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Is it legal to collect plants from your property?

Joined
Mar 2, 2013
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Sacramento, California
I was just wondering becuase my grandparents own probuially 20-30 acers in virgina and they told me they had a few spagnum bogs there. I was thinking there might be cps their and was wondering if i could legally take a few?
 

Nepenthesis

Formerly known as Pineapple
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Dec 16, 2011
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If they're on the endangered species list, then the answer is no. I think you can take some otherwise, but I'm not adamant on that. It is good that you're asking before doing. Just research the endangered/protected species in the area and know what they look like before you collect.

May I ask which part of VA it is in? I have relatives thereabouts and I really want them to collect Sphag for me but they can never find any.
 

Not a Number

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Pineapple is more or less correct. In addition to Federal Laws and Regulations each State and even County/City/Township has their own endangered/threatened/protected lists.

http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/wildlife/endangered/endangered.htm

In some cases a permit is required to collect specimens. In others written permission by the land owner is all that is required. It depends the body of government that is regulating the species. The laws/regulations usually are more concerned with moving, selling, trading or transporting the species than anything else.
 
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Salt Lake City, Utah. U.S.A.
All you would likely find are some sundews (rotundifolia, perhaps brevifolia or capilaris) and Utricularia. There are still plenty of sphagnum bogs in Virginia, but most of them have been overgrown with trees due to fire supression. So there might be enough light for Sphagnum, but not enough light to sustain many CP's. Unless your gandparents have kept these areas clear of trees, this is likely the case on their land as well.

It's always exciting to see what you can find though, in any case. Let us know what it looks like when you go to see! Post pics if you can, as I'm sure we would all love to see what's there.

If by some wild string of luck you find a Sarracenia purpurea or flava on their land, that is VERY RARE in virginia and you shouldn't collect those. Phil Sheridan at Meadowview Biological Research Station would be very interested if you found either of those (for preservation purposes), but again, the chances of that are VERY slim. There are other rare bog plants that you have a slim chance of seeing, but should keep an eye out for and which should be preserved if possible, including some bog orchids and D. intermedia, among others.
 
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I was thinking there might be cps their and was wondering if i could legally take a few?
What is legally right and ethically ok can be two different things (imho). If there are actually CPs on the property, consider harvesting a small portion of available seed & growing them yourself (vs poaching your relative's plants). The ICPS seed collection policy tends to provide me a baseline/guideline when I'm tempted ....
 

SubRosa

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There really is a lot to consider. For example it might be perfectly legal for you to collect the plant with landowner permission, but illegal to take it home if you live out of state. That's the case here in PA with species considered state endangered.
 
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What is legally right and ethically ok can be two different things (imho). If there are actually CPs on the property, consider harvesting a small portion of available seed & growing them yourself (vs poaching your relative's plants). The ICPS seed collection policy tends to provide me a baseline/guideline when I'm tempted ....


Very well said. Sometimes the law still allows for pretty heinous actions. So consider what is ethical rather than legal (though the legal aspect is very important too). Consider how little CP habitat remains in the US (less than 5% of original habitat remains). Remaining populations and habitats should be well cared for in situ if at all possible. I don't think seed collecting is out of the question though, and plant collection may be sustainable if only a small fraction of the population is removed (e.g. less than 1% of the population). Depends on the rarity of the plant. Seed or plant collection of very rare plants would probably be a bad idea altogether.
 

Plant Planter

The Most Uncreative Name in the History of Ever
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I believe it IS legal to collect Venus Flytraps from the wild, IF (and only if) it is your own property. Don't quote me on that. The only CITES laws/restrictions I've really had drilled into my head are ones concerning Sarracenia jonesii. And richjam is right. Do what is ethical as well as what is legal. Venus flytraps are a vulnerable species and many other carnivorous plants are critically endangered. The genus Aldrovanda originally had eighteen species, but now the only one left is a vulnerable species as well.
 
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But why would you collect VFT's from your property when you could plant VFT's on your property?
 
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i have a friend with some bog land but haven't had a chance too look at it...........it's a great adventure and all but with bog land comes bog insects and lots of em. So eat well bc you will be coming back about 1/2 a quart low. lol. From what i have read which isn't extensive by any means......vft's are native to north carolina, if it's your property then i do not see a problem but what you can do and what you should do are 2 different things.

If I was in your position I would act under the following guidlines:

if you see some healthy dews.....i would take a leaf clipping or 2 and just clone em. Far as i know a clone with location data is just as good as an original. If you see some dews that are endanger of dying....snap a pic and maybe see if you can get permission to remove them from someone with a background in this type of field. Although highly unlikely you may find some sarracenia........snap a pic and again consult with someone who has a background in conservation would be my opinion.

either way...get pics! :)
 
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