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RE: Warning!!!!!

  • Subject: RE: Warning!!!!!
  • From: StellrJ@aol.com
  • Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2001 19:40:55 -0500 (CDT)

In a message dated Thu, 26 Jul 2001  1:35:26 AM Eastern Daylight Time, "newton" <newton@coiinc.com> writes:

> Laws, whether as
> individuals we feel are just or unjust, modify our behavior, which is judged
> to be in the local or international societies best interest at the time. 

What I believe you are trying to say is, just because we disagree with a law, does not mean we should disregard it.  This is true.  After all, every criminal disagrees with the laws he breaks -- otherwise, he would not break them.  And, with each of our individual talents and weaknesses, there is one thing in which we are all experts: we all excel at self-justification.

> Locally, we have several protected grasses, two of which are known to be the
> only locations in several states. Do I want them protected? You bet. Do I
> want some "damned nice fellow" to dig them up and sell them? Hell no. I can
> only imagine the ignorance of a person who would do so without regard.
>

This relates back to a comment I made about a month ago (or more), about my choice simply not to reveal the locations of sensitive species I find.  The fewer people know they are there, the less likelihood someone will come after them.  As I understand it, some of our State Departments of Natural Resources (or equivalent) withhold locations of the species they monitor, for exactly this reason.
 
> In countries where plants are endangered, and misguided laws for their
> protection are inadvertently guaranteeing their ultimate destruction due to
> habitat changes, concerned people should use the international channels to
> influence a change.

Is there a place for "cloak-and-dagger conservation"?  For example, a few years ago, in an area I know, some local boys (I never met them) accidentally started a wildfire in some brush.  Some weeks later, I visited the spot, finding blackened remains of an invasive shrub, and bare, blackened soil.  I knew the area had, prior to settlement, been a native prairie; and I had discovered a few seeds of native prairie species in my bag, which must have fallen there while I was gathering for the State DNR some weeks before.  So, I sprinkled them about on the burned site, hoping they would grow -- and thus reestablish an extirpated population.  Since the land was a right-of-way for electrical transmission wires, I figured the power company would not harbor any malevolence toward them.  Was I doing wrong?

> 
> And don't get me started on the comment "THESE 4 CYCADS ARE NOT HURTING
> ANYTHING".... There are many
> more than 4 cycads floating over our borders and disappearing from native
> soils to the greedy hands of private and public collections.
> 

Exactly.  This is one of the most common self-justifications.  Someone bulldozes a tract of woods to build a house, and says, "It's just one small lot."  But then the guy on the next lot over does the same, and the next and the next -- each individual clearing "just one small lot" until it all adds up to a large acreage.  The fact is, there are so many humans in the world today, that even if everyone does just a tiny bit of damage, we will still destroy the environment.

Jason Hernandez
Naturalist-at-Large





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