plant regulation

Tony Avent
Tue, 28 Jul 2009 04:44:28 PDT

Thanks for pointing out that it was the Japanese Government, not the US 
Government that first introduced Kudzu to the US.  I have read differing 
accounts, but that is not the point.  It was the US government brought 
in more kudzu genetics and promoted it planting throughout the southeast 
in massive numbers as you describe.  I'm not aware of any truly invasive 
plants that were spread by casual homeowner contact...instead it is 
their use in massive numbers that causes potential problems to 
ecosystems.  No one has said that the government should not be involved 
in regulating invasive plants...only that a proposed screening model 
will not work.  Do not underestimate how devastating this can be to both 
plant collectors and the nursery industry.  We have many visitors each 
year from both Australia and New Zealand, who are dealing with the exact 
system that is proposed for the US.  They'll be glad to tell you how it 
has crippled their industry and effectively shut off imports of plants 
to all but the wealthiest of collectors, willing to jump through the 
financial hoops that the government has created.  As for the eco-nazis, 
don't kid yourself.  If you haven't met wet them in person and listened 
to their philosophy of horticultural ethnic cleansing, then you have no 
idea how dangerous they are.  Our country is based on two important 
principles, diversity and innocent until proven guilty.  I didn't 
realize they only applied to people.

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
phone 919 772-4794
fax  919 772-4752
"I consider every plant hardy until I have killed it least three times" - Avent

Robin Bell wrote:
> 	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
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