Would it be Illegal??

countrycarolyn(6-7nwTN)December 22, 2010

Well I love native plants for so many reasons. I hate how in our area there are only few spots that are protected.

Well my question is, would it be illegal to make mud bombs of native plant seeds and distribute them in these protected areas??

One area in particular is called reelfoot lake. It is a wild life refuge. Well I thought about using the tips to make bud bombs out of native seeds and then just toss them in this area. I mean it is a native plant, that has decreased over the years. Some of the plants I was thinking about doing this with are actually no longer in our area.

So would this be legal??

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This is a well known practice it's called guerrilla gardening
http://www.guerrillagardening.org/ I duuno if it's legal.
It might be hard to catch you.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2010 at 7:36PM
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Yes, it is illegal. It's a protected area and should not be disturbed unless you have been granted permission to do restoration. Introducing foreign native seed into an area may do more harm than good. There are variations within species, so if you are introducing seed from another area it may perform too aggressively or introduce disease into the protected area, possibly knocking out the few true natives that remain.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2010 at 6:06AM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

Why don't you try something legal like volunteering with local groups that support the site in question? Perhaps there is a "friends" group for the site. If not perhaps another group that does wildflower or nature area protection/restoration.

Then your efforts would be appreciated and legal.


    Bookmark   December 24, 2010 at 10:07AM
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Ok I always wondered if it was illegal now I know. Unfortunately the people around here do not care about natives. So as far as who to talk to about restoration is out of the question. Oh well I guess I can always plant them in hopes that a bird will carry the seed off. I was just wondering if it would be legal, to maybe manually do it.

The people around this area let bamboo take over!! Then they spray pesticides to kill the natives that are on the roadside. Ughhhh!!

Thanks you guys for sharing the input and links!!

    Bookmark   December 27, 2010 at 3:09PM
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That should of been herbicides not pesticides, lol.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2010 at 3:11PM
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Contact the Department of Natural Resources for your state and they'll likely be able to hook you up with organizations that are working on protecting the native plant communities of Reelfoot Lake.

You can also shoot an email to Tennessee State Parks to find out how you can get involve: tnstateparks.volunteer@tn.gov

It's wonderful that you are taking an interest in preserving and restoring natural areas. It all starts with concern citizens such as yourself.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2010 at 9:11PM
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Although what you were considering is not legal (nor is it a recommended practice for protected areas), there is a lot you can do that is legal and that will truly help the environment around your area. I recommend you first connect with others in your area that care about Native Plants and who work to protect them to learn of opportunities where you can truly make a difference.

You should be able to do this by looking over the web site of the Tennessee Native Plant Society. You should also be able to locate volunteer projects in your area that are of interest to you through this organization.

see: http://www.tnps.org/

or EMail them at:


Others do care ! You might note that TNPS actually had a field trip to Reelfoot Lake on Aug 7-8 of this past year to learn more about native plants in that area. Sorry you missed it. See:


I would even be willing to bet that the team leader of that field trip (who lives near Memphis) would have info to help you connect to volunteer opportunities in your area. His contact info is provided online at the above site.

I have never visited there, but, Reelfoot Lake is not solely a wildlife refuge. From their website, "There are also 12 rare plant species including copper iris (Iris fulva), featherfoil (Hottonia inflata), and yellow water-crowsfoot (Ranunculus longirostris) found in the seasonally flooded sloughs and bottoms surrounding the lake." So, also check out their website at:


If you are serious about native plants, I suspect they will have volunteer opportunities available in the park. Just pick out one of the phone numbers under "Site Management" and give them a call if the TNPS links above to not get you started quickly enough. I recommend, however, that you first connect with TNPS if possible.

Good Luck,
Charlie Brown
Georgia Native Plant Society

    Bookmark   January 1, 2011 at 4:23PM
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joepyeweed(5b IL)

It looks like there is a Nature Center at Reelfoot lake? I would start there and see about volunteer programs.

It looks like there is Friends of Radnor Lake: Radnor Lake State Natural Area - Every 4th Saturday of each month (except December) is Volunteer Day. Participate in trail work, planting natives species, exotic plant removal and other park projects. Meet at the Radnor Lake Visitor Center at 8am. No RSVP Necessary. For more information about the Radnor Lake Volunteer Work Day, call the park office at (615)373-3467 or visit the Friends of Radnor Lake website.

Perhaps you could start a Friends of Reelfoot Lake in cooperation with the state park system.

Here is a link that might be useful: Friends of TN state parks

    Bookmark   January 14, 2011 at 2:28PM
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GREAT INFO!! Sorry for not checking this post sooner. I had actually given up on it!! This is really some great info you guys to get me started. Thank You!!

It is a shame I missed that tour. It is also a shame that the area of the flooded sloughs are the same place where they are letting introduced bamboo run rapid. Each year it gets a little wider spread. Last time I checked the bamboo was so thick in some areas that it was hiding the lake from a few paths. It would be an absolute shame to lose those few plants due to the major bamboo problem!! This spring I may take some pictures to share with you guys!!

