Re: NANFA-L-- The myth of restoration?

Mysteryman (
Sat, 07 May 2005 22:03:29 -0700

Bob Bock wrote:

>Mys, can you tell me the name of the plant species you're writing about?
>Is this a real life example or a hypothetical one?
Sadly, it's all too real.
I think it's called the Dwarf Horse Nettle. It has a brilliantly vivid
purple flower arranged in a shape akin to a wagonwheel, you know, with
big spokes. The picture now on the website doesn't look like the one I
remember, so it might be a different plant, but it might be. There are
61 endangered plants in that area, and I'd bet that they're all getting
the same treatment, namely, none.
Environmentalists who think that saving the environment simply entails
leaving it strictly alone make me so mad... they're right up there with
the looneys who think that saving a species on the brink is as simple as
preserving it's habitat. Actually lift a finger to actually DO something
instead of just watching with crossed fingers? Heaven forbid! They'd be
perfectly happy to see the Giant Panda or California Condor disappear
forever so long as no one was ever allowed to work to actively breed
them, for that would be BAD.
They make me sick.
It occurs to me that some of you probably fall into this category. Well,
sorry, but you make me sick. Preserving the habitat is fine and dandy,
and indeed incredibly important, but the way I see it, we humans messed
everything up, so we humans have a duty to fix things. I'm not calling
for the domestication of Giant Pandas, but is it really asking so much
to put a little rooting powder on a few plant cuttings? Heck, every
Ginko Tree in the world is a descendant of the last surviving specimen,
and so is some Chinese Redwood Tree of some sort. Genetic diversity
isn't that big a problem, it seems, among plants. Plants don't mind if
we interfere with their breeding habits. They don't imprint on humans.
We don't have to worry about them surviving in the wilds after being
born on a farm. What is the MATTER with these people?
Over on the NFC board a few months ago I recall a discussion about the
Barrens Topminnow, Fundulus julisia. It is found in only three tiny
little spots now, and many NFC'ers felt that the way to save the species
was to leave them strictly alone and preserve those three critical
sites. Breed them in aquaria? No way, they said. Move some around from
site to site to ensure good gene mixing? Ridiculous!
When it was pointed out that a single tanker truck accident or even a
big tornado could wipe the sites out of existence despite any cockamamie
policies they envisioned, they STILL didn't accept that keeping a
captive population was a good idea. Ironically, while they didn't want
the wild populations mixed, they objected to captive populations mostly
due to the genetic isolation factor!!!
Some people just don't get it. Who knows? Maybe I'm one of them.

I looked-in-the website just now to doublecheck, and it's been reworded
since the last time I saw it. Now instead of saying that there are only
two remaining specimens, it says that they occur only in two tiny little
areas. That's NOT what it, and the little plaque, USED to say. Maybe
they've found some more? Maybe they've actually propagated some after
the nasty emails I sent them? I dunno. The whole thing still stinks, though.


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