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Old 01-01-2011, 03:20 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default re: TEXAS enacts white list - AGA forward

They asked us at the last meeting what plants we wanted on the list. I took a list of about 300 more plants. I had already spoken to Dr. Chilon a week or two before expressing my displeasure. He said there were over 100 tests they put a plant through BEFORE it gets approved for the list. You tell me how many plants will ever see the light of day on their list?

One of the things that irks me is why concentrate on aquatic plants? There are many many more terrestrial plants. Imagine what our yards would look like if we had only 100 plants allowed in the entire state of Texas?

More than that, how can we suggest plants that we don't know about? So many plants that I have in my tank would never grow in TX. They are difficult in my controlled environment. Yet I can't have them because someone hasn't thought about it or tested them. So maddening.

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Old 01-01-2011, 03:41 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default re: TEXAS enacts white list - AGA forward

TexGal

So are you already having a dialogue with the State/Dr. Chilton on this subject? If so, can you tell us more?

Any chance they will tell us what are the 100 tests that they do on the aquatic plants?

Have they had discussions with other aquatic plant hobbyists?

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Old 01-01-2011, 03:51 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default re: TEXAS enacts white list - AGA forward

At the last meeting there were only two of us planted tank people. Both of us were from DFWAPC There were three others there. The others were tree huggers ready to ban everything.

When I said that they really haven't thought this through, that there are positives to new plants like medicines and plant conservation worldwide, Dr. Chilon replied that you could get a permit. I asked how does one identify these miracle plants ahead of time? He had no answers. I asked if they knew what the financial impact on the nurseries or retailers was? No one knows.

I also asked how they could handle the mis-identification issue since even the shippers have them incorrect sometimes. How would they or the store or the hobbyist even know what plant they have? Again no answers. All that I heard was that someone had to do something... So let's throw legislation at it. We suggested having the sellers print warnings on the bags against putting the plants outside or in the wild. That would reach more people than their white list and give the public awareness. People aren't interested in destroying the environment. He said they didn't have a budget for that. I asked why they couldn't shift that burden to the nurseries and retailers and he said it was a done deal, that he was mandated by the legislature. I asked who gave this idea to the legislature and he said his department.

That's or government for you. Beside they aren't going to be swayed by two people who were out numbered at a local meeting.

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Old 01-01-2011, 04:49 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default re: TEXAS enacts white list - AGA forward

I have some experience with legislative processes. To have an effective voice we need to do the following (at least).

1) Develop a club position on the subject.

2) Attempt to get other like minded organizations to endorse our position. ie NASH (which I know doesn't exist, but you get the idea.)

3) Prepare a WRITTEN testimony for the meeting.

4) Designate a well spoken and credible representative of the club to read the written testimony into the record. Save off-the-cuff comments for a Q&A period.
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Old 01-01-2011, 04:49 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default re: TEXAS enacts white list - AGA forward

What if you have a native aquatic plant that isn't on the list? I bet they didn't get all the native aquatics on their list.

I am not a lawyer, but it seems to me that this law would have a difficult time facing a court challenge. A law where it is illegal to have plants that are on a list is more straightforward, but a law where it is illegal to have a plant not on a list seems legally weak to me because you can't argue that all plants not on the list are harmful.

It seems to me that one can argue that plants should be included on the list if there is no evidence that they are harmful. Why can't the waterlily people give a big list of all known commercially available waterlilies and argue that they should all be on the list unless there is evidence they could be harmful. If some of the waterlilies are on the list, why can't the rest of them be on the list?

People are supposedly presumed innocent unless proven guilty. Why not aquatic plants?
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Old 01-01-2011, 04:54 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default re: TEXAS enacts white list - AGA forward

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?"

bob


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

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Old 01-01-2011, 05:05 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Default re: TEXAS enacts white list - AGA forward

Just found this. Scarey!

http://www.houstonpondsociety.org/symposium.html

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Old 01-01-2011, 05:20 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Angry re: TEXAS enacts white list - AGA forward

Regarding HeyPk's posting and mine about Dr. Chilton's comment about something being traded for years without a problem, I found this on a water lily web site:

"
Here is a short but potent list of those already deemed ineligible...
Imperial taro--Colocasia antiquorum
Lime Green taro--- C elena
Umbrella Palm--- Cyperus alternifolius
Mexican papyrus---C giganteus
Dwarf Papyrus---C haspans
Egyptian Papyrus--- C papyrus
Butterfly Ginger--- Hedychium coronarium
Chameleon Plant-- Houttuynia cordata
Creeping Jenny---Lysimachia nummularia
Dwarf Cattail---typha minima
Wedelia--Wedelia trilobata
Included in this list are species of aquatic plants that have been grown in Texas for decades with no environmental or economic harm. Click on the above link to see what other aquatic species are already on the list of ineligible plants."

http://www.iwgs.org/texas-white-list/

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Old 01-01-2011, 05:59 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Default re: TEXAS enacts white list - AGA forward

For a short while I will try to pretend that I'm not dreaming all of this:

So what is the deadline that we need to accomplish the 4 steps outlined by Tex_Guy?

I apologize if I have not noticed a date mentioned earlier. This whole thing makes me feel like we find ourselves mixed a coctail of bureaucracy and egos - where logic is the last concern.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tex Guy View Post
I have some experience with legislative processes. To have an effective voice we need to do the following (at least).

1) Develop a club position on the subject.

2) Attempt to get other like minded organizations to endorse our position. ie NASH (which I know doesn't exist, but you get the idea.)

3) Prepare a WRITTEN testimony for the meeting.

4) Designate a well spoken and credible representative of the club to read the written testimony into the record. Save off-the-cuff comments for a Q&A period.
--Nikolay

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Old 01-01-2011, 06:00 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Default re: TEXAS enacts white list - AGA forward

Texgal

would you please change the title of this thread to something more appropriate and that would catch the eye of readers so they can become aware and hopefully get involved.

thanks

bob
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