, “Q-37,” and determining the next steps for assessing the risk of imported plants. APHIS’ plant quarantine law revision is a phased 10-year process that began in 2004, yet some deadlines have already been pushed back over three years.
“The current costs and significant environmental impacts of invasive plant species in the United States suggest that we need an effective prevention program for plants now, and this research indicates that one is available,” added Gordon.