FW: Saving Endangered Plants

Robert Pries robertpries@embarqmail.com
Tue, 13 Sep 2011 08:56:34 PDT
I am glad to hear the Center for Plant Conservation is at least hearing some of the horticultural discontent. I believe there are tremendous opportunities if Botany and Horticulture can join forces. I have always been a gardener so when I studied to be a pure scientist (Taxonomy and Ecology) it always distressed me the attitude that other “pure” scientists had towards horticulture. I believe there is a deserved lack of respect on all sides. But both disciplines are greatly dependent on each other.
Some years back my friends at Jerusalem Botanical garden were seeking support to save an area of habitat for the endemic Mount Gilboa Iris. They tried to rally the botanical and horticultural world, and I tried all I knew to help. I tried going to the Center for Plant Preservation. Despite a memo from then Director Peter Raven requesting their help, they had nothing to offer. But I do not want to single CPC out. I tried an array of contacts at an alphabetic soup of world agencies that are dedicated to preservation. Sadly I discovered that even scientists I knew had no time and nothing to offer to aid the cause. Sadly I discovered that much of the conservation community was a hollow shell when it came to those plants and animals that did not have the glamour of a giant panda or Snow leopard.
All these agencies do some good work and I continue to support them. But most have little contact with specialized plant societies where there often lies a great deal of expertise. I have been trying for many years to bring horticulture and botany together but I sometimes think to little avail.--Bob Pries

----- Original Message -----
From: meneice@att.net
To: "Pacific Bulb Society" <pbs@lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Tuesday, September 13, 2011 10:19:30 AM
Subject: [pbs] FW:  Saving Endangered Plants




From: Kathryn Kennedy [mailto:Kathryn.Kennedy@mobot.org] 
Sent: Thursday, September 08, 2011 5:17 AM
To: meneice@att.net; jocelyn616@earthlink.net; Emmy Seymour; Ann Coburn;
ladeenm@gmail.com; Diana Neely; Patricia Schleuning
Subject: RE: [pbs] Saving Endangered Plants


I hate that this perception is out there when I think CPC has tried to
navigate this delicate subject.


It saddens me to think that our devoted conservation horticulturists who are
so professional and work so hard to understand and recover these plants (so
that we CAN make them more widely available someday) are so misunderstood.
I hope we are and will be the bridge between horticultural research, popular
horticulture, and conservation!


You know we do encourage use of all nonessential core material to facilities
for education, etc. AND we have supported  and encouraged approval of some
FWS applications for commercial development of some species where doing so
is not a danger to the wild and the material is abundant enough to make it
possible (including cacti, bromeliads, orchids, some salvias (which later
became a cultivar problem in Texas) and others--and that " must benefit the
recovery of the species" requirement of commercial FWS permits is pretty
broad..it includes promoting appreciation of the species! One thing we WANT
to do is get everyone to see and enjoy these materials and identify with
them in a way that does not harm them and helps the commercial sector and
enthusiasts understand how delicate and rigorous restoration work actually
is.  This education is so important before we could envision an army of
effective amateur restorationists helping us in a widespread way.


Commercialization does have real risks...including increasing the threat of
irresponsible overcollection and damage in the wild of the few existing
delicate sites remainng because of creating a wider market of interest in
the plants, people deriving material in cultivation so that it no longer has
the wild adapted traits desired and could present genetic risk to wild
populations, etc., and compassionate enthusiasts with too low an
understanding of the habitat specificity and considerations doing informal
"jonny appleseed" reintroductions in areas where they can do harm to the
target species or others in the area (and damage the reputation of
horticulturists, gardeners, and serious botanical gardens everywhere with
the state and federal resource agencies).  The wariness of state and federal
agencies of horticulturists getting involved in conservation has arisen
directly from these experiences, not from elitism or over-control.  I myself
have seen these very harmful practices and effects...every one of them...in
my work over the years.  So part of that "uptightness" is justifiable.   


I have met and talked to Tony once or twice and very carefully attempted to
bring some balance and understanding to the picture without success. I do
not know who else in the network he may be interacting with of course..it
sounds like he is very aware of state and federal agency concerns as well.
He is particularly adept at managing perception to discount risk of damage
in the wild from unscientifically planned outplantings, outbreeding
depression and swamping, derived cultivars getting into the wild etc. and
understanding the need to prioritize and not yet being able to release
materials that are in such small quantities they must be prioritized for
research and recovery.


The concept that we could engage nurseries to get busy and grow lots of
these things for repatriation is just not practical yet.  I wish it WERE
easy enough to give out kits and provide instruction to good
horticulturalists and good gardeners and garden clubs everywhere so there
was an army out there, but the fact is that it IS complicated, and we are
still feeling our way. WE ARE engaging more clubs through partners for
plants and volunteers working WITH our scientists in our work, for the help
they give, and to help them understand what is involved in successful
projects and see the care and concern. 


