NY Times Op-Ed opinion in favor of exotics

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Paul Rebmann

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on: March 20, 2006, 07:29:12 AM
I thought that the membership might be interested in knowing about this article published in the New York Times entitled Border War.

(You might need to register with the NY Times site to read, but it is free and quick)

The opinion piece published March 19 is by George Ball, former president of the American Horticultural Society and current president of the seed and plant company W. Atlee Burpee & Company.  He argues that "Chauvinism against non-native plants is unworthy of us" and labels native plant proponents extremist environmentalists.  He also claims that "no one, and certainly no gardener, grows truly destructive invasive plants in his garden."

Maybe not in the garden, but certainly in yard landscaping, especially in inviting climates like Florida.  What about water hyacinths, Mexican petunia, Brazilian pepper and Australian pines?

Visit www.wildflphoto.com  to see photos of plants, animals and more in Florida.


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Reply #1 on: April 06, 2006, 08:06:05 AM
Australian Pines were a big problem where I grew up (Sarasota County). They basically took over several beach areas, especially Midnight Pass. I guess you have to be my age or older to remember the Pass before the idiots came down from up north, got in the government, and voted to CLOSE the Pass to stop the erosion of expensive beachfront property and swimming pools. No one bothered to do much research, and, of course, the beach continued to erode, just as it has done for thousands of years. What they DID manage to do was kill off an entire ecosystem that depended on the pass for its food supply. Many creatures went in and out of the Pass to the Gulf of Mexico daily. I'll never forget the stench of dead fish and sealife after they closed the Pass and we docked our little boat and went for a walk.