Heard about the aquatic plant ban in Texas? Your state next? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 12:42 PM Thread Starter
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Angry Heard about the aquatic plant ban in Texas? Your state next?

Have you heard about the new legislation (passed legislation!) in Texas whereby a "white list" of approved aquatic plants is being developed by the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife. By January 27, 2011, any one who possesses ANY aquatic plant not on the list will be subject of a fine of $500 per plant.

Any plant that the TPWD did not even consider and so could not possibly be on the white list becoms immediately banned.

New plants must be submitted to the TPWD for evaluation before anyone in Texas can legally possess them.

Read more about this at this thread:

http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...sociation.html

Public aquariums, wastewater treatment plants, research institutions and a couple of others can apply for permits to possess selected banned plants. There is no provision to allow "exotic plant" permits (for otherwise banned plants) to private individuals.

Specifically banned plants include (among others):
C. Wentdii
C. Becketti
Rotala indica

I am writing about this action here as Texas is one of the "trend setters" in new attempts to control the spread of invasive plants. Your state is undoubtedly watching what happens in Texas. You will likely be next!

Bob
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post #2 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 12:51 PM
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Other states have it. I live in Minnesota and I know some of the hygrophila are on it.


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post #3 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 02:06 PM
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The difference is that Texas is maintaining a list of allowed plants. As far as I know , all other states maintain a list of prohibited plants.

I know aquatic plant prohibitions are there for good reason. Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge in Concord, MA is literally covered in the summer with water chestnut. It's doing terrible things to the ecosystem. They actually have giant "harvesting" machines to scoop water chestnut out of the marshes - it's a real mess.

I'm really torn between a sense that government is overreaching with a white list restriction model, and an acknowledgement that a list of allowed plants is likely to be a more effective means of stopping invasive aquatic plant species.
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post #4 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 02:10 PM
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Well, Texas is not doing it for fun or to mess with you.

It's a real problem that cost the state money.


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post #5 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 02:14 PM
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Wow that's horrid. There are always so many interesting species new to cultivation that are constantly popping up :/
Does Texas realize that those plants banned are not actually true aquatic plants? Is it legal if you grow them emmersed? :P

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post #6 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 02:16 PM
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Any indication of how cumbersome is the process of getting a plant ON to that list going to be? Can anyone apply? Is there an org/hobbyist association that can take this on? I *get* the purpose of the list, but it does seem that they’re coming at the issue backwards.

People of TX: You may have elodea for your tanks. It's pretty. It's green. The great Perry has spoken.


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post #7 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 06:22 PM
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I live on lake austin,
We are plagued with hydrilla and a couple other non native species. The problem is so bad that every other year the lake has to be drained so they can control it. I have heard from numerous people that this problem was created by a gentleman many years ago who grew aquatic plants, He would dump his cuttings into the river. But who knows how much truth there is behind that
My neighbors were at one point concerned about my clippings and how i disposed of them.
I have a burn pit and i burn all of them, When i change my water i put panty hose on the end of the hose to catch anything I suck up to keep it out of the river system.
It's a big deal and as much as I hate to say it! something that needs to be addressed.
This list will most likely not affect alot of us.
But who really knows texas has some funny ways sometimes
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post #8 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 06:44 PM
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Simple answers NEVER work. If all were responsible hobbyists and disposed of plants properly this crap wouldn't happen, although the majority are transfered by trailered boats. Some are intended releases also like the snakehead fish in S. Florida.

The government can't fix stupid or legislate common sense.

OH WAIT! government intervention was what I was posting about, never mind.


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post #9 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 07:21 PM
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I agree a healthy dose of information and common sense would be preferable, but at this point that has already failed repeatedly and consistently. Now, it's a question of lesser evils.

My city passed something that makes texting while driving illegal. I think it's a stupid bit of legislation, but there are THAT many people that cannot apply common sense that it became a problem.

