Seeds of Lilium ledebourii for (questionable) sale and some deeper thinking
Sun, 15 Nov 2015 15:33:32 PST
Hi Dylan,
	I agree with what you say, its important that there be an open exchange of ideas and with all stakeholders involved.  Ideally legislation would evolve to take into account the realities of what is happening in the world today and endeavor to serve both plant enthusiasts keen on preserving and propagating these species and the protection of vital habitats where they occur.  After all I would think that most if not all of us want what is best for these plants and their continued survival so there is no fundamental conflict of interest in the end goals of the folks in charge of the regulations and us.  But it is important to consider all the ways by which plants can best be protected in the wild and in cultivation when it becomes necessary, as I suspect will increasingly be the case as our species continues its appropriation of ever greater resources, including the land on which these species grow.  And political instability in nations like Somalia, Mexico, Libya, Iraq and Syri
 a, among others, is likely to grow worse and even if not it still means we need to think about how well any legislation really protects species from those areas  and others.   When civil order collapses, often the first casualties after people themselves are the animals (I am sure many have heard of how in some past cases desperate people have even resorted to eating zoo animals, let alone wild ones, and the same probably would apply to edible wild plants) and plants.  If and when a nation state ceases to function, as is the case in most of Somalia for example (aside from a breakaway region in the north) protecting vulnerable plants and animals is going to be far down the list of most people's priorities.  Sadly in such cases its probably the goats that will decide the fate of rare species more than any laws that are made by humans.  We need to think out of the box, and by we I mean both stakeholders and authorities who draw up the regulations, as to what best will protect t
 hese species now and in the future.  
	Some might think that botanical gardens would or should shoulder the burden of caring for these rare species but in my experience most botanic gardens have other priorities, although some enlightened folks in these places do fight the good fight to preserve and propagate rare plants.  Frankly, been there done that (and glad I returned to teaching instead).  But when they leave it is rarely the case that someone with similar dedication will replace them, at least not quickly.  In the meantime rare plants get deaccessioned or just die due to lack of proper care until someone comes along who has the requisite knowledge base and who cares, but by then a lot of damage is done.  		People who do care in these institutions often end up having to constantly advocate for the value of plant collections and their role in preserving rare species when the leadership of these places is more interested in growing common plants for shows, as that brings in the bucks, which is what they reall
 y care about in most cases. 
	Sometimes there are no easy answers.   And most biologists believe we are in the midst of the sixth great mass extinction event since the rise of the Animalia some 550 million or so years ago (plants evolved later), and we are the cause, with habitat destruction and global climate change as our major agents in effecting these extinctions.   A major mass extinction event is defined as one that wipes out 50 percent or more of the species present before it begins, and we are well on track to accomplish just that in a geologically very short time, probably within decades or a couple of centuries at most.  In reviewing some material for my AP Environmental class I was shocked to see projections for Africa's population to reach 4 billion from the current 1 billion within my students lifetimes.  Having been to Africa before there were a billion people there and seeing how much habitat destruction was occurring in the lowlands back then I cannot possibly imagine how 4 billion people
  there will not result in a very degraded ecology across the continent with far fewer species than exist now.  And it would have to be a meager existence for the people as well.  


-----Original Message-----
From: Hannon <>
To: Pacific Bulb Society <>
Sent: Sun, Nov 15, 2015 5:19 pm
Subject: Re: [pbs] Seeds of Lilium ledebourii for (questionable) sale

As far as PBS in effect advising others in these matters, what David says
correct. At the same time, Ernie I think asks us to consider some
aspects of this topic and that is an avenue that anyone is
free to pursue or
not. The conservation of cultivated plants (and wild
plants) is an evolving
pursuit and the common wisdom among horticulturists
and the regulators both
have undergone radical changes within living
memory. These changes did not
involve our participation for the most part
and we should ask why us "end
users" should not have a place at the table,
if for no other reason than to be
better informed in our own thinking about
plant conservation.

A better
future for plants in the wild and for growers can only develop
where there is
open discussion among a wide range of voices. A few years
ago the USDA asked
for public input on proposed changes to plant import
laws. It was heartening to
see the responses from many different people in
different, even unrelated
fields, with little redundancy. No one was
advocating for breaking the law but
they openly questioned the wisdom of
certain ideas in our laws or potential

Dylan Hannon

> Please stick to the letter of the law here
on the PBS list.
> My future plans do not involve doing time for
> People from the appropriate authorities are members of this
list and
> have explained the rules in the past.
> The list archives are
public and persistent - this is not the place to
> say anything you might wish
to deny in the future.
> --
> David Pilling


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