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Thread: Ethical/legal question

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    bladespark's Avatar
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    Ethical/legal question

    I suspect the answer is going to be "maybe ethical but certainly not legal" but I figured I should ask the people who would know.

    I happen to know of the location of a healthy, thriving population of a carnivorous plant in the wild.

    They are not on my property. I'm pretty sure the land they are on is owned by the government, local, state or federal.

    I would never consider illegally collecting a plant. However, I also happen to know when they're most likely to be in seed...

    Would harvesting seeds be ethical? I feel it probably is, as it's not harming the plants in any way, they produce more seed than could possibly grow there with the area already saturated with established adult plants. So I don't think I'd feel any guilt about it.

    But would it be legal? I suspect it isn't, but I really am not familiar with what laws might apply. If it is illegal, exactly how illegal is it?

    I don't know if I'll ever actually do it, but if the temptation gets too great, I'd like to be at least vaguely familiar with the possible consequences. Any input appreciated. Any drama, really not, please don't start flaming me or anybody else over this.

    Thanks!
    I make fuzzy things.

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    swords's Avatar
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    It's a funny conundrum. CP and Orchid people always claim to say "no way" to unpermitted seed collecting while cacti/succulent people are fine with collection of only a single seed pod for personal use. All three groups frown on wild-collected plants. So whether it's legal or not only matters if you get caught in the field (probably incurring minimal fines). It's international smuggling that really gets one into the steep waters with the feds. legality is a risk only you can be willing to take, maybe Ozzy can tell us about the punishments doled out to those who would transgress wild CP habitats... Do they get the chair or the AK-47!? (As usual I'm just being silly, not intending to flame)

    The ethical aspects is really all up to you and it doesn't really matter what anyone else thinks cos they won't know where your plant came from unless you tell them. What do YOU think about someone collecting seed in the wild for personal use, can you live with having done it? Collecting seed for sale is obviously a very different question entirely.

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    herenorthere's Avatar
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    You'd be taking property, whether public or private, and might raise trespass issues too. That said, you knew that already. In my opinion, and not representing anyone or anything else's opinion, it's ethical to take a small amount of seeds if you distribute seeds around the area of the plants. Although I think it's ethical, it's illegal without the landowner's permission, even if not enforced.

    CP seeds don't spread that easily, so scatter some seeds in other promising spots near the plant. If you also carry out some trash and don't trample everything while there, I feel you will have done the plant and it's environment a favor. But others disagree with good justification and and I respect their opinion, even though I don't agree with them.
    Bruce in CT

    Madness is something rare in individuals — but in groups, parties, peoples, ages it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche

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    Your one and only pest! Ant's Avatar
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    I say leave the rare plants untouched unless they are doomed from the beginning. If they are very healthy and numerous, only collect 1 seed pod, and if you can return some of the seed produce by the seed you took back to the site. (Also don't cross the location specific plant with another plant that is not location specific or from another location.)

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    Capensis's Avatar
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    Maybe ethical, but certainly not legal.



    Heh, I don't know. It depends, what are they? Pings, dews, VFTs, Sarracenias?
    http://www.terraforums.com/forums/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=6789&dateline=1352508752

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    cmm889's Avatar
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    it is illegal, and rightfully so.

    I mean the floodgates would open up if we said... everyone can take just a bit and then its not a big deal

    i mean if I knew the particular batch of wild cp's and helped seed the area and took a couple for myself for non sale reasons I know I woudlnt feel "bad" for having done it, especially when I spread around the plants or cuttings from the plants I would potentially get from the seeds...

    however... its only a problem when it becomes widespread, its not about one person doing it to one natural location the concern is when a ton of " one persons " come and take their own " tiny amount "

    we all understand where I'm going with this...so yeah, in my opinion there needs to be rules on it, but will one persons collection do harmful damage? probably not..

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    Ethical...maybe. One of my favorite tests for how to behave is to consider what would happen if everyone behaved that way (so for this reason, lying, stealing, and murder are unethical). If everyone took "just a little," it could have a disastrous effect, as cmm said.

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    grumpus's Avatar
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    If the land is private, it's neither ethical nor legal to trespass and remove anything - even tiny seeds. If it's "public" land the ethical question becomes more interesting, though it's probably still illegal.

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