plant regulation

Robin Bell
Mon, 27 Jul 2009 18:56:03 PDT
	I'm not sure where the fault lies with the introduction of 
pests......there are many villains, who were often simply 
enthusiasts, more than enough to go around, for sure. However, I 
think the example of kudzu illustrates the monomania about govt. that 
I believe hinders useful responses rather than facilitating the 
outcome that we all ( hopefully ) might like to see. The truth 
regarding kudzu is somewhat more complex than Tony suggests:
	 " Second, the worst of our invasive plants were researched
and introduced intentionally by the US government (kudzu) ."

This from a Google search:
	"While Kudzu was introduced to the United States in 1876 at 
the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Countries 
were invited to build exhibits to celebrate the 100th birthday of the 
U.S. The Japanese government constructed a beautiful garden filled 
with plants from their country. The large leaves and sweet-smelling 
blooms of kudzu captured the imagination of American gardeners who 
used the plant for ornamental purposes.
Florida nursery operators, Charles and Lillie Pleas, discovered that 
animals would eat the plant and promoted its use for forage in the 
1920s. Their Glen Arden Nursery in Chipley sold kudzu plants through 
the mail. A historical marker there proudly proclaims "Kudzu 
Developed Here."
During the Great Depression of the 1930s, the Soil Conservation 
Service promoted kudzu for erosion control. Hundreds of young men 
were given work planting kudzu through the Civilian Conservation 
Corps. Farmers were paid as much as eight dollars an acre as 
incentive to plant fields of the vines in the 1940s.
"Cotton isn't king in the South anymore.Kudzu is king!"Channing Cope

	Kudzu Attacks AtlantaKudzu's most vocal advocate was Channing 
Cope of Covington, Georgia who promoted use of the vine to control 
erosion. Cope wrote about kudzu in articles for the Atlanta 
Journal-Constitution and talked about its virtues frequently on his 
daily WSB-AM radio program broadcast from his front porch. During the 
1940s, he traveled across the southeast starting Kudzu Clubs to honor 
what he called "the miracle vine."

Cope was very disappointed when the U.S. government stopped 
advocating the use of kudzu in 1953."

So the Govt didn't apparently introduce it & it was promoted 
vigorously by nurserymen & other advocates before the Govt did 
anything about it, & that was, after everyone else, to promote it. In 
fact the Govt was also the first to acknowledge its rampant behavior 
& attempted to control it over the usual objections.
	 I don't see any other body that might be able to exercise 
some sort of control over the introduction of potential pests, I 
completely agree that it is unpredictable & barely rises to the level 
of science at the moment, but with pressure, & discussion, we might 
all be able to draft something better than what we have at the 
moment. The only thing that is certain right now, is that the status 
quo is not acceptable. If not getting every plant I want in the 
future is the price, then I'm happy enough to pay it.

	Robin Bell, Ithaca, NY

More information about the pbs mailing list