I thought I should post something about my activities on and about invasive species issues as way of apology for having been rather absent from regular writings on this web log.
First, I have been well engaged in the efforts of the Sustainable Sites project serving on a technical sub committee and recently back from a meeting at the LBJ Wild Flower Center with the entire membership of the several sub committees. Please take the time to review the draft now available for public comment at http://www.sustainablesites.org/. Invasive species conversations sometimes seem to suggest that we should revert to completely “natural” landscapes, without actually working through some of the human and development design implications and needs. Sustainable landscapes would address eco-service considerations as well as design needs. And invasive species would be specifically considered and motivation supplied to find alternatives.
Second, I recently returned from a meeting at the Missouri Botanical Garden which set up a steering committee under the guidance of Dr. Peter Raven to assess the need and start the process to create a Cultivated Flora of North America. I look forward to working with the steering committee and writing about this in greater detail in the near future. Before we can legislate or regulate or even educate, we will need to know what it is that we are dealing with.
Third, I have been working with Dr. Thomas Elias of the National Arboretum to offer a conference/workshop on gaps in knowledge in invasive species science. I hope to write about topics to be considered in the near future. Cultivars and sterility will top the list for consideration as well as discussion about the need for a Cultivated Flora. In addition I hope to work in conversation about climate change and the implication for invasive species.
Fourth, I am concerned that the USDA Systematic Entomology Laboratory position at the National Agricultural Research Center in Beltsville (see links below) in Scale Insect Systematics (formerly filled by Dr. Douglass Miller) has been abolished. The duties associated with this position are critical to US biosecurity and pest management, because the USDA must be able to identify and provide information on these highly invasive pests.
And fifth, I continue to be working to find answers and support for the continuing decline of funding for both BARC and the National Agricultural Library. I hope to find sometime in the next week or so to write in greater depth on each of these topics.
Invasive Species Complexities: A Wicked Inconvenience
Invasive Species (Kudzu) Meets Fox News
National Agricultural Research Center; Invasive Species, Climate Change & Poison Ivy
BARC: Funding for Research Continues to Fall
BARC-National Agricultural Research Center Alliance NARABHomeland security; E. coli, and diminished funding & BARC