I would like to apologize to Locally Delicious and anyone else I might have offended with the article "Grow Local, Grow Natives" of mine that ran in the Sept. 21 Journal. I do not want to point fingers or divide the community any further, I would rather we work together to solve the issues that we face now and in the future. Many of us are unaware of our current situation regarding native biodiversity and ecosystem functions and it is not our fault, it is a subject not covered by our traditional sources of information.
Humboldt County can be deceiving, small towns surrounded by green open space and forested hills. It appears to be a lush environment, however, if you take a closer look, most of the native vegetation is missing. Our roadsides, meadows, urban yards and landscapes are primarily non-native species. Our green forests are tree farms also overrun by non-native species. All of these areas were highly productive ecosystems at one time but, in terms of biodiversity and ecosystem function, are severely degraded.
People are wondering what happened to our wildlife and the simple answer is we destroyed their habitat which was comprised of diverse native plant species that wildlife co-evolved with. We replaced this natural habitat with non-native plant species most wildlife cannot eat, the majority of wildlife are specialists and depend on special relationships with native plants and native ecosystems that they developed over thousands of years.
California is a world hot spot of bio-diversity with more than 8,000 species, sub-species and varieties of native plants, more than all other states combined. We also have the most endangered species of any state which shows we are losing this incredible natural abundance.
Please search YouTube for Douglas Tallamy and Biodiversity and GreenGold, a documentary by John D. Liu. Both are experts in the subject.
Monty Caid, Eureka