Bamboo Cultivation in U.S. ILLEGAL by 2008
April 1, 2007 AB Wire Service
In January 2007, The US Department of Agriculture, together with the Department of Homeland Security, introduced a bill to Congress that would make the cultivation of certain types of bamboo illegal in the US. That bill was passed by the House in February and passed in the Senate with a clear majority today. The law takes effect January 1, 2008.
Specifically, all species of leptomorph bamboos (commonly called "running" or "spreading" bamboo by laypersons) must be removed from nurseries and all private property by the end of the year. These species of bamboo may not even be grown in containers.
Many bamboo enthusiasts are upset by the passage of this new law, claiming that itÂs unfair to single out a whole class of plant life for persecution. A prominent member of the American Bamboo Society, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said today that "this will create a whole new class of criminals overnight! This law was enacted precisely because running bamboos are impossible to get rid of, once established in the ground. So it stands to reason that come January 1st, every American who has ever planted running bamboo in his backyard will be a criminal, with no way to comply with the law. ItÂs ridiculous!
"Nobody smokes this stuff; you canÂt get high on it. I just donÂt get it.", the member added.
Asked why leptomorph bamboos are such a concern, a top official of the USDA, who also declined to be identified, said, "The so-called gardeners who plant this vile stuff in their yards claim that it makes a great Âprivacy screenÂ, while in actuality itÂs an invasive weed that spreads to adjacent properties and wreaks havoc on entire communities. This law was enacted to send a clear message: If you want privacy, build a fence like a normal person!"
Department of Homelad Security chief Michael Chertoff, added, "Privacy in America is a quaint, outdated concept. ThatÂs why we support this legislation. The abolition of bamboo screening in the yards of America will make it much easier for people to see what their neighbors are up to. The passage of this law is one small victory in the larger war against terror."
Many bamboo growers across the country have vowed to flout the law by continuing to grow running bamboo on their properties. Some say they are willing to go to jail to defend their landscaping. USDA and DHS enforcement teams will begin scouring neighborhoods for illegal groves sometime during the first week of 2008. Property owners found in violation will be arrested immediately and will face fines of up to $10,000 and a possible five years in federal prison.