Nature's Best Hope

Nature's Best Hope

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Nature's Best Hope; A New Approach to Conservation that Starts in Your Yard 

by Doug Tallamy

Given another life, I might like to work for Douglas Tallamy. A professor of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at University of Delaware, his cadres of graduate students provide masses of data to back up his conclusions regarding the big-picture ecological importance of native plants in our backyards. It is enjoyably clear that though California is barely mentioned, the principles that his east coast research supports are easily and readily applied here. The similarities make his case, and our case, all the stronger.

Chapter by chapter, he addresses the naysayers with such concision that I can only imagine them begging for mercy. I particularly relish his chapter called “Are Alien Plants Bad?” He runs through all the usual questions, like….”Let nature take its course.” Even if what’s happening is because of our actions. As though it’s okay to interfere with ecological processes inadvertently and thoughtlessly or cynically. But it is somehow wrong to carefully and thoughtfully try to repair the mess we’ve made

"Many of the species in our gardens are meeting for the first time.Their interactions with one another are occurring without the tempering effect of long periods of coevolution. “Introductions pose serious threats to the interactions that have already evolved.

This is Tallamy’s third book, and in this one, it sometimes seems he’s lost patience with those who don’t get it. This some may enjoy. In the end, he says that you don’t have the right to …..

We can no longer afford to make such uninformed decisions about what we plant and foster in our backyards, and what’s more….We don’t have the right.