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Planting Evidence? The discovery of a protected herb sparks accusations of sabotage
AP via The Winston-Salem Journal ^ | 07/19/2006 | Unknown

Posted on 07/19/2006 7:17:58 AM PDT by oxcart

SEBASTOPOL, Calif.

Did someone in this wine-country town illegally plant an endangered flower to sabotage a proposed housing development? That is the question at the center of a quarrel that some here have dubbed "Foamgate."

Bob Evans, a 72-year-old retired elementary-school principal, said he was walking with his dog last year when he came upon the tiny white flowers of Sebastopol meadowfoam poking from shallow pools of water in a grassy field.

The former bean farm happens to be the site chosen for the 20-acre Laguna Vista housing development.

Evans and other opponents seized on the discovery of meadowfoam, a federally protected species, in hopes that the developer would be required to scale back plans for 145 houses and apartments. "It was the bad luck of the developer that it popped up," Evans said.

But state wildlife officials investigated and concluded that the meadowfoam had been transplanted there. They ordered it dug up.

This year, the flowers returned, and so did the controversy. The dispute has held up final approval of the building project.

Sebastopol, a well-to-do community of about 8,000 people 50 miles north of San Francisco, is known for its environmentally conscious residents and restrictive growth policies.

When the meadowfoam appeared in April 2005 and after the Department of Fish and Game determined that it had been planted, it appeared to be the work of zealous conservationists.

"The people who planted it mistakenly believed that it would be the silver bullet that killed the project," said Scott Schellinger of Schellinger Brothers, the developer behind Laguna Vista.

Known as Limnanthes vinculans, the herb grows up to a foot tall and has small bowl-shape white flowers. They are found only in seasonal wetlands and in pools created by spring rains in this part of Sonoma County.

Threatened by agriculture and urban development, meadowfoam is listed as an endangered species by the state and federal governments. That makes it illegal to harm, remove or transplant it without permission.

Evans and other conservationists said that the $70 million development could damage the nearby Laguna de Santa Rosa, a 240-square-mile basin of wetlands that runs through Sebastopol.

Evans called Phil Northen, a biology professor at Sonoma State University, and the head of the local chapter of the California Native Plant Society. They visited the site and agreed that the plants were native.

But when a Fish and Game team visited the site at Schellinger's invitation a few weeks later, it reached the opposite conclusion.

Eric Larsen, the department's deputy regional manager, said that the flowers had never before been seen at the site, which is at a higher elevation than the typical meadowfoam habitat.

Fish and Game began an investigation into who planted the flowers but never identified any suspects. The department interviewed Evans and Northen, but Larsen said that the case went cold.

The city council tabled final approval of Laguna Vista on May 22. A mediator is overseeing talks between Schellinger Brothers and residents, in hopes of reaching a compromise.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Extended News; US: California
KEYWORDS: endangered; environment; environmentalism; flower; fraud; landgrab; propertyrights; sabotage; treehugger

1 posted on 07/19/2006 7:18:01 AM PDT by oxcart
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To: oxcart
This happens a lot. The incident with lynx fur is somewhat well known, I think.

I know a town that is trying to get a railway station. Everytime they get ready to begin construction at a chosen site, someone finds an endangered blue-spotted slamader living there. Then everything stops, time passes, money is spent, a new site is chosen, they get ready and -- someone finds an endangered blue-spotted salamander. It's happened three times.

Ya can't put a shovel down without hitting one of these things. Either they are not that endangered, or else someone is planting them on the site.

2 posted on 07/19/2006 7:23:03 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy ("He hits me, he cries, he runs to the court and sues me.")
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To: oxcart

Why not plant the whole development in meadowfoam, after the houses go up. If the plants do well there, they won't be "endangered" anymore.


3 posted on 07/19/2006 7:25:39 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck
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To: oxcart

Seems to me that if it can be transplanted once, it, and other sprouts, can be transplanted in the dead of night again.


4 posted on 07/19/2006 7:26:46 AM PDT by theDentist (Qwerty ergo typo : I type, therefore I misspelll.)
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To: ClearCase_guy

Where is this happening?


5 posted on 07/19/2006 7:28:54 AM PDT by oxcart (Journalism [Sic])
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To: oxcart

Have you ever tried meadowfoam honey? Evidently we have enough meadowfoam flowers here in Southern Oregon to make hundreds of pounds of honey. It tastes like vanilla honey. Yumm!!


