Fwd: Establishing taxa as "present"

totototo@telus.net totototo@telus.net
Mon, 01 Sep 2008 09:40:04 PDT
On 29 Aug 08, at 8:39, Boyce Tankersley wrote:

> Apparently the USDA APHIS has never kept a record of the plants that have
> been imported into the USA. 

Reference to L H Bailey's compendia will go a long way toward building a list.

"Hortus Second"
"Hortus Third"
"Manual of Cultivated Plants"
"Cyclopedia of Horticulture"

In addition, the Bailey Hortorium at Cornell has (or had) a file of plants 
listed in American nursery catalogs. I do not know if this has been maintained, 

In addition, the seedlists of the ARGS, AGS, SRGC, and Alpine Garden Club of BC 
plus those of other specialist societies may be taken as representing probable 

The fact remains that relatively few plants have turned out to be weedy, and a 
surprising number of those were introduced under the auspices of the USDA. 
Kudzu is perhaps the most glaring example.

Someone should have stood up at that meeting and pointed out that "zero risk" 
is always unobtainable, that tolerance of a huge number of false positives is 
contrary to the ideals on which the American republic is founded (and is akin 
to "guilty until proven innocent"), and will simply encourage smuggling.

But it is hard to argue with the bureaucratic mindset: perhaps mob action 
resulting in the speaker's head being held under a pump would have helped.

A few tart words about who is whose servant might have added a certain piquancy 
to the situation.

Rodger Whitlock
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Maritime Zone 8, a cool Mediterranean climate
on beautiful Vancouver Island


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