Re: CP fieldtrip ruminations

Wayne Forrester (forrestr@mendel.Berkeley.EDU)
Wed, 18 Oct 1995 11:10:33 -0700 (PDT)

On Wed, 18 Oct 1995, Barry Meyers-Rice wrote:

> Ruminations
> Hello all.
> In a previous posting, I described a few wetlands I visited in the US
> gulf coast and Southeastern piedmont. Preparing for this trip and travelling
> through these locations was disheartening. Many people asked me to collect
> plants for them---but even though I told them I was visiting almost
> exclusively Nature Conservancy Preserves or valuable protected sites, many
> (but not all) persisted. Furthermore, the places that are well known by
> CPers often showed symptoms of collection, while places not publicized had
> more plants, and fewer indications of abuse.

Hi Barry,
Try not to be too disheartened. CP growers, like any other group,
includes many people with different attitudes. Some, like myself, would
agree that the most important thing we can do is preserve the plants in
the wild, and their habitats. Others would like to get copies of species
or varieties they don't already own, at any cost including extinction in
the wild. I wouldn't condemn the whole bunch because af a few bad apples
(I try to convince myself it's a small percentage of the group who would
collect rare plants from the wild). On the other hand, I would not
divulge the locations of any stands of rare plants, including any CP.

Someone else recently posted a discussion of naturalized plants
that I must concur with. I remember reading an article in the CP
Newsletter a few years ago describing planting a number of non-native CP
in some bog somewhere in NOrthern California or Oregon. I feel that this
can be as damaging as collecting plants from the wild, because it is
possible taht such plants can displace native plants. Worse, such plants
could spread to other bogs. Once a non-native plant becomes widely
established, it's essentially impossible to eliminate.

That's enough preaching for now.
Wayne Forrester