Thanks you guys for all of your input!!

Here are some old pictures that I have taken over the years. Enjoy!!

Here is one picture of my oldest and my husband, he is pointing to where the mississippi runs into the lake!! Need any kudzu, lol, just joking!!

Here is a fine example of my above statement!! This picture was taken in August of 2007!!

This is at a part of the lake that is extremely close to the sloughs mentioned. The locals call it grassy island!!

Here is a pretty shot for ya, yes the lake is a natural lake and the cedar trees grow right in the middle of it!!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2011 at 2:44PM
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Great pics, Carolyn. I'm just finishing reading Michael Pollan's "Second Nature." You might enjoy reading it, he presents an interesting discussion on nature and what is native.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2011 at 2:37PM
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If it is illegal and you have a problem with it, I'd say: don't do it.

An alternative is to change your view at foreign plants. Learn to love them. I did. I also found out that a lot, a lot of antipathy towards nonnative species is not based on science. Proven "evil" behaviour, but has a lot more to do with scientists (ecologists) that perform no valuefree science, which isn't scientific at all...WAnd it shows in their research, their "facts". New research shows (well, it is not that new anymore) that exotic plants rarely have a detrimental effect on local species. Plants especially have never caused any extinction on any continent.

So you introducing native plants but with possibly different genes being a problem? No proof of that whatsoever.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2011 at 5:14AM
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jorginho, the problem with providing proof is that it is a complicated science. My neighbor loves her buckthorn, because it provides a privacy screen. Meanwhile, I have to pull countless seedlings every season to keep it from taking over my yard. My neighbor doesn't even know the name of said plant and she doesn't worry about it spreading on her property because she has mostly lawn which is maintained by a service. Ignorance is bliss. I guess you are a lot like her, you love your foreigns and have apathy for eco-system destruction. I mean seriously, do you really need proof that eco-systems are being destroyed? I have some exotics, but I''m careful with them. I personally prefer natives. I like natives for their beauty, the wildlife they attract, low maintenance attributes and their ability to absorb and process pollutants when planted in masses. Take the time to observe your own landscape if you need proof. Butterflies and bees never visit my daylilies or hybrid hydrangeas. Why not ask yourself, why is that? My yard is alive with a wide variety of animal and insect activity, yet all the geese go to my neighbors' house, despite all their efforts to deter them, why is that? There is no shortage of bees in my yard, all kinds of unusual bees, each having their own plant preferences. Seriously, I've never had a more interesting, fun, dynamic and beautiful yard as I do now.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2011 at 10:07AM
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Climatology is complicated too. No problem proving in peerreviewed papers globalwarming is hapening and it is of antropogenic origin.

However: you'll rarely if ever find climatologists who use valueladen words in scientific papers or make the distinction natural nonnatural when they talk abotu human influences. They may do so privately of course.

There is peerreviewed research in the filed of ecology and the conclusion is clear: extinctions do not happen based on competition. It is predation and diseases that can kill on islandlike havitats. Not on continents or rarely so.

If you consider massextinctions a problem, than the problem does not arise form native/nonnative animals or plants. The problem is hutn and habitatdestruction by man, fragmentation of habitats (roads etc). Not nonindigenous species.

Most people listen to what others have seen and believe. Like you and your bees. Mind you: we have many immigrants species and they flourish simply because of the use of many birds, mammals and other species.

You say you prefer natives. That is a bit funny. I believe you do. I believe you love something simply because it is native. Otherwise, how can you explain that out of many species a considerable part is simply not known to be either native or nonnative. In South Africa, it is at least 10% of the plants there. We don't know what their origin is. The only way ecologists can see if somehting is native or not is not their behaviour or looks, but the record. May be you love trakcrecords.

Over here, we can see that Ilex Aquilifolium and Taxus baccata attract very few insects. Much less than American Oak, Douglas fir, Robinia pseudoacacia etc. Norway spruce (may be native, may be not but considered not native) has 20 times more different insects.

Another thing is that these trees, toether with Sitka spruce and Doug fir are a save haven for hundreds of redlist species of funghi and Sitka spruce is by far the most rich in ferns. In numbers (10* more) and in different types of ferns. Sitka spruce is not native over here, although it dfoes very well. In short, research in NW Europe, in central America, in the US and so on has shown that novl ecosystems are very biodiverse, The older they get, the more wildlife they attract. They are not less biodiverse than native forests and they are (far) more biodiverse than various, cultural landscapes like moors, heath etc which are highly valued by ecologists.

In essence, their is a large, large part that in this "science" that is based on prejudice rather than fact. There are no nature progressives, only nature conservationalist. They are indeed conservative and it is not so strange that they indeed have big problems with newcomers. Not unlike the same people tend to be in the cultural sense. Simply look at the documentary Postville, when cultures colide (or somehting liekwise). You'll find so many similarities in the cultural sense, how people are prejudiced to newcomers who do nothing else than being different and sometimes not assimilate, but change things.

