When you have corporate influence on our government outweighing the influence of citizens, that's terrifying. This is something we have to make a big, big noise about.
Manitoba has very harsh legislation for so called Noxious Weeds. Every one of the plants that I have featured on this website, except Bottle Gentian, are named as Noxious Weeds by that legislation. And yet each of these plants except Alder buckthorn are native plants of Manitoba. These plants are specialists for our climate, soil and biome. Each of these plants play vital roles for the fertility of our soils, the purity of our water and for providing homes and food for the wildlife of our province. They are a vital part of food webs for many native bacteria, fungi, insects , reptiles, birds and mammals.
The Noxious Weed Act of Manitoba calls for the elimination of every Milkweed, Goldenrod, Wolf willow, Cattail, Anise Hyssop, Vetch, American Liquorice, Prairie Rose, PussyToes, Shrubby Cinquefoil, Snowberry plant on Manitoba lands as well as over 300 hundred other plants, native and non native.
The Manitoba Weed Supervisors Association of Manitoba has the job of enforcing this Act. And has the authority to enter lands and eradicate these plants and charge landowners for the cost. Those land owners or managers who fail to comply with the Noxious Weed Act could face jail sentences.
This legislation demonstrates a shocking disregard for the functions these plants play for the benefit of their ecosystems. The Manitoba Weed Supervisors Association mainly employs poisonous herbicides to eradicate weeds. The elimination of these plants is devastating to wildlife. And then there is the toxicity of these chemicals. These poisons can have devastating effects on the soil organisms, the aquatic life and can cause illness or death to insects, birds and mammals depending on what is used. And they can be very persistant with long lasting effects.
We need to love and appreciate these plants and the incredible ecosystems that they are a part of. Lets go to Nature for our joy, for our knowledge and for our sustenance. Let's join the countries and the people who are already working with nature and enjoying the abundance that way is able to bring forth. Let's become much more integrated with the natural world. Let's individually and together speak up to our government against this backward and damaging legislation.
Manitoba is where I was born and where I have spent most of the five and one half decades of my life. I lived on the outskirts of the town of Portage La Prairie at a time when tadpoles and frogs inhabited the ditches and ponds, when there were many Monarch butterflies each summer along with dragon flies and grasshoppers. Redwing blackbirds perched the cattails of the ditches. As children we picked dandelions for bouquets and made wishes before blowing dandelion seed heads. We searched clover for lucky four leaves and rolled on the grass…there was no concern of poisonous herbicides. The grass was thick. Wherever we dug…there were earthworms