Saturday, June 19, 2010

Blue Team: Allie Davison

As a native Floridian, invasive humans are those who consider 75 degrees sweat worth. As a UF fan, I consider invasive items those of the colors garnet and gold. As an environmental novice, I consider learning about invasive nature factors intriguing.

Invasive is a term used to define unwanted items and humans, or in this case plants and animals. Dr. Steve Johnson, Assistant Professor of Wildlife Ecology at UF, describes at the Summer Journalism Visitation Program the exotic animals as “negatively impacting the way of life.” Those are bold words coming from an expert himself. Those are shocking words for those who aren’t as familiar with the environmental lowdown, such as myself.

‘The ideal situation is public awareness. One of the tools is having the public work with you,” said Dr. Ken Langeland, Agronomy professor at UF. The first step in public cooperation is having the government on your side. Langeland and his colleagues all argue that state officials and environmental groups are working as one to help stop invasive plants and animals. There are less than one percent of inspectors checking cargoes to see if there are any harmful species of plants or animals. Wouldn’t you think they would crackdown and hire more people in need of a job, instead of waving the issue off and blaming the situation on not having enough workers?

I asked Dr. Jeffrey Hutchinson, Doctoral Candidate, if an unlimited amount of money was give to help solve this issue, would the invasive discussion be over. He simple stated, “it will be an ongoing problem.” From my experience, telling people a problem will never be solved seems to push them running into another direction. Yet, Hutchinson and his colleagues believe as though telling the public that their wallets isn’t what they are after, but honestly educating them on the truth will increase support.

Many people seem to point the finger at the invasive animals and plants the second the issue is brought up. Be sure to check to see if your fingers are clean before blaming someone else for the dirty deeds being done. These exotic factors where brought into our sub-tropical habitat by humans. The public buy animals and release them into the wild. The invasive wildlife get tangles up with exports and our brought over by ships that are carrying goods for our benefit. Humans are one cause for the havoc and destruction being done to the environment and they are the ones who need to take action and “help fight the uphill battle,” as Dr. Colette Jacono, Botanist said. We can’t expect native plants and animals to come out in water boots holding shovels and working with machinery to help minimize the problem.

The situation of invasive species will never be solved, but blame isn’t a helpful course of action either. Living in the beautiful sunshine state is called home to all kinds of living things; some just aren’t as welcome as other.

Do as any gator fan would with a Seminole fan on the UF campus, kick them in the butt and stop them in their tracks.

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