If ecology wants ot be taken serious, they need to get rid of the scapegoating, the lack of any facts and valueridden proza. There is no place for this. Instead, they do better to observe and remain impartial.

I have read many scientific books by ecologists and it is easy to sea how students become indoctrinated with this unsubstantiated propaganda. These people find their ways in many conservation orgainsations and use the same vocabulary. It has happened in a cultural sense so many times before and people in general despise it. These ecologists do, but when confronted with their own thoughts they simply deny it.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 9:03AM
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jorginho, your views on ecology are not new or uncommon.

I have family in your zone 7b, North Carolina. I have to say that where they live it is very difficult to determine the native landscape because it's not as pristine, ecologically speaking, as ours in zone 5, Wisconsin. Wisconsin's frigid winters keep a lot of invasive in check and NC has a longer history of cultivation. Without a doubt, NC is by far more diverse than Wisconsin for many reasons.

I live in an old growth oak-hickory forest in the Kettle Moraine Forest. In addition, nearby there are oak savannas and wet-mesic prairies. Through succession, Scuppernong Prairie ( a nearby natural area) was on its way to becoming a woodland. Foreign and invasive woody plants were cleared and burned. Because the area had never been farmed, the original seeds survived in the ground from its previous life and Scuppernong once again returned to its former life as a wet-mesic prairie. Today it is the largest wet-mesic prairie east of the Mississippi. You don't have to be a native plant zealot to appreciate the efforts to save this landscape. It is a sight to see. Seeing Scuppernong for the first time was so awe inspiring for me, it cemented my landscaping preference. It's a look and a land ethic that I aspire to and I make no apologies for that.

I also want to make it known that we, up here in the north, are the breeding ground for much of the migrating birds from the south. Monarchs appreciate our prairies and the milkweed that flourish in open spaces. If we let everything become a forest, Monarchs will not survive their yearly migration to Canada as milkweed is their only host plant.

So what about my neighbor. Obviously there is nothing I can do about her chemical laden lawn all the way down to the shoreline or her attachment to her buckthorn. Yeah the birds love buckthorn berries, but buckthorn is everywhere in our woodland. Frankly, it's as bad as your kudzu.

I'm here on the native plant forum sharing knowledge about native plants. According to you, there is no such thing as a native plant and that native is a plant that thrives in any given area. You messaging is clear . . . thanks for sharing.

Here is a link that might be useful: Scuppernong Prairie

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 12:27PM
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lycopus(z5 NY)

It is unfortunate that one would consider anything short of biological extinction to be harmless with regard to the influence an introduced species can have on an ecosystem. That a single plant can come to dominate a once diverse ecosystem should be enough to cause concern, but then if one has never actually seen a prairie or old growth forest he or she is not likely to appreciate what it represents. What is considered to be 'ancient' forest in Europe is much different than what exists in North America. We don't have "American Oak" here. We have black oak, red oak, scarlet oak, bear oak, white oak, swamp white oak, bur oak, several species of chestnut oak, water oak, willow oaks, hill's oak, etc. Show me an native oak woodland and I'll show you a myriad more species than you could ever find in a Norway spruce plantation. You're citing studies from Europe (with no specifics btw) and then throw in the US and Central America just to make your argument sound better. I am within walking distance of forests that support over 10 species of ferns that have no introduced trees...in less than a 1 mile area I can find royal fern, cinnamon fern, interrupted Fern, marsh fern, crested wood fern, spinulose wood fern, intermediate wood fern, marginal wood fern, hay scented fern, new york fern, broad beech fern, glade fern, goldie fern, silvery glade fern, bracken fern...that's 15 just off the top of my head. There's lots of orchids in there too but we can just get rid of those and plant purple loosestrife cause that's almost the same thing according to some book.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 2:22PM
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Simply read this. I believe Hawaii is an American state, isn't it?


The prejudice is clear when ecologists, acting as peers in the peerreviewing system, refuse to submit a paper because they do not like the message.

Let me quote the scientist involved. Note that this diversity is not confined to Puerto rico...
"Since then, Lugo has found many novel ecosystems in Puerto Rico and elsewhere that are much more diverse than native forests, but that are largely ignored by ecologists. "That diversity doesn't count because they are the wrong species," says Lugo, shaking his head. He's found alien trees that, by creating a shaded canopy on parched, degraded pastureland, make possible the establishment of native trees that could never cope with such an environment on their own. As a result he now finds it difficult to despise invasive trees as he thinks his colleagues do, and even embraces the change. "My parents and their parents saw one Puerto Rico," he says, "and I am going to see another Puerto Rico, and my children will see another."

