No subject

Mon May 23 11:56:33 CDT 1994

     The discussion on collection data access seems, not unpredictably, to
have wobbled over to the well-worn debate over "good hunters - slob hunters".
As one who has logged many pleasurable hours collecting insects, I too regret
to see limitations popping up on all sides.  However, I must also say that as a
group we've generally been  slow to police ourselves (as are other self-
interested professionals like doctors, lawyers, etc.) and purge the "slobs" who
see their private collecting prerogatives as more important that the lives of
entire species.   Inevitably come the citizen activists and government
bureaucrats who are happy to do the job for us and who are firmly convinced
they know how to define science better than we.
     One reason for data encryption has not yet been mentioned (except in
passing by a botanist, I believe).  A very clear danger in precise locality data
for rare species is biotic cleansing by developers coveting the ground where
that species lives.  Far-fetched?  A Los Angeles Times article in 1992
documented cases where "developers" (no doubt of the Serbian school of land
management)  deliberately set out to kill off anything on their land that might
possibly be protected by the ESA.   With locality data (and maybe even
illustrations) freely available electronically, exterminating everything rare on
property could become as SOP as title searches.   Therefore, I feel it is
imperative to encode locality data on not only listed T&E species but all
species on the Candidate lists as well.

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