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Thread: In the spotlight

  1. #41
    BigBella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Not a Number View Post
    The charges were under the Lacey Act. While you can legally acquire or posses CITES appendix I and II species "Under the Lacey Act, it is unlawful to import, export, sell, acquire, or purchase fish, wildlife or plants that are taken, possessed, transported, or sold: 1) in violation of U.S. or Indian law, or 2) in interstate or foreign commerce involving any fish, wildlife, or plants taken possessed or sold in violation of State or foreign law."

    Since the N. villosa was apparently "smuggled" - probably lacking the required PPQ 587 permits, and phytosanitary and CITES documentations (the last are to be supplied by the exporter/shipper/seller) - then the Lacey Act has been violated. Possession, selling and buying these illegally obtained plants is also a violation of the Lacey Act if I'm reading this correctly.



    https://www.fws.gov/le/pdffiles/Lacey.pdf
    https://www.fws.gov/international/la...lacey-act.html
    https://www.fws.gov/le/injurious-wildlife.html
    http://www.aphis.usda.gov/wps/portal...2Fct_lacey_act

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  2. #42

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    So I need a little clarification on the Lacey act. Is it illegal to sell or trade villosa/hamata in interstate without a cites and permits other than the phytosanitary even though the mother plants originally came with cites certification and permits.
    Last edited by Raistlarn; 07-14-2017 at 10:37 AM.
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  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raistlarn View Post
    So I need a little clarification on the Lacey act. Is it illegal to sell or trade villosa/hamata in interstate without a cites and permits other than the phytosanitary even though the mother plants originally came with cites certification and permits.
    CITES only regulates international trade. Once a CITES-protected plant has been legally imported into the country, only local regulations apply (such as the ESA, which only covers native plants.) I am not aware of any laws restricting inter-state trade of non-native endangered plants within the US.

  4. #44
    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    Grand Hotel... always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens.

  5. #45
    Lotsa blue bluemax's Avatar
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    This is a much more even-handed article than the sensationalist trash printed in the Portland Mercury. I notice that there is the statement of : "Prosecutors say Orchard trafficked in more than $40,000 worth of pitcher plants between 2013 and 2015." This is relating what the prosecutors claimed and the slant of it is that the word 'trafficked' implies that this $40k worth of plants were imported illegally. During that time period Mat imported lots of plants often acting as an agent of a company that sells to buyers in the US. The vast majority of these plants were imported completely legally. However, being as so much plant material was being sent to his address he certainly drew scrutiny from govt. agencies - not surprisingly. Beyond that point, this seems to be a fairly straight account of the whole sad affair.
    - Mark

  6. #46
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    Obviously there are distasteful things about this story - buying plants from the wild, "smuggling", etc.

    But really, the article is bizarre. It sounds like growing nepenthes itself is illegal in the US - which is complete nonsense. Also "started buying more and more plants" sounds like almost everyone of us here. He spent more than he earned on plants, which is pretty stupid for a "smuggling" business.

    This sounds more like the authorities found someone breaking the law, so they spent more than he ever earned investigating him for years - when it is likely they could have accused him of the same and got the same result. If he was getting them in without a CITES certificate, that was that.

    I know a lot of people don't like "smugglers". But frankly, I'm more worried about the Nepenthes rajah and the 150 (likely more) nepenthes who lost their human taking care of them.

    There is little they achieved other than preventing a guy from selling illegally acquired sales.

    Also the "dirt on the roots" and "pests" is pure ********. Lots of barerooted plants often have media on the roots. And if anyone here claims plants grown in cultivation don't have pests, they are bullshitting. He was not the one who poached them, and unless he admitted to knowing that he purchased from poachers, all he did was purchased plants without proper certificates - which, let us admit it, are expensive - we'd rather buy another plant with the money.

    They didn't get the Malaysian poacher who is still active - or is actually running a legit business and supplying certificates to those who pay for them. In other words, what the chap probably needed was a lawyer. Sadly, he couldn't sell his Nepenthes collection to pay for them, because the state probably stole it in the name of evidence.

    I hate the rape of the wilderness, sure, but this is reading more like a story of "state got small guy for lack of paperwork". And let us not even pretend that proper established smuggling businesses wouldn't have a way of getting the CITES certificates done - if need be, buy running a nursery as a front.

    The story would hold weight if they actually caught the guys poaching from the wilds. All they got was a hobbyist looking to earn some money to fund his hobby.

    I don't know about US or Malaysia, but in India such laws are used more to harass people than to actually protect anything. You can't fix poaching in Malaysia by arresting small timers in the US. The country has to be interested in saving its species. Or there will be an endless supply of people to arrest because they got lured by a chap who provided affordable plants and absolutely no change to the species being protected except for a few "evidence" specimens likely dying from inexperienced care (or someone getting a lot of someone else's expensive plants for free in the name of justice).

    I guess I am cynical. Commenting on politics in India will do that to you.

