Massachusetts Proposes Ban/Phase-Out of 140+ Plants

Harold Koopowitz
Wed, 07 Sep 2005 09:05:21 PDT
That is well put.
And there are no simple solutions.

At 07:26 AM 9/7/2005, you wrote:
>At best this is a complicated and emotional issue for many of us, myself 
>In the early years of the US, if a landowner did not utilize his property 
>in the most productive way (farming, timber, ranching, oil drilling) they 
>were subject to losing their land through emminent domain seisures by the 
>local/state/federal governments. The result is most of the land in the 
>eastern 2/3rds of the nation was significantly altered from it's natural 
>state. As time has decreased the importance of agricultural produce and 
>natural products (and as an appreciation has grown for the natural world) 
>many tracts of land have been allowed to go fallow (non-cultivated). In 
>their non-cultivated state anything and everything that can survive does 
>so, including species that were introduced (intentionally or as weeds in 
>cultivated crops) as part of the human ecosystem (includes, among other 
>things, collections of plants and animals that permit large human 
>populations to exist in a wide variety of habitats). Many of these areas 
>have been set aside as 'natural areas'. To return
>   these fallow tracts of land to a semblance of the ecosystems our 
> forefathers found when they settled the land, we have to weed them 
> (non-natives and non-desirable natives); apparently more of less 
> indefinitely (work at Gray Summit Arboretum (Mobot), Chicago Botanic 
> Garden, etc.). In effect, our natural areas, to maintain their species 
> purity, have to be weeded; and in suitable habitats artificial fires have 
> to be set and controlled. Basically that translates into cultivation - 
> the only difference between managing natural areas today and growing an 
> agricultural crop is the end product. This disjunct between what I 'feel' 
> to be natural and what I recognise as cultivated has not been something I 
> have been philosophically able to adjust to.
>There are those within the conservation movement that feel if we just ... 
>(fill in the blanks) then natural areas will not have to be managed and 
>all of our problems will be solved. One of the blanks that has been 
>proposed is the control (to varying degrees) of some/all plant taxa 
>associated with the human ecosystem. Simplistic solutions to complicated 
>problems always fail, and always create additional problems. I don't have 
>an answer, but I am wary of simplistic solutions (historical parallel to 
>be found in Prohibition as a solution to perils of alcohol).
>Boyce Tankersley
>pbs mailing list

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