Going Native | Preserving Biodiversity On The Home Front

A lot of what this blog will focus on, is the issue of biodiversity, not just as it relates to the exotic rain forests of the planet, but as it relates to the damage being done to the environment here at home by exotic invasive plants. the problem has reached mega proportions, but is under reported, and underfunded. In an effort to get the word out, we include this article taken from the Burns Environmental website at BurnsEnvironmental.com.

We would like to encourage people to use plants that are native to their particular location, to help prevent the further spread of this devastating dilemma! Go native! Protect biodiversity in your own back yard!

Save the Rainforests, Just Not in Your Landscape!

One of the most pressing problems confronting the world today is the loss of biodiversity to “non native” plants. Most people in America readily recognize this as it relates to human causes in such places as the exotic rainforest regions of the world. Unfortunately, not as many are aware of the ecological destruction occurring through the loss of biodiversity right here in our own back yards.

Twofold destruction.

This destruction has reached major proportions in such places as Hawaii, and the Southern portion of the United States. It has become a serious threat to our rangelands, forests, and our public waters. Billions of dollars are spent annually on control efforts, and billions more are lost to destruction. They effect our water intake systems, power plants, timber production, cattle production, and many other critical areas of modern life. The uncounted cost due to the loss of biodiversity, may be even higher!

While it is important to save as much of the biodiversity existing in exotic rain forests as possible, it is equally important to protect the home front. This is one place where thinking globally, and acting locally can really help. You can make important changes, and take important steps right here at home!

What can you do? Well, I am glad you asked!

  • Start by buying and using native plants in your landscape. These are better anyway, and will save money on upkeep. The natives will be more disease resistant, require fewer nutrients, and less water than the exotic plants.
  • When biking, hiking, or boating. Be careful not to bring home any hitch hikers. Check your pets, check your vehicles, check your clothes. If you are boating, please check the prop, the bilge, the live well, and anything that went on or near the water, including other recreational vehicles like four wheelers.
  • Avoid such things as dumping out an aquarium in a lake or pond, The Hydrilla which has invaded the Southern part of the United States resulted from such actions. No matter how cute that floating exotic plant is, do not bring one home to put in your pond or lake! It may be a lake killer! The devastation from exotic aquatic weeds has reached millions of dollars, and we are just seeing the tip of the iceberg. This hits us where we live. In our water supplies. No matter how tough you are, you can’t live without water!

Where do these invaders come from?

Most of the exotic invaders come from the same tropical regions we are trying to save. South America, Brazil, Africa, parts of Europe, and Asia. They are fine when living in their own regions, where natural conditions and natural predators keep them in check, but in an unguarded environment they can take over, and destroy all other plant life, leaving a mono culture.

Irony.

Ironic, is it not? The rainforests are destroying us as well! Yes, save the rainforests, just not in your landscape!