Wick Communications

Just planting a seed…

In Ideas on 23 Jul 2010 at 8:14 am

According to a group charged with reducing the invaders, invasive species displace native plants and wildlife, increase wildfire and flood danger, consume valuable water, degrade recreational opportunities, and destroy productive range and timber lands. And those are just the plants. Invasive animal species are in the news all the time. Google Asian carp to see the level of concern over an invasive species threatening the Great Lakes region.

I’ve been part of coverage of efforts to eradicate invasive species in Florida and California and it occurs to me the problem is sort of an epidemic and a misunderstood one at that. Perhaps the issue merits coverage in your paper as well.

Last week, at the Half Moon Bay Review, we conducted a man-on-the-street poll asking whether folks were concerned about invasive species around here. Opinion was split. And it’s easy to see why. The plants themselves are guiltless and often beautiful, like the Hypericum canariense, or Canary Islands St. Johnswort, you see in the photo above. Yet, the plant is crowding out everything else on a hillside in our neighborhood.

Our story of that species has spawned a larger project here. We decided to map all of our invasive plant species and run boxes on the map detailing efforts underway to eradicate the pests. Key to the story is the cost of it all. I guarantee that in this economic environment some of our readers are going to marvel at what they consider a waste…

All of this just happens to correspond to Invasive Species Awareness Week out here in California, which is serendipitous for us. (I don’t think most of you will be so lucky. Looks like the national “week” is in January.)

I’m reasonably sure that all of us have some invasive species in our readership area that is of concern to horticulturists. You’ve probably written about these issues from time to time. But have you tied them all together, with maps, charts showing how costs have increased to pull the weeds, etc? Have you talked to nurseries that might still be importing things the state is busily pulling out at the root?

Just thought it was a story we might all consider.



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