Wauconda, IL

There are so many things I could say here...none of them permissable.

Cincinnati, OH

Link is not working.

Dode, try again. Error on page and now I wanna see what you found!

Wauconda, IL

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."

This message was edited Feb 4, 2006 5:31 PM

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

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)-

Thumbnail by Equilibrium
Elmira, NY(Zone 6a)

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.

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

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.

Wauconda, IL

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.

This article shows part of the reason why.

Fair Lawn, NJ(Zone 6b)

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.

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

Equilibrium, well said, and much my philosophy.

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.

Peoria, IL

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.

Wauconda, IL

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'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.

Elmira, NY(Zone 6a)

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.

Wauconda, IL

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.

Gordonville, TX(Zone 7b)

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: 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!!


Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

Elmira, NY(Zone 6a)

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.

This message was edited Feb 7, 2006 10:12 AM

Gordonville, TX(Zone 7b)

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.


Wauconda, IL


Not only do you have the gift of being able to see the motives of people you don't know, you also make assumptions.

Thank goodness purple loosestrife and phragmites are only a problem where there's water or moist soil.

Gordonville, TX(Zone 7b)

Enough with the personal attacks!

Syracuse, NY(Zone 5a)

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.

Gordonville, TX(Zone 7b)

Yay, Darwin is back!! Good to hear from you.

...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...
Thank you for these comments.

Syracuse, NY(Zone 5a)

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.

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

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.

What is the Garden Tours Forum for then?

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

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.

Walkerton, VA(Zone 7a)

Do you all suppose we could transfer these comments to a new forum called Long Winded Cat Fights?

This message was edited Feb 7, 2006 7:24 PM

Summit, NJ(Zone 6b)

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.


Syracuse, NY(Zone 5a)

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...?

Gordonville, TX(Zone 7b)

Frankly, your novels are a good read. At least you don't watch which way the wind blows before you speak.

Elmira, NY(Zone 6a)

"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.

Peoria, IL

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.

Wauconda, IL

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.

Darwin...thanks. Equil...thanks. JoePye..thanks.

"The work involved in rejuvinating dormant native plants in a remnant seedbank is integrally linked with invasive species control and cannot be seperated." I would agree.

Syracuse, NY(Zone 5a)

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.

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