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RE: Calif aquatic plant "regs"

Please forgive me, as I'm just butting in on this discussion of Californian
Plant Regulations...

I am not a professional in any aspect to this, but speaking as a citizen of
a state whose lakes
were invaded by an unnatural plant (Eurasian Water Milfoil), I can fully
understand the 
"Classify it as Q, just to be safe"... the idea is that until you know for
certian that it won't
damage the environment when/if it's introduced, you play it safe. To this
day, Minnesota still has a 
problem with Milfoil, and it's looking doubtful that we will ever be able to
remove this intruder 
from our local ecosystem. The benefits of playing it safe, while possibly
difficult for aquatic plant
importers, distributors and entusiasts, greatly outweigh any downsides. I
might describe the notion of 
"let's just do whatever we want" as capricous and cavalier. I would always
choose in favor of protecting
our environment over letting a few people make a buck or satisfy a
hobbyist's desire. 

Thanks for listening
-Bree in MN, land of milfoil and zebra mussels that don't belong


Date: Wed, 01 Aug 2001 12:50:34 -0700
From: Dave Gomberg <gomberg at wcf_com>
Subject: Calif aquatic plant "regs"

Alan Clark
Pest Exclusion Branch
1220 N St #A-372
Sacramento   CA  95814

A report is circulating in aquatic plant circles that Draconian
actions are being planned against the interests of aquaculture of
aquatic plants and associated industries in California.

Specifically, a nearly exhaustive list of genera of aquatic plants
has been listed as "Q rated", meaning as I understand it, that their
potential for good or harm to California agriculture is unknown.
There is supposed to be some reason for suspecting adverse effects
from the organisms, but according to Fred Hrusa of your department,
when he doesn't know (hasn't any idea), he Q lists "just to be

I am sure you can see how this action could be seen as capricious
and arbitrary by the industry and public.  I would hope you see it
as unnecessarily negative.  Guilty until proven innocent is hardly
the American way.

I ask you to please review procedures in this area and ensure that
sound science, not ignorance, is the basis for all existing and
future decisions.

I would appreciate a reply indicating your plans to investigate
this problem area.

By the way, my colleagues and I could be quite helpful in assisting
your group in describing invasive species.  But we want to ensure
that your actions are based on good-faith knowledge, not fearful

Thank you for your attention and cooperation.

Sincerely,   David Gomberg

- --
Dave Gomberg, San Francisco       gomberg at wcf dot com
NEW Planted Aquaria Magazine:        http://www.wcf.com/pam
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