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Re: Forward-Mystery Plant and Native Plant Conservation

> Date: Fri, 19 Jan 2001 20:42:32 -0800 (PST)
> From: Cavan <millsman7 at yahoo_com>

> The following is part of a conversation between Tom
> Barr and myself.  I post it here at his request.  I
> tried it forward it to the list with no success.  Cut
> and paste job.  Cavan.

The list won't accept attachments.

Rather than cut-n-paste, it would be easier simply to hit the "Reply" button
and change the target  address - if you'd like the hint.

> ...There are some other representatives and a very
> interesting vernal pool plant and a rare as hell Sagittaria
> out here as well. Only 3 location left anywhere. I think I can
> change that issue...
> Many places seldom have purely native plants anymore.
> Many birds also transfer many plants all over, not just us
> or the wind.There's exceptions to every rule when dealing
> with plants. Seems to me we could do a service by growing
> out rare endangered plants or bring them into the trade so
> they could be kept and sold back to repopulated the wild
> in some cases. Sounds fun and a good service rather
> than being viewed as vectors for invasive weeds. I think
> a program could even get funded to do such a thing perhaps.
> Wishful thinking but that's how it always starts out...
> Regards, Tom Barr

So, Tom has plans for a "Species Maintenance Program" for plants, eh?

To be honest, I've often wondered when emphasis was going to be placed on
the _rest_ of the "food chain" - the majority of the maintenance programs
I've found so far are all for animals. I can think of too many reasons to
even *try* to list why we should give serious consideration to an extension
of the idea.

I would think that the biggest obstacle to such an endeavor would be its
scope, though. The maintenance programs for animals have an easier time
selecting a target subject - they normally pick the higher forms, such as a
particular mammal, bird, fish, amphibian or reptile. Their impact on the
environment is simpler to "quantify", and public appeal is easier generate
through the "personification" of the animal.

Tom _does_ mention the primary intent of any on-going projects presently at
hand, although I don't think he did it consciously:

"...we could do a service by growing out rare endangered plants or bring
them into the trade so they could be kept and sold back to repopulated the

Notice that word "sold" in the sentence? A plant's _commercial_ value seems
to be the only driving force behind any of the current "programs". We need
fresh, viable and _workable_ goals, but it seems difficult to transfer these
requirements from the animal side to the plant - the "people" necessary to
support the financial side of things just simply don't relate to plants in
the same way.

Whatever the ultimate goal, though, I would be one of those interested in
the proposal...


David A. Youngker
nestor10 at mindspring_com