I have written about Dan before, a Fallbrook native son who has gone out into the world and "done good." Dan corrected me last night, said he is not really a native species, having been actually "introduced" to the area at the age of three. I guess we have to call him a beneficial import.
We discussed a plethora of issues relating to plants, conservation and biodiversity and he clued the group in as to his official duties in Sacramento on behalf of the native landscape. There were several members of the Fallbrook Land Conservancy present and there was a spirited discussion regarding issues of both local and statewide significance, including our ever growing trail system. Dr. Gluesenkamp stressed the benefits of using local plants in the landscape and the positive role they play throughout the ecosystem.
The California Native Plant Society has nearly 10,000 members and 33 regional chapters. They work to represent the public's interest in protecting California's native plants and habitat. A 501 (c)3 nonprofit, the group was founded in 1965.
Thanks to resolution ACR 173 in the California State Assembly, the third week of April is now officially designated California Native Plant Week. Gluesenkamp explained how, due to a confluence of tectonic shifts, climate change and other unique causal factors, California has a remarkably biodiverse environment, with nearly 6000 known native plants and many more waiting to be discovered, according to the scientist. He says that we are only now starting to catalogue the many specific species that are native to our golden state.
He also points out that species are continuing to evolve, change and become in some cases extinct as the region deals with the result of global warming. Not to worry, says Dan, a very sanguine fellow, California will be a very exciting place to be in 5000 years, even if there are no longer humans around to experience it. Here's hoping that one day there actually will be intelligent hominid life forms on the planet, who knows?
I like Dan. We were talking about proposed delisting of a couple of plants in Inyo County and he says, while not referring to these specific plants ( I believe that one is a hyssop), that there are times that species do recover and do need to be taken off the protected rolls. A matter of intellectual and scientific integrity. Constructive without being gratuitously obstructive. I appreciate his positive attitude, while some environmentalists make it seem like we are in a grave and hopeless pitched battle and that the sky is always falling. Things change, it is the nature of life and we will hopefully steward that change in a responsible fashion.
If you are interested in California Native Plant Week you might want to check out cnpweek.org. If you wish to volunteer or make a donation to the Fallbrook Land Conservancy they can be found at this link. They do a remarkable job for our Fallbrook community.
If you have a chance to see this remarkable man speak, I would really recommend it. His knowledge is wide, his vision and approach is thought provoking and his good attitude and optimism infectious.