Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Russian Blessing?

North Dakota is debating whether to stop loving Russian olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia) quite so much, according to this article in the Grand Forks Herald. It turns out that not only is the invasive tree currently legal to plant in that state, its planting is actually sanctioned and subsidized under a cost-sharing tree-planting program. Now the state's National Resources Conservation Service is seeking comments from landowners about whether the tree should be removed from that savings program, as has been done in neighboring Minnesota. The decision certainly won't be cut and dry - many people still value the tree as one of the only species that will grow in highly disturbed habitats. Meanwhile, the state department of Fish and Game will keep planting it, but promises to be "very, very careful" about it.

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