Kudzu revisted (off topic) Re: Today is your last chance to comment on new US plantimportregulations

Ellen Hornig hornig@earthlink.net
Wed, 21 Oct 2009 13:30:26 PDT
Recently I reread David Fairchild's _The World Was My Garden_ (the truly 
magical autobiography of one of the great masterminds of US plant 
introduction), and was amazed to find that he grew kudzu on his own property 
and then struggled to get rid of it *before* the Soil Conservation Service 
started planting it widely to control erosion (Fairchild, p. 328).  This 
suggests two things to me: first, a private individual (collector) could in 
fact be responsible for introducing a pest (Fairchild, realizing his 
mistake, paid "over two hundred dollars", somewhere between 1900-1905, I 
believe, to get rid of it, but not everyone would make a comparable 
investment); second, information does not always travel far and widely 
enough, because Fairchild was apparently not aware of the Soil Conservation 
Service's efforts until he saw them written up in a bulletin.  There is 
nothing in his book to suggest he tried to interfere or get them to 

I toss this in only because, self-interest aside, the importation and 
cultivation of new species is NOT always harmless, private growers CAN get 
their hands on and circulate a new pest, and I am therefore a fencesitter on 
the subject of regulation, because I honestly don't know what is the best 
(or even a good and effective) approach.


Ellen Hornig
Seneca Hill Perennials
3712 County Route 57
Oswego NY 13126 USA
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Adam Fikso" <adam14113@ameritech.net>
To: "Pacific Bulb Society" <pbs@lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Wednesday, October 21, 2009 3:58 PM
Subject: Re: [pbs] Today is your last chance to comment on new US 

> I'm withTony Avent on this--for the most part-- most of his reasoning is
> sound.  Some consideration needs to be given to new species.  There is
> nothing wrong with introductions even if they run wild.  They only run 
> wild
> because they have been put in the wrong places. Kudzu still has good uses,
> and just because the USDA couldn't predict the future doesn't mean that we
> should put an embargo on all new species.    We cannot predict the future
> either--so should not place a limit on our curiosity or on seeking new
> knowledge.   This is xenophobia and not sensible inquiry.n It might even 
> be
> unconstitutional.  Much will depend on how the law is written and the
> subsections.

More information about the pbs mailing list