...AN ATTRACTIVE NATIVE
Saturday, 8:15 AM. 35.5 degrees, wind NE, strong. A cold, driving rain, mixed with snow, shortened our walk this morning. The barometer predicts more rain. This is the face of November, the most hazardous month for shipping on Lake Superior.
The aromatic Aster, Aster oblongfolius, is a plant of dry prairies and cliffs, native in Wisconsin to the Driftless Area and the Mississippi River Valley. It is growing on one of my planting sites, evidently coming in as part of a native prairie seed mix. It seems quite happy growing in the beach sand. It is an attractive, floriferous, low growing plant, and probably the latest of all to bloom. It’s common name refers the piney scent of its crushed leaves.
Thinking about the emerald ash borer problem yesterday, I called the Bayfield County Forester as well as the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest office to see whether they had developed management plans in anticipation of the arrival of the pest. As volunteer Bayfield City Forester I know we need a management plan; where to quarantine dead ash trees, city and private, where and how to utilize the wood, necessary ordinances, etc. and thought there might be a chance to coordinate efforts with these other forestry entities. Neither of them have a plan, or seem to have even thought much about it. Even if the only response to an infestation would be to cut standing dead trees down, there would still need to be a plan; how many ash trees might there be, what kind of a budget is needed to cut them down, how to respond to a quarantine, how to cooperate with other units of government and the private sector, and so on.
When one sees higher levels of government abdicate their management responsibilities in this way (the State and Federal governments simply passing the buck down to the lowest operational levels), it is easy to understand disasters like the poor response to hurricane Katrina.