    'The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.' ~ Anatole France

    Very often what appears to be "justice" is a matter of money giving access to legitimacy. Paying for a certificate doesn't actually protect plants (which are usually at greatest danger from their own governments allowing threats to their environment). If you run a massive nursery or are rich, you can afford "exotic" plants with CITES certificates. If you are not, and cut corners, you are a criminal. That is all. The source of the plants could well be the same.

    Note: The Malaysian source is not actually proved to be a poacher.
    Last edited by Vidyut; 02-03-2018 at 02:47 PM. Reason: Added my favorite quote.
    Balcony farmer, carnivorous plants, DIY, sustainability, socio-political commentary India.

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vidyut View Post
    I don't know about US or Malaysia, but in India such laws are used more to harass people than to actually protect anything. You can't fix poaching in Malaysia by arresting small timers in the US. The country has to be interested in saving its species. Or there will be an endless supply of people to arrest because they got lured by a chap who provided affordable plants and absolutely no change to the species being protected except for a few "evidence" specimens likely dying from inexperienced care (or someone getting a lot of someone else's expensive plants for free in the name of justice).
    There is certainly some discontent in the community about plant protection laws, and CITES specifically. CITES was designed around protecting animals, and when the same regulations are applied to plants it can make obtaining those plants legally so difficult, that it can actually have the opposite of the intended effect and encourage poaching. CITES I plants require ludicrous amounts of paperwork and honestly it's quite amazing that anyone manages to legally transport N. rajah internationally.

    Speaking of Malaysia though, I don't think these regulations are enforced much if at all. There's protected areas in national parks that are somewhat enforced, though poachers still do manage to get in there and remove plants. Here, nobody really seems to understand the regulations - each person you talk to will say something different. Plant inspections can depend on who's doing the inspection, and the officials will pick out the strangest things as being wrong. For instance, one person last year ordered 12 Nepenthes (all CITES II) from Europe without permits (you don't need a permit to import 12 or fewer plants, though you do for CITES but it's not entirely clear whether you need them for CITES II or just CITES I.) The inspection station decided that 2 of those 12 plants needed an extra permit, even though they all have the same classification under CITES.

  8. #48
    I am a CPaholic... DJ57's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vidyut View Post
    Obviously there are distasteful things about this story - buying plants from the wild, "smuggling", etc.

    But really, the article is bizarre. It sounds like growing nepenthes itself is illegal in the US - which is complete nonsense. Also "started buying more and more plants" sounds like almost everyone of us here. He spent more than he earned on plants, which is pretty stupid for a "smuggling" business.

    This sounds more like the authorities found someone breaking the law, so they spent more than he ever earned investigating him for years - when it is likely they could have accused him of the same and got the same result. If he was getting them in without a CITES certificate, that was that.

    I know a lot of people don't like "smugglers". But frankly, I'm more worried about the Nepenthes rajah and the 150 (likely more) nepenthes who lost their human taking care of them.

    There is little they achieved other than preventing a guy from selling illegally acquired sales.

    Also the "dirt on the roots" and "pests" is pure ********. Lots of barerooted plants often have media on the roots. And if anyone here claims plants grown in cultivation don't have pests, they are bullshitting. He was not the one who poached them, and unless he admitted to knowing that he purchased from poachers, all he did was purchased plants without proper certificates - which, let us admit it, are expensive - we'd rather buy another plant with the money.

    They didn't get the Malaysian poacher who is still active - or is actually running a legit business and supplying certificates to those who pay for them. In other words, what the chap probably needed was a lawyer. Sadly, he couldn't sell his Nepenthes collection to pay for them, because the state probably stole it in the name of evidence.

    I hate the rape of the wilderness, sure, but this is reading more like a story of "state got small guy for lack of paperwork". And let us not even pretend that proper established smuggling businesses wouldn't have a way of getting the CITES certificates done - if need be, buy running a nursery as a front.

    The story would hold weight if they actually caught the guys poaching from the wilds. All they got was a hobbyist looking to earn some money to fund his hobby.

    I don't know about US or Malaysia, but in India such laws are used more to harass people than to actually protect anything. You can't fix poaching in Malaysia by arresting small timers in the US. The country has to be interested in saving its species. Or there will be an endless supply of people to arrest because they got lured by a chap who provided affordable plants and absolutely no change to the species being protected except for a few "evidence" specimens likely dying from inexperienced care (or someone getting a lot of someone else's expensive plants for free in the name of justice).

    I guess I am cynical. Commenting on politics in India will do that to you.

    'The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal their bread.' ~ Anatole France

    Very often what appears to be "justice" is a matter of money giving access to legitimacy. Paying for a certificate doesn't actually protect plants (which are usually at greatest danger from their own governments allowing threats to their environment). If you run a massive nursery or are rich, you can afford "exotic" plants with CITES certificates. If you are not, and cut corners, you are a criminal. That is all. The source of the plants could well be the same.

    Note: The Malaysian source is not actually proved to be a poacher.

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