The sad truth is that we need laws and regulation if we want to live together. It isn't an elaborate government troll (not that that doesn't happen). It is the last resort in a costly problem. We all know that everything the government does is bad and wrong, but the sad truth is that outside of academia everyone acting in their own self interests doesn't always work out the way it should.

I agree though, it is a bummer.


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post #10 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 10:30 PM
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I think white listing is the most logical answer to the problem of invasive species and don't have a problem with this. Same thing with blocking websites on a corporate network, a white list makes more sense than an ever growing black list.
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post #11 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-06-2011, 12:59 AM
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It seems to me that white listing things would cost far more in the long run in legal problems, and studying a plant to see if it could get on the list than it would be to black list already known invasive species and add as more information comes to light. How about an education campaign to educate people to destroy their clippings instead of releasing them into native waterways. And then to increase the fine to a very heavy hitting fine for getting caught breaking the law. All the white list does is hurt the responsible people that wish to enjoy the hobby, and wish to keep these plants instead of hurting the people who are irresponsible.


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post #12 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-06-2011, 03:01 AM
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I already brought this up on APC, but you can you imagine what might be going through Francis Xavier's and Jeff Senske's heads right now?

I posited on APC that since Texas is so business friendly, maybe if a business man who depends on an aspect of this hobby were to speak up it might have an impact. I'm willing to make a small donation to bring them from Houston to Austin for the event, maybe let them stay a couple of nights, chauffeur them around, anything.

I'd even be for perhaps modestly priced permits, anything, just not the whitelisting and the plans they have to run it.

"You are much better off with no numbers than meaningless ones. The minute you believe numbers uncritically, that is, without understanding how they're calculated and how well they measure whatever they're supposed to measure, you will generate a breed of employee who will produce numbers and not results. Your data-processing system will then serve not to describe reality but to lie about it."

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post #13 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-06-2011, 03:25 AM
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You can rest assured. We have been fighting this tooth and nail since we first got notification of the act.

I will personally be at the Katy, Texas hearing and will probably attempt to make the Austin, Texas hearing as well at the headquarters.

While some of these plants are invasive and make perfect sense - others, make no sense what so ever, most notable few that Luis Navarro even pointed out to me will die in temperatures under 72 degrees and over 78 degrees. These plants that are likely to die even in perfect aquarium settings are not capable of living outside an aquarium in Texas.

I am building a case for an Aquascapers permit for such plants that have been properly trained in disposal of the aquarium plants under the notion that Texas is one of the largest epicenters for Planted aquarium Aquascapers in the nation and serves as a base line in the expansion of a unique art that has been heavily influenced by Texas inspired by such Texas natural wonders such as the San Marcos river.

Plants like Rotala Rotundifolia being banned on the list is -really- not a good sign for Aquascaping.

Frank Wazeter
Aquascaper for life.
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post #14 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-06-2011, 04:43 AM
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They can make laws all day long about anything, but in the end you have to remember that laws do not stop anything. They only punish after the fact. So making a law that says someone can't have a certain plant doesn't really solve the problem. The only person that is going to follow the law, will be responsible hobbyist that wouldn't dispose of plants improperly in the fist place. So this law doesn't really serve any purpose, except to make whoever came up with it, look good to someone else that pushed for it and to generate some money through fines and permits. The problem of invasive "weeds" will still be there with or without this law.

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post #15 of 46 (permalink) Old 01-06-2011, 04:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noahma View Post
It seems to me that white listing things would cost far more in the long run in legal problems, and studying a plant to see if it could get on the list than it would be to black list already known invasive species and add as more information comes to light. How about an education campaign to educate people to destroy their clippings instead of releasing them into native waterways. And then to increase the fine to a very heavy hitting fine for getting caught breaking the law. All the white list does is hurt the responsible people that wish to enjoy the hobby, and wish to keep these plants instead of hurting the people who are irresponsible.
Didn't see this before I posted. Well said.

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