Perhaps the following is an angle on getting the State to listen:
""We don't want anybody to go underground (with a plant)," he said. "If something has been traded for years and hasn't caused a problem, we need to know that."
taken from http://www.statesman.com/sports/outd...printArticle=y
Perhaps we can ask
1) what plants common to aquarium aquatic plant keepers has caused a problem in the past?
2) "if you have to start somewhere" why not start with commercial propogation and other industrial users of plants like wastewater treatment.
3) simply put: "why not specifically exempt hobbyist, non commercial keepers of aquatic plants?"
P.S. Here is an example of the lack of needed banning of an aquatic plant for years after which it was shown - by lack of adverse spreading to the wild as non invasive and removed from the banned list:
Invasive Spotlight: Water Spinach (Ipomoea aquatica)
This month's Invasive Spotlight will be a bit different than previous months. We actually have some good news to report about Ipomoea aquatica. Water spinach has been cultivated in Texas for at least twenty years, with some people claiming cultivation began in the mid-1970s. When Texas Parks and Wildlife listed the species as a prohibited aquatic species, in 1989, they did not realize the extent of cultivation, and the growers were not aware of the regulations. Since 2003, TPWD has been conducting a risk assessment of Ipomoea aquatica. After several years of research, TPWD concluded Ipomoea aquatica was not as bad as once thought, and decided to issue permits to farmers. According to Earl Chilton, of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, "As a result of there being no evidence of establishment after approximately 30 years of commercial cultivation, TPWD modified regulations regarding water spinach in 2005 making production legal with an exotic species permit, and possession for personal consumption legal.
Earl Chilton had this to conclude about water spinach, "Today the cultivation of water spinach in Texas, primarily for the Asian food market, has grown to an industry worth over $1,000,000 and including over 80 growers. Despite production estimated at over 50,000 lbs per day in some cases, there is no evidence of establishment outside production facilities. This is consistent with the fact that although water spinach has spread throughout many tropical areas of the world, there is little evidence of it becoming established outside of tropical regions. As a result of the requirement for tropical conditions California and Washington as well as Oregon consider it at low risk of becoming a nuisance plant species. Even in Florida with its more tropical climate water spinach has established relatively minor populations in only two counties." http://www.texasinvasives.org/pages/iwire/Nov_2009.html
More on water spinach:
It seems that the plant was confiscated but no citations issued. After discussion at TPWD meetings, apparently a suspension of issuing citations was issued and exceptions to the rules were issued regarding water spinach - apparently the growers continued to grow and sell while TPWD did more analysis - for the next FIVE years! Apparently TPWD determined that it was low risk and it is no longer prohibited.
full article: http://www.texasmonthly.com/2009-11-01/webextra16.php