6 posted on 07/19/2006 7:31:34 AM PDT by thirst4truth
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To: theDentist
I want more info on this "Bob Evans" guy. My bet is he is a tree-hugging, Greenpeace card carrying liberal.
7 posted on 07/19/2006 7:32:24 AM PDT by oxcart (Journalism [Sic])
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To: oxcart

This story was Rush Limbaughs morning update this morning.


8 posted on 07/19/2006 7:33:06 AM PDT by IrishMike (Democrats .... Stuck on Stupid, RINO's ...the most vicious judas goats)
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To: ClearCase_guy
There is so much stupidity in this story it's almost beyond comprehension.

You've got a rare plant. That makes it illegal to plant it so that you've got more? Yup, it's a federal crime.

Once somebody does plant it (if they did), the bureaucrats dig it up and get rid of it! Don't transplant it, don't collect seed, don't create a spot for it as a celebrated part of a new project that helps connect people to their surroundings, GET RID OF IT. Why?

It's not "natural," as if nothing any human would do could help nature flourish, as if the only thing humans should do is to NOT TOUCH ANYTHING.

These people are sick. They do more damage to their surroundings as they allow weeds and pests to propagate than any other cause. They sit on their fat butts and let whole systems be destroyed that way over millions of acres, and because it happened on its own, that makes them morally superior. I spend six days a week, seven months a year, beyond full time, undoing the damage they do.

Needless to say, the key part of this rite is the bucketload of money to be consumed by lawyers, bureaucrats, and activists. The plant doesn't get a damned thing.

9 posted on 07/19/2006 7:34:19 AM PDT by Carry_Okie (The environment is too complex and too important to manage by central planning.)
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To: HiTech RedNeck
Why not plant the whole development in meadowfoam, after the houses go up. If the plants do well there, they won't be "endangered" anymore.

It's illegal.

10 posted on 07/19/2006 7:35:36 AM PDT by Carry_Okie (The environment is too complex and too important to manage by central planning.)
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To: theDentist

"California Native Plant Society" AKA Hippies with Law Degrees


11 posted on 07/19/2006 7:35:50 AM PDT by xpertskir (I hate hippies but love hippie music)
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To: ClearCase_guy

They did the same thing here in San Diego County. Some dormant teeny-tiny butterfly was found right in the middle of a proposed housing development.

My thought was .. if the butterfly is so rare, then take it to the SD Zoo (would famous), and support building a habitat for it. They already have a glorious butterfly exhibit inside a huge atrium.

But that logical use of money is not the goal .. the goal is to stop construction.


12 posted on 07/19/2006 7:36:11 AM PDT by CyberAnt (Drive-By Media: Fake news, fake documents, fake polls)
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To: oxcart

This is a good reason why the law has got to be changed. Stopping construction of a major development on private property ought to be prohibited unless fair compensation is paid by the government.


13 posted on 07/19/2006 7:36:45 AM PDT by Brilliant
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To: Carry_Okie

It's some messed-up lib version of the Prime Directive. These folks think they're playing Star Trek.


14 posted on 07/19/2006 7:37:06 AM PDT by thoughtomator (Famous last words: "what does ibtz mean?")
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To: Carry_Okie

They ordered it "dug up." That's sort of ambiguous. Where was it taken after the digging? To a botanical garden maybe?


15 posted on 07/19/2006 7:37:09 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck
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To: oxcart

Plant the meadowfoam on the POS Bob Evans property. Evans will no longer be able to cut the lawn. Plant an endangered mouse in Phil Northen--the biology professor at Sonoma State University--his pantry/basement and he will have to vacate his residence. It will serve the @ssclowns right to pull this crap. No doubt, though, these LDBs will find a way to justify their own exclusion from the laws they created.


16 posted on 07/19/2006 7:37:22 AM PDT by sully777 (You have flies in your eyes--Catch-22)
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To: Carry_Okie

Well, I mean somebody in the legislature get a clue and pass a law to allow it. Cheese!


17 posted on 07/19/2006 7:38:22 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck
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To: theDentist
Seems to me that if it can be transplanted once, it, and other sprouts, can be transplanted in the dead of night again.

Yeah, and if it's so readily propagated, how does it desereve to be called "endangered"? Just put some in a nursery somewhere. Sheesh!

