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Are the plants you're selling/trading ILLEGAL?

Discussion in 'AC Marketplace : Buy and Sell' started by beviking, Nov 8, 2006.

  1. beviking

    beviking Senior Member, Sophomoric Attitude

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    Hey all, I wanted to post this reply I received from a person who bought some stuff from me. This person claimed to work for USDA (the address I shipped to was a USDA office) and although not in APHIS proper, he asked around and wrote to me regarding plants on the noxious weed list and hobbyists selling them.

    "Hi Bill,

    I have an answer for you on the weeds. It is illegal to import any plant on the Federal Noxious Weed list. It is illegal to propagate, grow out and sell them within or across state borders. If the plants (weeds) were shipped to warm climate states like Florida, Louisiana, and California there are more problems and stiffer penalties. Many southern states have their own laws and law enforcement teams that investigate this type of trade on top of the Federal agencies....

    There is a branch of APHIS called SITC (Smuggling Interdiction & Trade Compliance) which investigates these types of crimes. They take their job very seriously. Currently they have a team checking internet websites like Aquabid, Ebay etc ... Often these sites are monitored for some time before they act (case building) on the offenders, fines can be high. Hobbyist can be the worst offenders; they are not under the radar anymore. Some law enforcement officers are "making" their careers by stopping all types of hobbyist and collectors who trade in illegal commodities and animals (CITES plants and animals, exotic pets too).

    That is all I know. Again, I suggest that this person does not offer any Federal Noxious Weed plants for sale any more. They should also destroy what plants they themselves currently have. They never will know if there past activity will bring a future knock on the door from law enforcement.

    I hope that helps."

    This person wrote this so it should NOT be construed as the law by any means! It certainly may as well be true. Anyone selling/trading plants should do a quick search for noxious weeds in the U.S. and the state they're shipping to as well I would think.

    Here is a link that should prove helpful...
    http://plants.usda.gov/java/noxiousDriver#federal

    -Bill
     
  2. kcooley

    kcooley freeswimming

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    hygrophilia polysperma is on that list and there are a number of people who propagate the stuff here in MN. I grow the stuff in my tank. it grows great and looks even better. he can try to come take mine.
     
  3. webcricket

    webcricket (So chill.) No wonder it's freezing

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    Very interesting! I have never bought or sold anything on the noxious weed list, but I did have Egeria densa at one point (listed as "invasive"), purchased at Petsmart. I had heard about it being regulated before in some states, but the fact that it is not yet listed as "noxious" explains why they still sell it in retail stores.

    This post brings up some good information - in cases of buying/selling noxious plants, both the buyer and seller are held accountable if legal action is taken. Places like eBay and Aquabid do have a legal responsibility to turn over information on both parties involved in illegal transactions on these public outlets (read their terms and conditions). Many folks think the anonymity of the internet is some form of protection, when the reality is most users can be traced back by their IP address and easily identified. Heck, my firewall has a simple event tracker where I can see IPs that tried to access my computer and then trace the IP - 9 times out of 10 it gives me a phone number and addresse of the person the IP is registered to!

    Folks need to be weary - remember Napster? Everyone knew trading the songs was illegal. People did it anyway, with no immediate consequences...then after a couple of years the government decided they had collected enough information to prosecute.
     
  4. BUCKEYEMOLDED

    BUCKEYEMOLDED AC Members

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    Why are there some states missing ie... New York
    and great job Bill Thanks for this info.
    Robert
     
  5. kcooley

    kcooley freeswimming

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    some states dont have a problem because it is too cold for temperate species to survive
     
  6. webcricket

    webcricket (So chill.) No wonder it's freezing

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    I know we have some in NY considered "invasive", but they aren't typically aquatic. The only aquatic ones that come to mind are Eurasian Milfoil Weed and one of the hardier cabomba types (name escapes me). From personal experience, that milfoil stuff sucks big time, we have a camp on Skaneateles Lake and it's taking over the shoreline along the East side (sunny side). Winter doesn't touch it since it grows deep and revives in the Spring.
     
  7. Blueiz

    Blueiz THE TypoQUEEN

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    Made this a sticky...

