Supporting Systematics

Mary Barkworth Mary at BIOLOGY.USU.EDU
Tue Aug 29 15:46:30 CDT 2000

I recommend "Safeguarding American Plant Resources: A stakeholder review
of the APHIS-PPQ Safeguarding System" published by the USDA-Animal and
Plant health Inspection Service Plant Protection and Quarantine
(USDA-APHIS-PPQ) in 1999 as source of useful, and quotable comments on the
importance of taxonomy. What I particularly like is that it comes from an
agency that draws on taxonomic resources.  The pages to turn to are those
on taxonomic Services pp. 105-117. The first statement is that "Correct
taxonomic identification of organisms is critically important to the work
of PPQ". The first recommendation is that APHIS "Make greater substantial
use of highly competent taxonomists and systematists in a variety of
institutions".  Another recommendation is that APHIS should "Examine the
needs of Area Identifiers  (APHIS employees I think) and specialists
(employed by others, I think) with respect to instrumentation and
equipment and correct all deficiencies" and "Examine the needs of Area
identifiers and specialists with respect to professional development,
advancement and retention and ..."

Some of the comments are very US directed, others very government agency
directed (and some both), but I think that there are some eminently
quotable comments in the report - and it might be seen as a relatively
disinterested source. I do not know how to obtain a copy - I ran across
when visiting a friend at USDA's headquarters.

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