A novel definition of “wilderness”
As our readers know, we troll the websites of supporters of the native plant movement, looking for clues about the basis for belief in that ideology. We hope that our understanding will enable us to provide the scientific information to our readers that will reveal the fallacies of nativism.
The following comment on the San Francisco Forest Alliance website alerted us to a new theme in this debate: native plant advocates seem to believe that we can and should return our urban parks to “wilderness.”
“It is interesting that your post shows the trail side covered with English ivy, and possibly a fallen eucalyptus or two. Each of these is a non-native element. Any and all exotic species present in the canyon destroy the wilderness aspect of Glen Canyon Park.
Please note the term “wilderness”. It implies natural, native flora and fauna; the wild plants and the bird and animal populations that support one another. That is what we want to have if we want a wild retreat. A morass of garden escapes and foreign invasive species is to be deplored. Let’s progress toward returning the area to a REAL wilderness. Do not let the concept that a plant’s becoming established in an area is a sign of its becoming native to the area. It remains an invasive element, a weed. It disrupts and destroys the normal habitat of native plants, animals, and insects in its surroundings.
It will be a huge and long term task, but we can restore the entire canyon to a truly wilderness state. Lets get started!”
In this particular native plant advocate’s view, wilderness is composed exclusively of native plants. Everything else must be eradicated. If chainsaws and pesticides must be used repeatedly in perpetuity, so be it. All this destruction is justified by the glorious goal of “wilderness.” This wilderness is apparently not disturbed by chainsaws and pesticides. Presumably they must be ignored to achieve the glorious goal.
We rarely indulge in sarcasm on Million Trees. We hope our readers recognize it when they see it.