the need for more, not less, scientific collecting

Thu Dec 5 09:22:13 CST 1996

TH 5 Dec 907a


    I agree with Hugh Wilson on this business about collecting on
private land. If there is a perceived need to collect or browse
around on somebody's land, every effort should be made to contact
land owners before the act. (Especially now--seems like it's
more dangerous to trespass now than used to be.) Obviously it's not
always easy to do that once you are already out in the I
was reminded (again) this summer in western VA.

    I was fortunate enough to work with the Heritage Program (which
was at that time a small part of a very large Wildlife Department) in
SC back in the 80's, and pretty much had easy access to private land.
There was something disarming about me in a uniform with patches, a
cap, briar trousers, and a fierce-looking 4-wheel drive vehicle with
a picture of a deer and a fish on the door. (Never did have a gun,
though!) Something of an unstated and absolutely unofficial "license
to trespass".  Landwoners I ran into were invariably interested in
talking about hunting stories and the availability of fishing
licenses (from my truck), etc. Somewhat surprized to find out I was
more interested in the possibilty of finding, for instance, Camassia
scilloides on their property, I believe I was sometimes dismissed as
a curiosty--welcome to browse around as much as I wanted, sometimes
in their company.

    Sigh--the good old days.


John B. Nelson
Curator of the Herbarium (USCH)
Department of Biological Sciences
University of South Carolina
Columbia SC 29208

nelson at
803-777-8196 phone
803-777-4002 fax

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