Given the careful research and planning we have to do for each site related
to placing these plants in the right place in terms of the plant community
and security of restoration sites, the correct source material genetically
for the greatest chance of success, the numbers and type of nursery stock
for best results (liners? 2 in? gallon?), timing of planting, great care to
avoid introducing pathogens to a wild site, how we move around in the site
to prevent damage,etc. For most of these species this pilot work is ongoing
and we aren't ready yet for more widespread multiplication of reintroduction


It's a delicate thing to engage the passionate who are convinced of their
particular point of view.sadly I think that we won't be able to convince
many of the necessity for proceeding as we do in the short term.  Only
longer term education and information and demonstration will get us
there.I've been dreaming about a video online where some of these points are
made in the narration along with our scientists working away.





-----Original Message-----
From: meneice@att.net [mailto:meneice@att.net] 
Sent: Wednesday, September 07, 2011 7:37 PM
To: Kathryn Kennedy; jocelyn616@earthlink.net; 'Emmy Seymour'; Ann Coburn;
ladeenm@gmail.com; 'Diana Neely'; 'Patricia Schleuning'
Subject: FW: [pbs] Saving Endangered Plants




-----Original Message-----

From: pbs-bounces@lists.ibiblio.org [mailto:pbs-bounces@lists.ibiblio.org]

On Behalf Of Tony Avent

Sent: Tuesday, September 06, 2011 5:12 AM

To: 'Pacific Bulb Society'

Subject: Re: [pbs] Saving Endangered Plants




I'm glad you posted a note about the Center for Plant Conservation (CPC).

Although their mission is good, I have found them to be one of the most

elitist organizations that I've ever encountered.  They seem more interested

in patting each other on the back than actually accomplishing anything.  In

talking with them, they seem to have no interest in commercial nurseries or

private collectors, since in their eyes, we are the great "unwashed". We

don't understand the "problems" inherent with growing endangered

plants...all rare plants must remain exactly where they are today, unless

academic bureaucrats decide its okay to relocate them.  They dismiss all

nurseries and horticulture in general because we are evil commercial

ventures only wanting to exploit plants.


As I've tried to explain to several members, the nursery industry would be

the perfect partner, not only in being able to actually grow the plants, but

we could do wonders with ex-situ conservation by spreading the plants around

widely to collectors in this changing climate. We would have many more

Federally Endangered plants in our catalog if it were not for this bunch of

bureaucrats...along with those from the US Fish and Wildlife.  Do you know

that to legally grow and sell Federal Endangered plants, you must prove that

by doing so, you will help the wild populations.  Common sense would say

that as long as you aren't harming the wild population, this should be

adequate. The CPC absolutely do not want endangered plants in private hands

since the idea that they might wind up in a new location gives them

fits...think Linda Blair from the Exorcist.  Evidently, I missed the memo

where someone put them in charge of keeping nature in exactly the same place

as it is today....quite

  bizarre. In my logical world, a functional CPC would be passing out

propagation material of endangered plants to nurseries and encouraging them

to get it propagated and sold.


Until we can get folks with more common sense, I don't hold much hope for

the group actually accomplishing anything meaningful.  How about it

Shirley...are you up to the task?




Tony Avent

Plant Delights Nursery @

Juniper Level Botanic Garden

9241 Sauls Road

Raleigh, North Carolina  27603  USA

Minimum Winter Temps 0-5 F

Maximum Summer Temps 95-105F

USDA Hardiness Zone 7b

email tony@plantdelights.com

website  http://www.plantdelights.com/

phone 919 772-4794

fax  919 772-4752

"I consider every plant hardy until I have killed it myself...at least three

times" - Avent


-----Original Message-----

From: pbs-bounces@lists.ibiblio.org [mailto:pbs-bounces@lists.ibiblio.org]

On Behalf Of meneice@att.net

Sent: Monday, September 05, 2011 11:59 PM

To: 'Pacific Bulb Society'

Subject: Re: [pbs] Saving Endangered Plants



Are many of you in the U.S. aware of the Center for Plant Conservation,

headquartered at the Missouri Botanic Garden in St. Louis?


Their mission is to conserve and restore the imperiled native plants of our

country.  It is a consortium of Botanic Gardens and Arboreta across the

country, including New York BG, Arnold Arboretum. Fairchild, Univ. of

Washington, Desert Botanical Garden, Missouri Botanical Garden, Brooklyn

Botanic Garden, Historic Bok Sanctuary, Flagstaff, AZ; Red Butte, Santa

Barbara, Morton Arboretum, Arizona-Sonora Desert, Cinncinnati Zoo and BG,

Chicago Bot. Garden, New England Wildflower, Denver Bot. Garden, North

Carolina BG, Waimea Valley BG. New York BG, Rancho Santa Ana BG, State

Botanical Garden of Georgia, Chicago BG, National Tropical BG, Holden

Arboretum,, Minnesota, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, Cornell

Plantation and Honolulu BG.


For more information, please contact Kathryn Kennedy@mobot.org.



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