More on prejudice can be read here, which is a discussion between ecologists and it is not philosophical. It has got everything to do with impartiallity and prejudice within the scientific field of invasion ecology.

It starts with this essay by Sax and Gaines:


The response to this, is found in the last pages of this pdf. The final answer to this response is found in the first pages of this pdf. So start reading the last pages.


I think Sax and Gaines make some very clear and scientific correct points.

A quote form these exchanges: "Abstract We disagree with the assertion that recent human-caused invasions differ substantially from historic natural invasions in their magnitudes and impacts on ecological processes. The position that exotic species are inherently "bad" and should be eradicated is an ethical judgement, usually based on the naturalist fallacy or xenophobic prejudice; it is not a scientific judgement. The role of scientists in studying invasive species should be to gather, interpret and communicate information as accurately and objectively as possible." And this one "Don't get us wrong. As private citizens we authors are enthusiastic supporters of actions and policies to reduce the ongoing loss of global biodiversity and homogenization of the earths biota. We also stand by our comment, however, that many scientists, managers, policy makers and lay people have a deep-seated prejudice against exotic species that comes close to xenophobia. This is apparent in the adjectives used to describe non-native species and their impacts "invasive, alien, plague, foreign, aggressive, catastrophic, insidious, destructive, decimating, devastating, damaging, threatening, assaulting and flooding" to mention just a few. But worse than such words are the unsubstantiated, unscientific tales, too often promulgated by scientists themselves, that biological invasions are somehow unnatural and that as a general rule invading species dominate ecosystems and cause economic losses, wholesale ecological changes and extinctions of native species. Sometimes they do, but the
impacts vary enormously with the species of invader and the environmental setting. Moreover, whether these impacts are perceived as positive or negative, good or bad, varies with the moral beliefs of societies and individuals. When scientists claim that their professional credentials uniquely qualify them to make such moral judgements, they exceed their special, time-honoured roles as unbiased collectors, interpreters and communicators of scientific information."

The words used for newcomers is exactly what I found in so many scientific, study books. It is difficult to remain impartial after reading this as a biology/ecology student.

As I type this, I hear Geert Wilders saying this on TV rigth now: "We will give Limburg (a province) back to the Limburgers, the Fryslan (another province) back to the Frisians and The Netherlands back to the Dutch!" Right as I write this now and that is exactly the sentiment I get on forums like these. I don't see any good in it, I do not see any difference other than some over here talk about nature and Wilders and even our Prime Minister talks about culture and humans...

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 3:23PM
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I believe this is a repeat of a thread from some time ago. Most posters don't want to get political on GW. There are forums covering just about any type of plant that one could want from all over the world. People on this forum happen to prefer natives, and their reasons vary. I doubt that any one has a xenophobic motive. With the exception of "alien," I have never heard all those other adjectives in reference to non-natives. BTW, most non-natives are not invasive. That is another topic.

I wish you success in your biological/ecological studies and hope that, as you age, you will be more understanding of our personal preferences as expressed on this forum.

(PS: Jorginho is not from NC but from the Netherlands, which happens to be in a similar zone.)

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 7:37PM
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You are correct. I got carried away a little. Lets stop here.
I have nothing against personal preferences BTW. I am irritated about scientists abusing science or behaving very unscientific etc.
Someone wanted to introduce natives into a not so native national parc. Alternative: learn to love nonnatives and you have no problem and don't need to do anything illegal.

Good luck, too each his/her own.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 9:05PM
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lycopus(z5 NY)

From the Nature article you referenced:

"Novel ecosystems are likely to cause at least some extinctions. For example, species that have evolved dependent relationships with other species are less likely to do well in a world in which the pot is stirred and everything is redistributed. Hawaiian honeycreepers, beautiful birds that often feed only on one type of flower, are not doing well; several are already extinct. So for those who care about slowing or stopping the rate of such extinctions, novel ecosystems are a net negative.

James Gibbs, an ecologist at the State University of New York in Syracuse, subscribes to this view. "I think celebrating [novel ecosystems] as equivalent or improved is not appropriate." As an example, he points to Clear Lake in Northern California, where the number of fish species has risen from 12 to 25 since 1800. Sounds like a success story. But, says Gibbs, species that were found only in that lake were replaced with fish that are common elsewhere � so there was a net loss in biodiversity. A similar caveat may hold for the genetic diversity hidden within a species. Forests dominated by the offspring of a handful of exotic colonizers could be less genetically diverse than forests that have sat there for thousands of years. "

That seems to be a thoughtful evaluation of how the movement of species has impacted diversity on a global scale. These "novel ecosystems" may contribute to the extinction of endemic species for the sake of taxa that are extremely abundant elsewhere. They may be interesting to study and could yield much insight into how communities assemble, but they are still not the same as the ecosystems they replaced.

