landscape est. paper - Indigenous vs Non-indigenous by Matt...

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Indigenous vs. Non-indigenous by Matt Bennett
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I think new landscape sites should contain all indigenous species with few exceptions in order to prevent further spread of these exotics. Non-native plants are spreading like wild fire through some parts of the U.S. and are having a costly effect. One difference between native and non-native plants is that native plants are already well adapted to their surroundings and have tendencies for being easier and cheaper to maintain. Also, wildlife depends on native species for food, shelter and a home for their offspring. I feel that 95% to 100% of all new landscape plants should be indigenous, reflecting the region, state, and county we live in. I do believe that variety is key for a healthy long lasting landscape, but I also think that certain plants don’t naturally grow in certain areas for a reason. “According to the U.S. Department of the Interior, invasive non-native plants are described as the second-most important threat to native species after habitat destruction.” It seems as if these non-native species are after our economy and environment. One reason why these exotics are so invasive is the lack of predators. Without their natural predators around, these species can exponentially thrive. It is so out of control that a federal interagency government effort has been launched in hopes of fighting off the invasion and to educate the public. (Green Aliens Invade the US). Why fuel the fire by planting exotics in local landscaping projects? The United States is now home to 4,000 non-native plant species! ( What are Invasive Alien Plant Species and Why are They a Problem? ). Many have proven to be strangling our parks and forests. St. John's wart by itself has taken over more than 600,000 acres of Idaho in just fifty years! Kudzu, another invasive species, was brought to the U.S. as a crop for livestock and to help control erosion in the 1940s. Now it covers
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more than a million acres of what used to be wild lands (Quistgaard). Brazilian pepper
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