Archive for March, 2011

In late 2010, HB 338 was introduced into the Texas House requiring a disclaimer on lists of noxious or invasive plants. In effect, this bill would trivialize the information published about invasive plants from native plant advocates and other government agencies.

NPSOT members are encouraged to speak out in opposition and propose a better, stronger plan regarding control of invasive non-native plants. All people concerned with the damage that invasives can do to our environment should take some action.

At a minimum, please contact your state representatives to ask them to oppose HB 338. At maximum, NPSOT members can share their expertise with legislators and others who are stakeholders in this effort. We can start the process to have an active and responsible way to designate invasive and noxious plants that have the potential to damage Texas’ ecosystems.

The Native Plant Society of Texas (NPSOT) opposes HB 338 because:

1) It restricts appropriate discussion of a broad topic. Well-known authorities with expertise on invasive plants are frequently found working in public agencies in addition to the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) and these people would be restricted in their communications about invasive plants.

2) It weakens the message and diminishes the expertise provided by public agencies and organizations regarding plants that are invasive in a particular ecosystem, habitat, park, or preserve.

3) It confuses the public by suggesting that only plants on the TDA noxious or invasive plant list are a problem. This mixed message is wasteful of limited time and financial resources.

4) It may lead to a cessation of invasive plant eradication efforts by public entities and volunteers who may question the effectiveness of their efforts.

5) It ignores the fact that Texas agencies spend millions of dollars annually on eradication efforts for terrestrial invasive plants. State, county and municipal employees spend thousands of hours managing invasive plants on public properties while TDA permits growing and selling of the same plants.

6) HB 338 may be the first step in restricting prohibition of invasive species and our efforts to replace the sale of invasive plants with native alternatives. This is, in itself, an environmental disaster of huge proportions in-the-making. Will this bill also lead to future action to stop eradication efforts?

You may think you’ve seen Texas native plants and wildflowers before, but you haven’t seen them like Steve has!

Steven Schwartzman, photographer, mathematician and fellow Austin NPSOTer, takes nature photography to an artistic level rarely seen in nature books.  You’ll be intrigued by the unusual perspectives, angles, colors and light.  Through amazing close-ups, Steve reveals details and features that you are likely to have overlooked.  Steve’s work has appeared in Texas Highways magazine and in Wildflower, the magazine of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Join us for Steve’s presentation “The World of Nature in Central Texas.” He’s even promised to include some photos of critters found on our natives (look left!).

Tuesday, March 15, 7:00-9:00 p.m., Wild Basin Wilderness meeting room, 805 N. Capital of Texas Highway.