Monday, May 3, 2010

Should Poppies Perish Purely For Our Personal Pleasure?

A Wizard of Oz Moment...No, it's not likely that California poppies will disappear any time soon.  But since efforts have been made to protect our state flower, I just wanted to write a quick note to bring to everyone's attention some concerns raised recently by the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve. In their Latest Poppy Reserve Research Field Notes and Observations on 4/26, they mention:
A Trampling We Will Go...I would like to address a problem we are having this year. Visitors need to know they must stay on the trails. There has been a great deal of damage to poppies and other wildflowers this year because people are going into the areas of wildflowers for photos. They are walking and sitting on plants and destroying them. Every plant that is destroyed cannot go to the seed producing stage. The poppies and many other wildflowers are annual plants and we need them to go to the seed stage for the seed bank for the next year’s flowers. One should also stay on the trails because there have been many sightings of the Mojave Rattlesnakes."

Rush Hour...I also noticed that the L.A. Times ran an article by Lisa Boone on April 27th about the peak poppy bloom this year.  Only at the end of the article did she mention a few "no-no's" such as staying on trails, no dogs, no flower picking, etc.  It might be the angle of view, but unfortunately, the large picture they ran with the story shows a female photographer who appears to be standing in the middle of a poppy field.  Talk about mixed messages! 

I will be sending a letter to the editor shortly and encourage others to do the same.

Kahlee
The Wildflower Conservancy

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