"For those who value ecosystem services, any novel ecosystem could be better or worse than what came before depending on how it operates. For those who care about global extinctions or about preserving historical ecosystems, they are bad news. Gibbs says he values the exquisite complexity of ecosystems that have evolved together over thousands or millions of years. "Why are we worried about the extinction of languages, the roots of music, all these weird cuisines?" he asks. "There is something about diversity and our need to steward it. It is the subtlety and the nuance and complexity that makes life interesting." Novel ecosystems seem, to him, to lack this value, to be samey and artificial, "sort of like eating at McDonalds".

Where is the xenophobia? Sounds more like a person concerned with the loss of something that took millions of years to create. That is not prejudice, it is one person's worldview. You have one as well that happens to disagree with the views of others.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 9:15PM
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I cited these articles for their balanced views from bioth sided.

Extinctions happen because of predation and diseases, not competition and this happens rarely and is confined to Islands virtually exclisively. It simply has never happened, it has never been recorded. Yet the author in the first alinea still says this will happen. That is typical. Like muslims WILL concour the world. Not now, but you wait and see....although his tone is of course much more moderate. Now look at those Hawaiian honeycreepers. He notes that they have become extinct already. To my knowledge all these Polynesian animals did not do very well before any invasions began. He does not say that they became extincti because of introduced species, he says they already became extinct. The fish died...why. Because of newcomers? He seems to imply this, but what else has changed? Did the water became more nutrientrich, like in so many places so the foreigners could thrive? Were there any dams build? What has changed apart from the newcomers?
That is what happens so many times in this research: not all changes are takien into account. This has been crtisized more than once in literature..

This is important, because we see these remakrs all over the place but when researched it was found that the extinction of species could never been related to newcomers... (on continents) and never, never to competition.

The second assumption is made in the third alinea. The may contribute to....They may...Again, we should be fearfull or dislike that what might happen...It has not happened. But that is what I consequently read in most books for scholars.... This may happen, that could happen, if this happens....Right: well it did not happen, I know so and the wording should be different.

Alinea four is about value. McDonaldisation of nature...Cocacolonisation...McDonalds is succesfull because many people seem to like it. Foreign species have become succesfull, because many people liked 'm. In The Netherlands studies have shown that visitors of forests like woodland with clear foreign species the most. They stand out. The top out of 200 woodland pictures consists of a mix of native and nonnative.
Other research, by the same University shows that people are heavily biased against ripping out foreign species. Even after explanations that they indeed could do this and that...
That is the problem with attributing value and the really patronising way ecologists tend to react. That their views are of more value...they are not. They do not own nature, they do not decide over what is right and wrong. A society does. Apparantly a majority likes McDonalds and Coco cola and foreign species in woods. A minority does not. At least not in The Netherlands. This historian could also argue that the way our cultures were in the past wer e special, had some value that is lost because of the mix of cultures etc...And come to the same conclusion.

SP to finalize: the personal views of anybody is oke. Any scientist can have a view and so can I. If you say extinctions are bad per se than nature is bad, because extinctions are common. It has been implied that that foreign species cause massextinctions, which is why many are so heated up. They have not. You can clearly see it even here where this and that MAY happen...And he assumes a lot more. New species rarely cause extinctions and have very, very rarely done so on continents. That is nothing to worry about. The worry comes from the massive loss of species by humans, loss of habitat, hunting etc..The focus should be there, not on newcomers who do little wrong than changing the world around us. Indeed: just like immigrants do in culture, they have been held responsible for many bad things with the same results.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2011 at 5:13AM
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lycopus(z5 NY)

Take away the hyperbole and there is not much substance to your argument. Religion and culture have nothing to do with this topic. You're throwing that in there to insinuate that anyone with an opposing view is a bigot. Just like JL Hudson and his Nazi argument. Plants are not people. They have no central nervous system. They do not feel persecuted when someone suggests that maybe they don't need to be allowed to grow in every corner of the earth where they have been introduced.

Again, species introductions have only caused a few extinctions so far on continents but have significantly reduced the numbers of many other species. Ones that were once common are now listed as endangered in part due to encroachment by other species. To be clear, we have seen species that were once common reduced to a few scattered populations by habitat loss and the encroachment of new species introduced from other parts of the world. But you are suggesting that we wait until they are gone for eternity before concerning ourselves with it. You have argued that exotic species should not be considered as a possible cause of this, not because they do not contribute, but rather because that it is a form of ethnic discrimination. Get real.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2011 at 2:24PM
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The compariosn is valid. When things go wrong in a country, foreigners (newcomers) are blamed. 9-11: all muslim people were suddenly dangerous. WWII: Japanese US civilians were suddenly in huge problems. Simply because of what their former countrymen did in Pearl Harbour.

We see species extinctions? We point to newcomers in naure and say, without ANY solid evidence or even evidence to the contrary (I am talking about several, peerreviewed papers) that it are immigrant species. And it goes along the same lines: we take some extreme examples (Kudzu) and than extrapolate to all newcomers. Look how nationalist people are again. World wide biodiversity??? Pleae, invest all your money in the Rainforest becuase you can save much more biodiversity their than in any temperate zone. What we see is in fact a concern for the nationbal biodiversity.

