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Thread: A fleeting idea for helping in conservation

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    endparenthesis's Avatar
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    An idea occured to me today and I'm wondering if it holds any promise or not.

    My family has about 500 acres of land in Virginia. On this land there's a big pond (about an acre) that was created by beavers building a dam... no idea how long it's been there. So there is a little segment of land you might consider bog or wetlands. I don't know how long it takes for an area like this to become deficient in nutrients, or anything about the becoming-a-bog process, really. This pond is also located within the woods... so I'm not sure how much direct sunlight it gets during the day.

    But this land isn't touched by anyone but my family, and will remain in my family for decades to come. It's used for harvesting lumber, but I can probably do whatever I want to with the pond itself. Does anyone think it would be a good idea to try seeding this area with Sarrs? Or even other CPs as well?

    I'm pretty clueless about the logistics of doing something like this... I don't even have any Sarrs. For example, would I want to put in many species, or just one to keep a pure strain? Should they be wild-grown plants/seeds? What season should I do it during? How do I know if the soil is even suitable? I'm sure I'd have a hundred questions if I really thought about it.

    Also, I know part of the land is kept open for reasons of conservation, and that the state helps pay for the maintenance of that area as long as it fits their criteria. Might there be something similar for this situation? I guess if I stick to seeds this would be a pretty inexpensive operation, but it would be nice if this made us eligible for some kind of financial compensation. This one is a longshot, I know.

    So, any thoughts anyone? Is this a silly notion?

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    SirKristoff is a poopiehead Ozzy's Avatar
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    I think it may be a good idea. I'll stress the word "May". If the land is ok for cp's, I would plant only plants that are native to VA. I think the only pitcher plants from there are S.flava and S.purpurea. I would also look into finding plants with local location data.
    You should be very careful if you plan to plant plants that are to native to the area.
    If you have any questions or need help, contact me.

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    endparenthesis's Avatar
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    Quick note... the Conservation Station section might be a better place for this thread. I'll let a mod decide.

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    Have you had any visits to your property by people in a position to help you identify what plants are already growing there? You might want to consider contacting a native plant organization in your area and see if some one will come for a visit-
    http://www.vnps.org/

    There's the Virginia Dept of Conservation and Recreation's Native Plants for Conservation, Restoration, and Landscaping and these people are top notch-
    http://www.dcr.state.va.us/dnh/native.htm

    There always the Vriginia Dept of Forestry-
    http://www.dof.virginia.gov/
    I've purchased bareroot stock from them and it has been my experience there are many quality people there who might be in a position to agree to a site visit.

    Here's a link to the Nature Conservancy's Virginia chapter-
    http://nature.org/wherewework/northa...ates/virginia/
    I work with these people a lot and find them to be my first stop.

    Regarding the logistics of what you're considering, best to identify any exotic invasive species that may be present and address their existence first. You asked this question, "How do I know if the soil is even suitable?" You test it and work from there. All will fall into place after any introduced non native invasive species are removed. You want to pay particular attention to the removal of any species that may be aleopathic. I have one such species present on my property that is aleopathic. It is buckthorn but there were a few others that I had to remove. Here's a link to buckthorn-
    http://www.outbacknursery.com/lib_buct.htm
    I had to remove the buckthorn before I could begin working my land. I think your idea is wonderful actually. I'm doing just what you are considering right here on my own property and I am so glad I started and no longer look back. Our property will be retained in the family for years to come also so there was no time like the present to start the clean up.

    As far as financial compensation, I wouldn't count on it. The Feds spent around 150 billion dollars (not 150 million but 150 billion) cleaning up exotic invasive species last year and funding isn't all that available.

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    endparenthesis's Avatar
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    Unfortunately I live practically on the other end of the state from the land, and have only visited there once years ago. I'm trying to figure out if this can even be done in any "official" manner in any way, because it has to be somewhat of a "set it and forget it" operation... I could visit a few times a year. I also don't have much in the way of funds for this at the moment... only elbow grease. So I know if I do it it's unfortunately going to have to be a compromise of some sort, I just don't know how much.

    Those were some excellent resources... I appreciate the help.

    My uncle actually used to be in the highest unelected position in the North Carolina Forestry Department, and he's the one unofficially in charge of the land, so I'll definitely have to talk to him about it at some point.

    Stuff to think about.

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    Leaf cuttings/pullings. What good is Barry's (already done?) article in CPN if no one uses it? Ypu could take a couple leaves and put them in the baggie or what ever from these locations and here you have nice new plants. I do not know if flava works but it cannot hurt to try. Leaf cuttings for the Drosera also. I would try growing the Drosra before the Sarrs just incase they do not like the pond

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    Say endparenthesis, Oh how I wish there were "set it and forget it" operations out there for your family's property that were funded. Sadly, to the best of my knowledge... no such thing exists or all of our lands (both public and private) would be in a much healthier state. Good news is that elbow grease... and a decent chainsaw... and a little bit of Garlon 3 full strength are sometimes all it takes to get going in the right direction. You seem so sincere. May I be so bold as to suggest a book for you to read? The book is "Noah's Garden" by Sara Stein. "A Sand County Almanac" by Aldo Leopold would most probably help you better understand the complexity of the issues you may be facing.

    Your uncle is going to be an invaluable resource. Sounds to me as if he may have already taken advantage of some tax breaks that may be available in your state. Please get together with him and share your thougths with him.

    Next time you visit that property, please take photos of the flora. If your images are good quality, I would most probably be capable of identifying quite a few species you have. I often fall miserably short in all but the commonest of sedges, rushes, and grasses though. Exotic invasives would be my thing.

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    endparenthesis's Avatar
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    I guess "plants need land" and "I have land" isn't always a match made in heaven. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img]

    Well we've explored the most complex ways of doing this... just to cover all our bases I should explore the simplest ways too. I'd rather not take the easy way out, but I only have so much time and resources, and I can always do more in the future.

    So hypothetically, if I were to gather a bunch of home-grown seeds of VA native sarr species (or seeds from someone else owning VA land with sarrs... I assume that's one of the few routes I can take that don't make me a poacher) and scatter them there and see what happens... what's the worst case scenario? They don't grow and we find out my conditions are inhospitable, right? Technically I don't think I'm conserving anything anyway since there's nothing there as far as I know, and the land is about 100 miles away from the coast (nearing the mountain foothills) so it isn't the ideal habitat to begin with.

    I'd just like to be clear on exactly what's so ineffective about doing this sort of thing so I'd know why to avoid it. The plants don't have natural origins, so does that make them "invasive" in a way? Plus if I do it this way and I want to do it more "officially" later, have I now contaminated my bog? What other pitfalls are there?

    There's one other thing that concerns me about this. As I said, the rest of the land is used for logging (this land put me through college actually). At some point some logging is going to be done near the pond, how close to it would be up to us. If I do this as officially as possible, I'm wondering if there's going to be a conflict there. Would a buffer of an acre or two be enough to protect the plants when the trees come down? This is something my uncle would know something about I think, but I figured I'd get extra input.

    Anyway... I'm getting the feeling that simply having more plants in the world today than you had yesterday isn't enough when it comes to trying to protect a species. I just need to figure out what is. It's probably too late to get things going for this year (seed sowing should be happening about now, shouldn't it?), so I guess I have some time to figure things out.

    I'll take a look at those books you mentioned, Laura. Thanks again. I'll post more if I think of it.

    Wouldn't it be cool if I visited there and found out there were sarrs there all along. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img]

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