Oh yeah, if we allow people to build, then the prices we can charge for our homes go down and besides, all those riff-raff move in. It's our exclusivity that's endangered. Pass the Pinot Noir, please.

18 posted on 07/19/2006 7:43:27 AM PDT by Mad Dawg (If the gates of Hell prevail against it, it probably never was a church anyway.)
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To: oxcart
Where is this happening?

The salamander problem is in Mass.

The lynx thread is here:

Canada lynx study scientists defended

19 posted on 07/19/2006 7:44:20 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy ("He hits me, he cries, he runs to the court and sues me.")
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To: Carry_Okie

Shoot
Shovel
Shut up.


20 posted on 07/19/2006 7:45:43 AM PDT by Hydroshock ( (Proverbs 22:7). The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.)
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To: oxcart

Time for some Round-Up, I'd guess...


21 posted on 07/19/2006 7:53:15 AM PDT by Hegemony Cricket (Rugged individualists of the world, unite!)
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To: HiTech RedNeck
Well, I mean somebody in the legislature get a clue and pass a law to allow it. Cheese!

BZZZZT! Wrongo! They econuts have a TREATY with decades of Federal case law cooked up by activist attorneys and complicit bureaucrats to back it up.

CITES specifies that there is to be no trading in any endangered species. Period. Ain't it fun?

They way my book cracks that little conundrum is that it proposes people trade in uses of offsetting processes that constitute habitat. Build the right spot and keep it free of weeds and seed is so mobile, you have only to wait.

22 posted on 07/19/2006 7:54:32 AM PDT by Carry_Okie (The environment is too complex and too important to manage by central planning.)
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To: Carry_Okie; sully777; theDentist; oxcart

Am I missing something? Who in their right mind would build in a wetlands?!

Of course, there's a lot to be said for choice homesites in CA [/home falling off cliff in mudslide...]


23 posted on 07/19/2006 7:55:15 AM PDT by Froufrou
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To: Froufrou
Am I missing something? Who in their right mind would build in a wetlands?!

What these people are calling a "wetland" is a dip in the dirt with a seasonal mud hole.

24 posted on 07/19/2006 7:57:11 AM PDT by Carry_Okie (The environment is too complex and too important to manage by central planning.)
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To: Hydroshock
Shoot
Shovel
Shut up.

"Daddy, mommy looks cold."
"Shut up and keep digging."

25 posted on 07/19/2006 8:02:04 AM PDT by Minn
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To: Froufrou

It is a temporary wetland, like runoff after a storm.

BTW, most of Florida is drained wetlands, and the rest is just ocean


26 posted on 07/19/2006 8:08:10 AM PDT by sully777 (You have flies in your eyes--Catch-22)
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To: Carry_Okie

Is the book's paper made from endangered trees? [d&r]


27 posted on 07/19/2006 8:09:24 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck
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To: oxcart
The only endangered species on this planet are people with common sense.

 

28 posted on 07/19/2006 8:13:09 AM PDT by HawaiianGecko (Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance.)
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To: oxcart
Bob Evans, a 72-year-old retired elementary-school principal Marxist

Fixed.

29 posted on 07/19/2006 8:15:40 AM PDT by Disambiguator (Don't mess with Israel.)
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To: Carry_Okie

Same story with the Nene(sp) goose of Hawaii. My step dad raised them and sold them here in CONUS(creating more of them)and was hassled non stop by the feds until he just quit doing it, and sold them all to someone else.


30 posted on 07/19/2006 8:18:37 AM PDT by Scotsman will be Free
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To: HiTech RedNeck
Is the book's paper made from endangered trees? [d&r]

Is that a rhetorical question? Hell if I know.

31 posted on 07/19/2006 8:21:30 AM PDT by Carry_Okie (The environment is too complex and too important to manage by central planning.)
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To: oxcart
Didn't this same thing happen with the Preeble's Meadow Jumping Mouse in Colorado? It turns out that there is no such animal; it's just a brown field mouse, and it's not native to the area anyway.

I may be confusing that with the Spotted Owl or the Snail Darter. These manufactured environmental "crises" all melt into one after a while ...

32 posted on 07/19/2006 8:40:23 AM PDT by IronJack
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To: IronJack
Didn't this same thing happen with the Preeble's Meadow Jumping Mouse in Colorado?

No, this is more analogous to the lynx hair. Preeble's mouse was merely misidentified and it took them a bajillion years to admit it.

