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Natives Going Rogue



The young men proposing to attain a wildlife sanctuary status for Arcata might want to explain to the rest of us what qualifications a "native" plant or animal would need. Who would decide if a plant is on the right side of the border or not? Would the deciders need to be native themselves? Should these illegal plants and animals be deported or simply dispatched?

I also didn't quite understand if the backyard sanctuary could be legally visited periodically by the home owner if they themselves did not have the proper native identification. Should I dig up those heirloom roses and apple trees our resident deer love to help prune? Do the roses have a homeland they can be sent home to?

Assuming there is a boundary line designating where all plants and animals belong, where is that line and when do we start building a wall? What type of Native Security Agency should be in place to keep "natives" from going rouge, turning non-native and — OMG! — hybridizing on the other side?

Before I got too confused, after reading the article, I took a deep breath and remembered we are all Earth natives. I went out to the work bench, put together and hung up another birdhouse. Even if it means I am harboring a couple of fugitive love birds that flew in from the other side of the line, I still feel good because it's a sound house built out of re-re-recycled old growth redwood. And besides, we all came from somewhere else anyway.

Uri Driscoll, Arcata

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