Thursday, June 30, 2011


After my return from New York, 2002, I had the chance to work and watch closely the two mentioned in the tittle. Ignorant foreigners, one with more degrees than the Duchess of Alba and the wife, aboriginal from Central America.

If you read this blog often you may be sick about the importance of inventories. However, the damage by these two can not be forgiven and/or/forgotten. 8 million dollars wasted, along our flora/fauna without any rigorous botanical records before the massacre or after.

Restoring a forest is not for amateurs without any previous experience or expertise. It  is not a matter of just digging holes and planting endemic trees collected all over the island, without much consideration to other environmental variables.

Leslie Jones Sauer
pages 30-31 

Poor Herbaceous and Shrub Recruitment

Because of the ease we cultivate plants in our gardens we may be unaware of how different a forest is.  For example, rampant reproduction by seed is a very important phenomenon in the garden and yard, for both desirable plants and weeds.  Not so in the forest, a landscape of very long-lived plants where reproduction is limited and where there are simply fewer chances  for recruitment even under the best of conditions.

While popular interest often centers on old trees, stands of wildflowers, where they still persist, may be far older.  What happens to be hundreds of mayapples, for example, 
may really be a single plant with myriad stems.  The same is true for trout lily and many other forest ferns and wildflowers.  Many forest wildflowers are in fact ancient clones that have been colonizing a site for centuries. 

The plight of native herbaceous plants is especially serious because reestablishing them is so difficult and takes so long.   Once its ground is lost, a new plant has little chance in the highly structured environment of a forest. All the vacancies are filled and, when they do occur, such as when a great tree dies, many well established plants are better poised to take advantage of the gap than a woodland wildflower.  

Once established, an herbaceous plant must hold its spot; 
hence the strategy of living a long time.  Living in the shadow of the trees makes flowering and setting seed a biologically expensive effort, so forest herbs tend to produce fewer and more infrequent seeds than their field-dwelling counterpars.  Many often rely on "vegetative reproduction"; that is, a new plant is established from a sucker or other vegetative part of an existing plant rather than from seeds only.  
This is a form of asexual, or clonal reproduction.  Indeed, 
vegetative reproduction, not seeds,  is often the rule in the eastern forest, and for woody species as well.  The trees of the temperate land are often called the "sprout" hardwoods. For many species reproduction by seed may occur only infrequently.

Some questions may be spinning in thy heads. That is the intention. Only a fool will be proud of destroying 15 acres of land with the biggest tractor available, compacting the soil, killing in fact every creature on top and below ground, without forgetting the top soil running down the slopes during two years. Leaving a moonscape where there was flora and fauna to be accounted for.

After the massacre, how can I forget  the scene: two fools on the hill spreading Kentuky Rye and Bermuda grass seeds in the compacted, destroyed soil when we were about to leave the premises. 

Or the caravans of tens of trucks with  80,000 pounds of 'top soil' spread on the compacted hills of Parque Dona Ines, over a 2 million tons total, also going running down the hills after each rain storm.

How can any one with such degrees, a polyglot do this? Never considering that a forest, has native grasses, herbaceous plants, vines, ground covers and shrubs?

The culprits, Gabriela Ocampo and Areces Mallea were not alone. Accomplices: The municipality of Trujillo Alto, 007 Recursos Naturales, Fundacion Luis Munhoz Marin the whole Board of Directors. 

I have to declare that many gullible people fell in the salt and water endemic dream these two preached for some time. However, one single voice for the last five years,  has not only kept the fraud on the surface, but researching, studying to go beyond the benefit of the doubt, with references and going back to journals, photos kept at the time.

that is that 
no sleeping and no laurels
down these here pastures 


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