Many ecologists tend to behave like polticians rather than sxcientist in the way that they assume a lot with little proof. They tend to treat foreign species different form native species. They start to talk about all sorts of negative aspects of some newcomers. One example: grey squirrel in England. Negative behaviour: stripping bark of trees and eating small birds, their young and their eggs. They are a threat, not only to the red squirrel. Fact: this "trait" is identical to red squirrels, who do exactly the same and fdaced a cull in Scotland near 1920 because forresters ahd this problem. Fact: the grey squirrel has no detrimental effect on bird species. Same is true for Nile goose in NW Europe, Sika deer in England, Raccoondog in NW europe, parakeets over here.

People strart to talk about the econimical damage they cause. In such calculations they NEVER take into account what the economical profit is and was by transporting species all over the world. Does anybody think this is done at a loss? Take lake Victoria: a ecological disaster by the Nile perch. Read again...no species have gone extinct or very very little. It has been an economic victory. But this is not mentioned at all.

Science is about getting your facts or proving your theory.
The facts are that foreign species rarely cause extinctions. The theory and what is still perpatuated again and again is that they are a leading cause of extinctions.

You yourself now change it: you talk about extirpations. So some creatures are less frequent and others have become (much) more frequent. This is a whole other "problem" than extinctions, as extinctions are far less accepted than changes.

This is not hyperbole, this is constantly happening. Like what someone quoted from some link I send: assuming a lot, proving little and asking for extermination. In my view, this is a shame for science. It really is. This is no science, this is poltics, a dogmatic and costly ideology.

You misrepresent my thoughts in your final sentences. I say that species extinctions are real and are at a much higher rate than in previous era, but they are probably less rapid than in some other era in the history of our planet. If we say this is bad, we should address the problems and prove what the problems are given the very limited resources we have for naure and our environment. The proven problems are habitatdestruction, predation by humans, poison, change of habitats (think of dams etc). No massextinctions are caused by invasive species. we should address this and our limited resources should go to buying land and let it be. Not buying land and than massively "restoring" it to some previous state. Not seldom a state that makes it highly likely to be invaded by natives or nonnative species BTW. So this costs you money year after year after year. You simply do not have the money for it.

The problem with ethnic discrimination is not the discrimination perse, but pollicy's based upon this. The prejudice, the black and white thinking and finally the killing of species without any eveidence they are the cause of the problems you see. What follows after it: the ethnic cleansing. The killing o f humans. In nature: the eradication of living things, animals if you will. Because of what people presume, not becuase any of these creatures are the cause of something bad. Innocent untill proven guilty. Even if someone is found guilty, than in a civilsed world you have to think about punishement, What is exceptable and what is not. Is the extermination of thousands of animals or humans okey than? Does an ecologist decide this? Doe laypeople, civilians approve of this. Even if it are trees in The Netherlands, only 15% approve. There rest strongly disapproving this. We talk about trees here, so how do you think people react whenit comes to animals. So that is another concern: it cannot be that one small group of people decide what is ethically correct to do. A society as a whole does it. And they do not approve of this at large. If I talk with other people about the tiungs that simply have happened, they cannot believe their ears.

Finally: if you read scientific work you'll see that new ecosystems are the rule and they are functioning well in general. The Grey squirrel can't be eradicated in the UK, After 30 year of battle against Prunus serotina in NL, B and Germany the outcome is that it is more widespread than ever before and (ahahaa...) now that the emotions have subsided, found to be benificial for wildlife and economy (!). The list goes on and on. Whenever organisation want to chop a forest because of its nonnative character people get outraged and they have t stop many times. So who needs to get real. You or me? If you want to do something against the loss of nature, it is wise to spend your money on things that do work, that do not involve killing of animals (or in my view trees) and that in fact addresses the problems. And not the fact that you cannot deal with a changing world or changing region.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2011 at 7:58PM
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You are correct. I got carried away a little. Lets stop here.

Agreed. Let's stop here.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2011 at 8:09PM
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Yes and please, don't start again! I am getting really tired now ;-) venture into nature and be happy!

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 4:39AM
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lycopus(z5 NY)

I'll finish with this thought...that you have formed some very strong opinions about the work that ecologists do in North America without having any first hand experience working with them on this continent. And I will continue to take issue with you comparing ecological restoration with such injustices as the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII. That is an insult to any group who has been persecuted in that way. While others may want to avoid this discussion because they know that people are turned off by debates on this subject, I do not feel compelled to let such slander fall by the wayside.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 10:12PM
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I had some very strong thoughts about apartheid too in the 80s. but must admit I have never been in South Africa either...Same is true for so many Americans that hed never been in teh Sovjet Union but had some strong thoughts about that system too.

