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'Butterfly of Hope'



What an enchanting conception of Daniel Viellieux and Joseph Ferber, to transform Arcata into wildlife habitat ("The Butterfly Effect," April 20)! So stubbornly pure a thing to be thinking about when our government is smashing wildlife and human habitat to smithereens in our name all over the planet! It offers a little cosmic balance, like the butterfly of hope, which flew out of Pandora's box.

But why must all the plants be native? What about roses and lilacs, which both bees and people like a lot? Anyway, aren't many of us humans non-native species?

Their vision reminds me of a wonderful document written by ordinary people in 2011 at the World People's Conference on Climate Change. It is called The Rights of Mother Earth and has since become part of the Bolivian and Ecuadoran constitutions, and been submitted to the United Nations for consideration.

It asserts that Earth itself and all beings have rights, and that conflicts between their rights must be resolved in a way that maintains the integrity, balance and health of Mother Earth.

A new organization formed this spring: the Alliance for Indigenous and Environmental Action, an inspiration of some Pomo tribal members and their friends in Mendocino. Commanding attention to the vital importance of connectivity and health of the Pacific Coast Range and its precious habitat, they will carry a log, in procession and with prayer, as it is passed from group to group up the coast, from California to Alaska.

Like the enterprise of Viellieux and Ferber, it is a spiritual as well as a scientific concept. The consonance of these two universes is critically important at this time, when the government is "gunning for Galileo," as Denis Hayes, the founder of Earth Day, described its contempt for knowledge, in his speech at the April 22 March for Science in Washington.

Ellen Taylor, Petrolia


I am always very happy to see people opening their eyes to our unique and wonderful natural environment. However, the entire North Coast, with its cool, moist summers and plentiful rain is being threatened by a massive infestation of English ivy that has already swallowed miles of rural land, including a good portion of our state parks. This noxious weed spreads both through its root system and through the berries which birds eat. Native vegetation cannot compete with it, and it can topple trees.

The end result is the loss of diversity in the environment, as native plants disappear and the animals which depend upon them. I bet there is plenty of ivy in the Arcata Community Forest, in uncultivated empty lots, along the roadsides, and in the creekbeds. I urge Daniel Viellieux and Joseph Ferber to check this out for themselves and to make a priority out of finding ways to eliminate this scourge.

For more information, contact the No Ivy League at [email protected].

 Elaine Weinreb, Trinidad

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