identifications

Anita Cholewa anita at MOZART.CBS.UMN.EDU
Wed Oct 23 13:12:56 CDT 1996


In response to Barbara's comments ...
California is different from many other states in that you
apparantly have a lot of botanically (amateur/professional)
oriented people that appear to have many connections to one
another.  In other states, it is not feasible (from both an
economic and from a logistical perspective) to keep track
of all the various inventory-type projects that may be taking
place.  There are several consulting firms in my state but
they may be involved in projects in both my state and elsewhere
and there is no way I can keep track of all the projects they
do in my state in an attempt to be the watchdog.  Similar
comments can be made for departments within larger governmental
agencies--a state park may be making a plant inventory and the
local heritage program doesn't necessarily know about it or is
only concerned when the list includes plants on various rare
lists.  Neither my university nor the heritage program has
the time or the financial resources to be the watchdog.  We
can, however, insist on certain standards in the projects in
which we are involved (and we do).  But that doesn't solve the
problem of proper identification and the bigger problem of
the overall impression of taxonomy/systematics by others.
I just came from a staff meeting in which a faculty member asked
why the department should make a long term committment to
systematics, "what if systematics should become obsolete" he
said.
ANITA
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