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Trillium Thief in Frink Park

The Forest Service calls it poaching! Darrell Howe, Frink Park steward, tells us that someone dug up a trillium plant and stole it! One could see the marks of a spade but no trace of the missing plant. We are asking for donations to the Frink Park fund to purchase more trillium; make your check out to Leschi CC and put Frink Trillium in the memo line.

It is hard for me to write about this kind of theft, having been brought up NOT to take flowers from anyone’s yard even if Mother’s Day was looming and Frink Park is the “yard” of all the citizens. We should all have the privilege of walking through the park and coming across one of these rare flowers in an unexpected spot. So, the thief has stolen from all of us!

The following information from the Forest Service is in a category called “Ethics.” This is probably a lesson that our thief has never absorbed but it’s never too late to learn.

“Unfortunately, the Forest Service is experiencing increased poaching of native wildflowers; even some that are listed as endangered species. Many people desire species that are not available commercially because these plants are difficult to grow or take too many years to reach maturity; and some people desire the rarest of the rare bringing those precious jewels ever closer to extinction. Consequently, some people are illegally removing wildflowers and other native plants from their natural habitats. In some cases, entire populations of a species have been stolen.

There are four main consequences to this illegal activity:

  1. All living organisms need to reproduce. Digging up wildflowers, picking wildflowers, or collecting their seed will reduce a plant’s ability to reproduce and will adversely affect its long-term survival in that location;

  2. Removing wildflowers from the wild can adversely affect pollinators and other animals that depend on that species for food and cover;

  3. Removing wildflowers from our national forests and grasslands prevents other visitors from enjoying our natural heritage; and,

  4. Most wildflowers when dug from their natural habitat do not survive being transplanted.

There are legal ways to collect native plants from national forests and grasslands that will allow their use but still sustain them for future generations.

Remember, respect and protect wildflowers and their habitats, leave only footprints, and take only memories and photos so that future generations may enjoy our precious natural heritage.”

~Diane Snell


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