You can call it an "insult", that doesn't mean it is. I don't think it is insulting of course, it is just another example of what we know of us humans: we judge based upon differences. When things change, we all too easily revert to black-white thinking. Good versus bad. Them and us. The Japanse were now suddenly them, while they thought they were "us".
"Restoration" of nature, certainly when it means taking on arms against the animals that live in them, is simply as good or bad as "restoration" of culture. Or cleansing of races. You decide what is good or what is bad, but to me it is bad.

BTW: it are American ecologists that work in invasion ecology that have addressed this and have clearly noted the xenofobic and prejduced stance. When you research a subject, you look at facts that are presented and you can draw some conclusions. You do not have to work in a field to come to conclusions about an ideology.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 2:47AM
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lycopus(z5 NY)

So pulling garlic mustard from the woods is morally equivalent to ethnic cleansing? I'm done. Go harass people in the weed forum with your "xenophobe" nonsense.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 10:42AM
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I don't know why you pull out garlic musterd. Sounds tasty..:-)

It is simple why it is the same as victimising newcomers in culture. It is an emotional response and when things turn for the worse, the newcomers are to blame for everything we feel has gone wrong. Because things change when there are enough of them to make a difference (fear of what is new) and the loss of what we had (sadness, it was so nice...). I understand these emotions, I am into climatology. Do you think I like the thought of an icebear drowning because he now has to swim 500 km with no ice instead of 100 km and finally drowns?
Don't you think I find it a horrible perspective?? Don't you think most climatologists do the same and have some strong thoughts about that?? But they do so in private. And they rarely use valueladen words, even then...

Scientists are not the ones who should start to use valueladen words about those who are the main cause of this. They should prove this first and foremost and than let us decide. You won't read anything about this in the climate scientific literature. No: scientists are not there to use these valueladen words and to victimise people, plants or animals. Scientists can never tell us what belongs somewhere and what does not. What should live and what should die. They are there simply to come up with proof and tell people, policymakers etc what the data means. Not what they should think about it, not what they should do about it. Nothing. That is up to us, the people. Yes, I know some climatologists personally who had to testify for the Dutch gouvernment. You simple tell what is correct and what is incorrect (thanks to climate deniers sometimes). But you do not tell that it is awfull, that they have to act now, that they should attack factories that put out Co2 or that should stop emitting CO2 ASAP. Or attack the US because it is the main poluter per capita. etcetc...No such thing.
Ecologists however think they have this special position in which a moral view is quintessential. That somehow they are in a special positon to decide for us and what we shoud think and do. I have read the books, the scientific papers, their arguments also on this topic and these words. I know what I am saying. They throw in their moralistic views, how we should think of these immigrants and what we should do. In this way, it has become an ideology and a religion that tells us what our morals should be and how we should behave. When it is okey to let somehting live, what should be highly valued and what should be eradicated, killed etc.

Another point is of course credibility: do I believe someone who researches something but is clearly not impartial? How credible am I if I want to research somehting and constantly name it in clearly negative ways. "Let research these dangerous, unreliable, aggressive foreigners and see how they behave in society.." Right...

No, I don't think tearing out Garlic musted is any different than tearing out any other plant. But tearing out because it is bad and does not belong here is of the same kind as what some people want to do with immigrants in the cultural sense: based on prejudice and your personal problem with a changing region or may be a changing world. The negative bias you have heard time and time again about foreigners is the main cause for actions. That is waht I think. I think it is no different than the dislike of human immigrants and culture and the prejudice they encounter. In that case it are not sociologists, not historians, not antropologists who say they are bad. It are rather opportunistic and many times populist politicians that support this or even actively promote these views. In nature it are not politicians, but sadly scientist who actively promote this view and eradication programms.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 5:33PM
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joepyeweed(5b IL)

The reason we pull out garlic mustard, is because if we didn't we would lose all the ferns and other spring ephemerals. Including morel mushrooms, ever try to find morels in a forest full of garlic mustard?

I don't think every exotic plant is bad, and shouldn't grow here. Often times we don't know which exotics are harmful until they've already taken over a certain habitat.

One reason that I grow native plants is because I am a bird watcher. And birds are insect eaters. And most insects have species specific host plants. So If I want birds on my property I want to propagate plants that will support insects, and the insects will attract birds.

I am not an exotic plant hater, I still have hostas and daffodils on my property that were planted by a previous homeowner. I am not going to get rid of them just because they aren't native. Now if they were invasive, I would get rid of them.

There is a big difference between a friendly exotic landscape plants and an invasive exotic plants that escape the landscape and takes over natural habitats.

