Establishing taxa as "present"

William Aley
Sun, 07 Sep 2008 06:22:22 PDT
Considering the fact that this is a special interest group -like those  
that are mentioned . Work in unison think collectively and go to the  
source. For individuals who have read 7 CFR319.37 and  do import into  
the USA there are plenty of loop holes and restrictions. It all  
depends upon what you want to do. The regulations are a reflection of  
discovered problems. No more than that. A bug or problematic plant  
enters into the USA and the regulations are amended to deal with the  
This particular CFR has not been revisited since the early 70's back  
before the internet and word processors when people relied upon stamps  
and good typing skills.
It is in the process of revision.

Everyone that has some influence from the Nature Conservancy - (which  
has not employed any APHIS retirees who worked on any of the CFRs),  
The American Florist Association - (nope no retirees of importance  
there), The American Landscapers Association- (Again no job offers).   
American Seed Trade Association- (they managed to get one last year-  
but he was previously in charge of PPQ, he may have signed a few rules  
but never worked on one.) The International Alpine Association (you  
have more members of this group associated with them than APHIS)  
Sorry  there is no revoling door, X-files maybe, but so far nothing so  
easy as to just retire and pick up a cushy job working for those you  
use to regulate.

Often a year or two after someone retires their name and most  
deffinately their associations are long forgotten by the new hires  
that came on to replace them.

Up until 3 years ago, Plants for Planting issues were was not very  
high on the list of concerns to USDA officials. Think about the animal  
diseases and the impact  from one finding of - Mad cow disease and  
then look at plant pest incursions Asian Long Horn Beetle, probably-  
most likely - followed the import of cheap goods from China as  
associated with equally cheap wood packing material. Emerald Ash  
borer  currently migrating from the US Canadian border now in Virginia  
and the beginning of the end for native Ash trees native the bug is  
native to China, Korea and Japan. Follows the movement of Ash trees  
wood or lumber not treated- again cheap packing material or associated  
with live Ash trees, more Bonsai, Bonjae and Penjing plants were  
imported than Ash pallets probably. Those are just  a couple in the  
last 10 years, you could blame some of the bureaucrats for not  
anticipating that these pests would be imported and that they would  
become established. But the scientists didn't see them coming. And  
they are suppose to be educated so how could civil servants write  
rules in anticipation? OK then how about stuff that's been here  while  
say the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid- killing off native eastern hemlock  
trees, native to Asia- introduced in the 1920's along with other pests  
like snails (French escargot),  imported fire ant, Giant African  
Snail, African and European Bees (yes our humble honey bee is  
originally from Europe) and the pest that followed the pathways   
Thrips and Mites . Not to mention that USA is not innocent of sending  
our North American native bugs to other countries as well. China is  
dealing with Pine shoot Beetle and  Pine Nemotode (as always cheap  
wood packing material to China)

Individuals do have access to elected officials, and you will get  
someone to eventually contact you and they will probably send you a  
nice letter to let you know that your important.
But groups of people have more influence and if your a very big group-  
say the international association of plant propagators- they get the  
ear of the Secretary once in a while.

Still Animal groups have more power in DC, this country was built on  
the $ of beef, chicken, turkey and sheep.

The internet is a wonderful tool to communicate, anyone can  
participate, but get educated too. There are government types who have  
the power to shape the rules participating in groups like this because  
they have interests similar to your own.

Do you think that someone wakes up from a comma one day and says I'm  
brain dead, maybe I'll go work for the government tomorrow and become  
the person in charge of creating stupid rules that don't make sense to  
anyone that will only confuse the masses and give them something to  
complain about?

I can think of better things to do with my degree in Environmental  
Horticulture than that.

If your going to complain, make sure you know what it is you sound  
like to those who are doing the work. How would you feel if your job  
was to write the rules within the system that is suppose to protect  
everyone's interest. From tree huggers to lumbermen only to be  
referred to as... well enough of that.

Get educated, think collectively and speak with one voice. This is how  
your interests will be heard and your concerns addressed.

Bill Aley
Silver Spring, MD

On Sep 5, 2008, at 9:03 PM, Leo A. Martin wrote:

> One opinion
>>> Call your congressman today and let them know your concerns.
> Another
>> No. Snailmail. Pieces of paper can't be "forgotten" and the delete  
>> key
>> can't be pressed quite so easily.
> Mine
> It is possible for any citizen to obtain an appointment with their
> representatives. This is the best way to raise issues. They have  
> lots of
> requests so it may take many weeks. A quicker way is to speak to their
> staff.
> US congressional representatives also have plenty of aides whose job  
> is to
> help citizens in their relationships with the US. After all, these
> citizens (should) vote. During an election season they listen better.
> In the first place, every citizen should know who are their
> representatives. It is even better if your representative knows you.  
> When
> they do something you like, write them a letter of congratulations.  
> If you
> would vote for them, send them a campaign contribution, even if it  
> is a
> small one. Even if you wouldn't vote for them, send them a campaign
> contribution. It is even more likely they will know you if you  
> volunteer
> on their campaigns or bundle campaign contributions.
> In our representative government people and organizations are always
> trying to get the government to make them rich or advance their  
> ideas. So
> the big organizations are always pressuring our representatives who  
> make
> the laws or the bureaucrats who make the rules to apply the laws.  
> Getting
> to know your representatives isn't slimy or distasteful; it's  
> necessary.
> If you aren't at the table you are on the menu.
> Your representative(s) and senators are listed in every phone book.  
> Call
> each office. Tell the receptionist the nature of the issue. The aides
> specialize in various types of issues. The receptionist will take your
> number and have the appropriate aide call you back. The more phone  
> numbers
> you leave the better; if they have to leave a message, it may take  
> you a
> while to get them on the phone again, but they will continue calling  
> until
> they have talked to you.
> Have your presentation prepared on a piece of paper so you don't  
> forget
> anything. The aide will call you back, usually within a week. Calmly
> explain the issue to the aide. Don't get angry; this is likely the  
> first
> time they have ever heard of the issue, and they are likely to be
> sympathetic, since congresspeople don't like angry constituents,
> especially in September of election years.
> Now go out and try this. We have no snap with the bureaucrats; they  
> are
> just waiting out their time to retirement, or their time until they  
> leave
> their government job for a job with the Nature Conservancy. The  
> revolving
> employment door between our US agencies making policy and the special
> interest groups (liberal and conservative, policy and business) is
> revolting and should be illegal. A bureaucrat may make a decision  
> greatly
> influencing a non-profit or a business and later get offered a plum  
> job at
> just the outfit they benefitted.
> Leo Martin
> Phoenix Arizona USA
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