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Noxious weeds & Rhonda's website

Re: Brian Water's' comments

You make some good points Brian. Don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating
either anarchy or the willy-nilly flouting of federal or state laws.
Protection of the environment is in every citizen's interest and as
hobbyists we can all do our part by preventing the introduction of exotic
species into areas of the country where they might pose a threat to native

Your tax dollars pay to support a bureauracy that has a specific mandate to
educate the public about such matters and to enforce the laws passed by the
applicable legislatures. They can do that through educating the public and
policing violators. In my opinion, they shouldn't be playing "heavy" with
private individuals who have done no wrong. The posting of a personal web
site describing a personal interest in a popular hobby is not violation of
any law that I know of. Rhonda is free to place whatever she wishes on that
web site, so long as she is not promoting illegal activity. She has no
responsibility to act as a "secondary voice" for any government department,
policy or practice. A threat does not have to be explicit to be real. In no
way does Rhonda's web site advocate breaking any law or releasing exotic
species into the natural environment. I don't think that it is necessarily
Rhonda's responsibility to post a list of "no-no's" on her personal web
site. If the government wants the publicity, perhaps they should have
offered to partially off-set Rhonda's costs (for her ISP) in order to place
that information there. Rhonda (like every other tax paying American) pays
taxes to the State and Federal governments in order to maintain government
services. Its up to the government to publicize their own laws.

If people in Florida can re-name fish without federal intervention, people
in Arizona should certainly be allowed to post web sites without being
required to parrot "official doctrine".

Again, I am NOT supporting the indroduction of exotics into fragile
ecosystems. I'm merely questioning the propriety of a bureaucrat leaning on
a private citizen. I was a federal bureucrat in the Canadian government long
enough to learn when pressure is inappropriate.

But, to be completely honest in this, I have to admit something - as a
person who has lived most of his life in a country which is frozen solid for
months at a time every winter, I get a pang of envy every time I read posts
from folks who live in milder climes and who describe visiting local ponds
and streams and collecting aquarium suitable plants and animals for free.
The thought of being able to collect guppies, platies or swordtails from the
wild in Florida is almost enough to make me want to catch a plane,
especially in February.

James Purchase
(where winter hasn't yet started...... but where it will, soon enough......)