Hawaii is a unique situation, and not really comparable to the rest of the states.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2011 at 11:19AM
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Fair enough. What you plant in your garden is up to you.
Or is it...Last week a collegue of minewas not allowed to plant sitka spruce on her camping. She lives so close to the sea this tree is the only evergreen that will grow (and in fact does so in the next to the door 10*10 km forest..). It is not overwhelming anything but reproduces here and there...It was nothign against Sitka spruce, no it was simple: only indigenous trees were allowed.....
She was furious, she hates broadleaves. They do not give you any protection from oktober-may.

"There is a big difference between a friendly exotic landscape plants and an invasive exotic plants that escape the landscape and takes over natural habitats." What is the difference? I know of native trees doing exactly that BTW. Like Norway spruce (in Sweden) were it is still moving southwards as a recovery from the iceage. It takes over beechforests. I know so over here as well, bar these spruces Birhc and Pines do exactly that. They change landscapes completely. From heath into a forest. So this is not restricted to immigrants.

In my area we are at the edge of the habitat of the Nordic mouse. It likes wettish graslands and a cool climate. And they do not like competition of other mice. So it is now extinct here because of two indigenous mice species that have invaded "its" terrain. Anyone crying out over that? No, no one. Suddenly it is okey. It is really like Timothy Mc Vey doing a terrorist attack ("a very tiny rightwing American minority can be dangerous") or 5-6 guys tearing down the Twin towers and suddenly all muslims are scrutinised and ...It is ridiculous and it is not just because this is using double standards, which are based on emotions and not on facts.

I do see that the landscape can change dramatically and I do understand emotional responses of course. But it has little to do with good or bad. If you accept that things change and now it is faster than some other times, there is no problem.

Besides: the main reason for all these changes are white people dominating everything on this world. Is anyone wanting to leave the US or Canada and head back for Europe because they came their in unnatural ways (like plains and boats that do not grow in nature)? I don't think so. So why are you allowed to live, combusting tons of CO2 and hereby changing the "natural climatic zones" and why are other creatures not allowed to live? Who are you to decide what can live and what should die?

How do you feel about people who do the opposite. So you feel you can eradicate things because you think it is better. How about people actively buying seeds from all over the world and spread them. or animals? IS that okey or can there be only one view: that of people who think nature should be like this and not like that?? I can tell you it is easy and allowed to do. I can buy so many seeds from the Pacific NW ifI like and with our climate virtually all will do well. May be our winters can be a little harsh (difference between coldest and mildest winter is much bigger here).
So to each his/her own or are we facing some kind of dogma here?

    Bookmark   March 18, 2011 at 8:44AM
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joepyeweed(5b IL)

no dogma here.

I believe that anyone can plant whatever they want on their land as long as it hasn't been deemed noxious or invasive through the law.

You can stop trolling now.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2011 at 1:04PM
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WOW, what have I missed?? Don't answer that, LOL!!

First off only ignorance would say let introduced run rapid.

Natives are native for a reason, first off they feed the native species of critters. If an invasive introduced species over runs the natives what are the critters going to feed on??

I was out at the lake this weekend, it was an absolutely beautiful day to take a hike through the woods. Well the trail we decided to go down is only about a mile long. We first took off and noticed a little bamboo, then a little further bamboo 3 feet taller than myself. Then a little further here is what was seen. This picture was taken from a cheap disposable phone, ha ha my daughters. Yep folks that is bamboo!! And this is in the smack middle of the wildlife refuge at reelfoot lake!!

A mile of bamboo choking out even the native viola, choking out native roses, native dewberries, native blackberries. It made us sick!! I first started noticing the bamboo about 10 to maybe 15 years ago. About the same time memphis brought in pandas from china to the zoo. Rumor has it that memphis purchased the wrong type of bamboo for the pandas ironically that was the same time this bamboo which ever type it is started appearing at our natural lake.

Houston we have a problem!!!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2011 at 11:27AM
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Ya know I also want to mention that I have started noticing bamboo at other areas that are closer to the lake within a 15 mile radius.

When I mentioned 1 mile that was just the one mile we walked through, that is not the only mile affected by this species of bamboo.

There would be no sense in planting mud bombs even if it was legal. This is going to take a crew of volunteers to work long hours to clean it up for years. That is how bad this problem is.

Sad to say the least!!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2011 at 11:44AM
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Rhetorical question. If you can get away with something that you believe is for the greater good, how much should you care if it is legal? Cue logical fallacies/irrelevant arguments ("Well if EVERYONE did that"...etc)

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 5:02PM
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extingtion is is good and so are exotics . When was the last time you had to run to your cement house to escape T rex? and has anyone noticed deer walk around an alder patch to eat your fruit trees? I have heard that north america has few if any natives just things that have traveled here at different times. north america made them native.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 3:56PM
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lycopus(z5 NY)

lol, people trolling hard. Not going down that road again, although if anyone wants to discuss North American native plants there are plenty of them to talk about. I was out earlier today and found that shining lady's tresses were blooming.

Getting back to the original topic, I agree it is best to become involved with a local stewardship organization if you want to do something for your local natural areas.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 1:17AM
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