If you live in a leftie town like I do, you have probably seen the usual signs about “controlled burns,” the “restoration of native species,” and “Natural Area Preservation.” Nonsense. Here in Ann Arbor, the intent is not preservation, much less conservation. It is wholesale destruction, often by clear cutting, poisoning with herbicides, and fire. All in the name of bringing back conditions said to have been present before Columbus.

Like socialism, it will not work:

Scientists have recently published the results of a ten-year effort to return an “invaded” forest to its native origins.  They spent about 5 years clearing the forest of all non-natives.  They planted the scorched earth with natives and then they walked away from it to observe the long-term sustainability of their effort.  Five years later they report that the composition of the forest—with respect to its nativity—has essentially returned to its original state.

They tested several hypotheses while observing the changes in the forest during the second half of the project.  Conventional wisdom had been that the more densely natives occupied the ground, the less vulnerable it would be to re-invasion.  Much to their surprise, this was not the outcome of their experiment.  The more densely natives occupied the ground, the greater the population of non-natives in the final analysis.  They conclude that the same conditions which encouraged the growth of native plants were equally beneficial to the growth of non-native plants.

This study was conducted by the US Forest Service.  We hope they learned something from this experience.  Specifically, we hope that the US Forest Service now understands that native plant “restorations” are not a one-shot deal.  They are a permanent commitment to garden that restoration with the same amount of effort.  That’s why scientists—such as Professors Arthur Shapiro and Peter Del Tredici—tell us that large scale projects are not sustainable in the long term.  A small scale native plant garden as an historical illustration is a worthwhile effort.  Gardening our vast public lands is like “plowing the sea,” as Professor Shapiro told us recently.

But think about it. This is a dream come true for revenue-hungry environmentalist bureaucrats because it will never, ever end. they can hire each other to start over, and over and over. Eradicate, eradicate and eradicate some more.

That it will not work is not a bug; it’s the whole idea. If it expands government, and creates jobs for the ruling class, then by definition it does work!