I think I already mentioned this, but just to make it clear (especially
since I have been singing Craig's praises, so well-deserved in so many
ways), I must say that while I do believe that Craig has a perfect right to
pursue his campaign for his kind of standards, I don't agree that his
standards are necessarily necessary; further, I have yet to confirm (and he
has not, to my knowledge, yet confirmed) that his projects remain
functioning ecosystems that are 100 percent weed-free in perpetuity without
continued maintenance. It's not that I don't believe it; it's only that I do
doubt it--as much as I want to see the evidence or at least hear it stated
unequivocally from him.
As to the licensing question, I also have pretty much exhausted my attempts
to get unequivocal responses from anybody on that issue too.
As to the cost, I don't think that establishing a trend toward an improving
ecosystem over time should cost anywhere near what I understand his
estimates to be, and I am concerned that those very high costs will retard
progress toward the popularity of ecosystem restoration (and thus, to the
diminishment of alien-species populations) over time. I do not agree that
the only way to do this is the "100 percent in 90 days" standard that Craig
proposes, and I think there are responsible alternatives that might be at
least as effective on a different time-scale. I further believe that that
time-scale is arbitrary and unnecessary, and perhaps not even advisable. I
remain willing to be persuaded otherwise by the evidence. Nature's time
scale is the most relevant one, whatever that might be in any given case,
and that, not arbitrary limits, should set any standard.* The important
thing is the TREND, not the calendar.
As it stands, it appears that Craig and I are divided on these two issues
even though we seem to agree on so much else. I look forward to an open
discussion of the relative merits of these issues.
*Any ecosystem restoration project should establish a trend toward increased
species diversity up to its maximum feasible level according to site
conditions and be resistant to invasion without further intervention and
continue to function as a natural ecosystem substantially similar to that
existing prior to disturbance.
I invite APWG and others to suggest modifications to this standard. I have
tried to make it as brief as possible, but maybe it needs to be longer.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Craig Dremann - Redwood City Seed Company" <Craig@astr...>
Sent: Tuesday, September 01, 2009 8:28 AM
Subject: [APWG] Buy a LICENSE or buy a pig in the poke?
> Dear Wayne and All,
> Thanks for your email.
> Any Performance Standard for weed management, like trying to get 100%
> native cover in 90 days or less, must always be pretested in the Tiny Test
> plots first, before you attempt the bigger project on a new site.
> No matter how robust a weed management or ecological restoration
> technology thinks it is, it cannot be relied on for the bigger project
> until it has been proven out on a small scale on a new site, with at least
> six months of Tiny Test plots first.
> There are tens of thousands of reseeding-after-construction jobs or
> construction along highways, being done around the country every year for
> example, and cuts made into steep slopes with erosion potential, so any
> reseeding must work the first time, or else, like you can see at
> http://www.ecoseeds.com/slide.html >
> I got a call last week from a guy in northern California with property in
> a 40 inches of rainfall area, and he is in the midst of constructing a 400
> foot long, 30 foot wide and 15 foot tall earthen dam, and needed advice on
> what to plant on the dam face, to keep it from eroding away and collapsing
> in the winter.
> That is an extreme case, but you can see that person really needs
> Ecological Restoration technologies with Performance Standards, because to
> not have them, could put the people down stream in danger of losing their
> homes and lives if that dam collapses and a 15 foot wall of water hits
> And the need to seed perennial local native perennial grasses and
> perennial forbs in the place of the flammable weeds here in California,
> like what I show at http://www.ecoseeds.com/flames.html might be an
> excellent investment, especially in Southern California at the wildlands
> and multi-million dollar homes interface? Photo on that web page shows
> the contrast between the flammable exotic wild oats and non-flammable
> native perennials.
> In order to achieve 100% native cover within 90 days or less in our 100%
> solid fire-prone Californian weed patch that we have, in addition to the
> numerous Tiny Test plots you have to do, you also need to invent a whole
> lot of new technologies, that are not available as public domain items
> You must invent new methods of analyzing the ecosystems and methods of
> figuring out what was the percentage of each native species originally in
> the area, plus figure out which natives will counterbalance the weeds,
> using the native plants own natural allelopathic effects.
> And to achieve solid and repeatable Performance Standards, you must invent
> new ways of doing vegetation trend analysis and more robust methods of
> conducting vegetation transects.
> You have to throw out all the old passive ecological and rangeland methods
> of doing vegetation transects, and start from scratch, to invent one that
> will hit-the-ground-running and be robust enough for active weed
> management and ecological restoration.
> If we invent something that works, weed management and restoration
> professionals should not be afraid of letting their clients know that it
> took some extra effort to become successful, and that all the research to
> achieve consistent Performance Standards, costs extra money.
> That is why I wrote the article "Does the Lack of Patent filings Indicate
> that Ecological Restorationists Fail to See Themselves as Inventors or
> Innovators?" ECOLOGICAL RESTORATION. (2001) 19:(2) 70-71.
> Plus why should all the government agencies and highway departments, keep
> buying a pig in the poke all the time, or paying for experiments that
> never seem to go anywhere, like spending $450,000 on six years and five
> attempts on only two acres at http://www.ecoseeds.com/road.test.html? >
> Instead, should all the government agencies and highway departments start
> asking for, and licensing, Ecological Restoration and Weed Management
> technologies that have solid Performance Standards supporting them?
> Sincerely, Craig Dremann (650) 325-7333
> PCA's Alien Plant Working Group mailing list
> APWG@list... > http://lists.plantconservation.org/mailman/listinfo/apwg_lists.plantconservation.org >
> Any requests, advice or opinions posted to this list reflect ONLY the
> opinion of the individual posting the message.