I recently read that there is an oak blight newly introduced to the East Coast in addition to the ash tree crisis of the Emerald borer. This is an oak wilt that is caused by a fungus under the bark. It grows until suddenly the entire tree is killed. At least that is the gist of the description.
It seems to have arrived via a California nursery shipment to the East Coast. And that got me to thinking.
Throughout our nation we have been used to freely exchanging goods over state lines with relatively few restrictions. In fact, plant materials seem to be the major portion of banned materials. Yet, we see devastating problems are permeating the borders. I cannot imagine our yard and forests devoid of the oak. Yet, this has already happened with the Elm and the Chestnut. When was the last time a mature tree of those was seen? They exist, but are now a rarity. It makes me wonder what is the reason we can’t hold the line on some of the known dangers? Are we not trying hard enough?
In the case of the health of the rivers I know that is true from local experience. One of the most important small, but pristine, rivers of Ohio is endangered and risked by the collusion of apathetic and disingenuous politicians and greedy development interests.
The environment is important. It is a long range investment, and it is worth the protection of its resources. Some of the monetary gain for individuals will need to be weighed against the preservation of important natural well-being of our trees and waterways. And those individual interests will need to be displaced more than they are, presently. Sometimes it is as simple a matter as caring.