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Wildcrafting Ethics and Complexities

By Bruce Buren

I’m a lazy guy who enjoys the outdoors and good people, so the growing of native plants in their natural habitat provides the perfect setting for me. The less I do, the better the plants like it, and the people who share my passion tend to be good people. Of course, doing less does require knowledge. You must be well versed in how to harvest sustainably, and you must have an earnest familiarity with the character and history of the land you tend. This harvesting of plants from their native setting is called wildcrafting.

There are those who wildcraft without regard to the ethics or laws of what they are doing. They are, of course, a threat to the plants and the ecosystems that provide a suitable environment for the plants. These are the people who do not own the land, enter it without permission and virtually strip it of whatever plant they are seeking or happen to find. This type of wildcrafter does not consider the welfare of the plant population. Some plant colonies are very sensitive to soil compaction. Once the soil that supports one of these colonies is trampled, the delicate ecological balance is shattered. The plant colony’s natural potential to adapt and survive climatic change is damaged, usually for years.

Read the original article at: New Farm

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