33 posted on 07/19/2006 8:43:25 AM PDT by Carry_Okie (The environment is too complex and too important to manage by central planning.)
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To: oxcart
The unarmored, three pronged stickleback (a fish) paralyzed the USAF base at Vandenberg for years. Who gives a rat's a$$ about a 3 inch fish that doesn't even taste good when fried?

Um...not that I ever did that.

34 posted on 07/19/2006 8:48:38 AM PDT by CholeraJoe (All Marines can throw a grenade. The really, really good ones can throw a slider with one.)
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To: ClearCase_guy

Thanks


35 posted on 07/19/2006 9:01:35 AM PDT by oxcart (Journalism [Sic])
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To: CholeraJoe

Come on come clean...baked or broiled?


36 posted on 07/19/2006 9:03:50 AM PDT by oxcart (Journalism [Sic])
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To: Carry_Okie; sully777

Gotcha. We have a place in Rockport and because we're only 7 feet above sea level we have to carry FEMA insurance...never try to argue "wind driven rain" with a gubmint man...


37 posted on 07/19/2006 9:26:41 AM PDT by Froufrou
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To: Brilliant

"Stopping construction of a major development on private property ought to be prohibited unless fair compensation is paid by the government."

But make sure the government uses its own money, not mine. /sarc


38 posted on 07/19/2006 9:37:50 AM PDT by gcruse (http://gcruse.typepad.com)
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To: oxcart

This is a tactic that environmentalists have been using for decades, usually it is a fish or frog. In our local OHV area it was an indian artifact. The archeological tactic is only temporary until they get a grant and do a five year study


39 posted on 07/19/2006 9:44:56 AM PDT by KTM rider ( Support Our Troops Donate to Irey)
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To: oxcart

Sushi.


40 posted on 07/19/2006 11:14:58 AM PDT by CholeraJoe (All Marines can throw a grenade. The really, really good ones can throw a slider with one.)
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To: CholeraJoe
Great reply, and one hell of a tag line.
41 posted on 07/19/2006 3:22:36 PM PDT by oxcart (Journalism [Sic])
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To: oxcart
How is this plant "endangered?" Looks to me like there are freaking fields full of it.


42 posted on 07/19/2006 3:26:38 PM PDT by Alouette (Psalms of the Day: 108-112)
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To: Alouette

The meadowfoam picture you posted is an industrial type for its seed oil. (I think.) Not the one mentioned in the article.(


43 posted on 07/19/2006 7:42:35 PM PDT by A0ri
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To: A0ri

Is it the same species or not? If it is commercially grown for industrial use then it is not endangered. How do they know that this sample wasn't taken from a commercial farm?


44 posted on 07/19/2006 7:53:27 PM PDT by Alouette (Psalms of the Day: 108-112)
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To: Alouette

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meadowfoam

There are various species. It would seem silly for the "oil-crop" type meadowfoam to be under protection (though not unlikely for enviro-wackos), as it seems to be easily and commercially reproduced, but the article says it is the type Sebastopol meadowfoam. The commercial type is Limnanthes alba, or the white meadowfoam.

Sebastopol meadowfoam (Limnanthes vinculans)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limnanthes_vinculans


45 posted on 07/19/2006 10:21:01 PM PDT by A0ri
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To: oxcart
Bob Evans, a 72-year-old retired elementary-school principal, said he was walking with his dog last year when he came upon the tiny white flowers of Sebastopol meadowfoam poking from shallow pools of water in a grassy field.

Evans and other opponents seized on the discovery of meadowfoam, a federally protected species, in hopes that the developer would be required to scale back plans for 145 houses and apartments.

__________________________________

Happens all the time - - you're out walking your dog and voila!, what should appear before your eyes but a flower that you recognize as being a rare, federally protected species.

And whaddayknow? - - you happen to make your amazing discovery on a parcel of land which is about to be developed. On top of all that, you happen to be an environmental activist, so naturally you immediately bring your discovery to the attention of the authorities in the hope that the development project can be killed.

"It was the bad luck of the developer that it popped up," Evans said.

Right.
Coincidences like this happen all the time.
Sure they do.

__________________________________

How on earth did this sick, lying scumbag Evans figure anybody would ever believe him? And why am I not surprised that this p.o.s. is a retired elementary-school principal?

46 posted on 07/19/2006 10:47:40 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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