    Blue
     
  8. Hannys_Papa

    Hannys_Papa AC Members

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    For a moment i was confused cause i couldn't find New York state on the list.

    So hygrophilia polysperma is a noxious weed on the federal level ? Lovely....now what ?

    I just saw several pots full of it at a local LFS.
     
  9. beviking

    beviking Senior Member, Sophomoric Attitude

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    Yes, any plant listed as noxious at the Federal level is noxious in all states. I've only just started looking into permits but as with brig snails, if you have a permit and follow their practices, open yourself to inspections, I THINK, you can get a permit for them. Otherwise, how are the stores and online retailers doing it?

    Yes, I believe climate has a lot to do with it. If it can't survive in the wild, there's no threat of it choking out established indigenous species.
     
  10. fishcatch22

    fishcatch22 The Picotoper

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    yeah... my state, alaska, doesn't have any invasive plants for that reason, but it does have some noxious weeds. heck, I don't think we have any aquatic plants other than algae!
     
  11. AquaticElf

    AquaticElf AC Members

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    Well how nice, this certainly makes our hobby a little more difficult. I guess perhaps it is not a good idea to trade or sell any plant life for the hobby at all. Funny thing, these plants were not a problem two hundred years ago but they are today. I was just going to send some water lettuce to a friend in Texas and so I had to write them and tell them I could not, that should make them happy. In fact I am going to destroy it all now and not take any chances. Thanks for all the info, at least it pays to be safe and not sorry later on.
     
  12. a7oneal

    a7oneal AC Members

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    Hydrilla verticillata is another noxious weed that belongs on this list... that stuff is found everywhere, so I'm pretty sure NY has it.

    Milfoil, and by that, I mean Myriophyllum spicatum or Eurasian watermilfoil (and I think, M. heterophyllum or variable-leaved milfoil), is bad news. I believe there are native milfoils in some parts of the U.S., but they are incredibly difficult to distinguish from these invasive ones, and thus, should be left alone.

    I believe some of these lists may be incomplete because I did not see Myriophyllum spicatum on neither the Federal list, nor the Michigan list, and I did not see Potamogeton crispus on the Michigan list. Both, I know, are listed here.

    The reason these plants were not considered harmful 200 years ago is because they were, in many cases, just being introduced and the idea of them potentially causing ecological damage was unheard of. The earliest reported collection of purple loosestrife in Michigan was from the late 1800s. Now, that stuff is choking out many native species due to it's high reproductive rate, both by seed and vegetative spread. The idea of "biological invasion" did not become a hot topic until the 1950s.
     
  13. ewurm

    ewurm LOACH HORDE!

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    From my understanding, Hygrophilia from any species is on the Noxious Weed list, but the law only applies to croosing state lines with them. You are free to grow and propagate Hygrophilia that you have, notwithstanding your state regulations. I have no idea the MN state law regarding various Hygrophilia specis.
     
  14. beviking

    beviking Senior Member, Sophomoric Attitude

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    I believe you are correct a7oneal in this regard.
    Nice to know there is a "watch dog" out there ;)

    btw...Hygrophila has no "ia" at the end, just an "a" :) 'Ol wetmanNY rubbed off on me a touch :D
     
  15. Ghostshrimp55

    Ghostshrimp55 Banned

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    This is an excerpt from the federal noxious weed act:

    Federal Noxious Weed Act
    Sec. 2814. Management of undesirable plants on Federal lands

    (d) Exception
    A Federal agency is not required under this section to carry out
    programs on Federal lands unless similar programs are being
    implemented generally on State or private lands in the same area.

    I think, basically, if a state has no regulations/restrictions on certain plants then it is okay for that plant to be transported into and sold within that state. The federal government, in this case the USDA Plant Protection and Quarantine Division, will not step in and regulate the movement/destruction of plants on their noxious weed list. Basically, if it doesn't pose a threat in a state then they won't bother. It's up to the state to decide if a plant poses a threat......from what I've gathered.

    I work for the NYS Department Agriculture in the Plant Industry Division and we work with the USDA PPQ division. I'll see if I can get more info on the subject of moving aquatic plants. I wish I knew more about the subject with regards to NYS but my office doesn't deal with the aquatic plant issue. Basically, don't go destroying your plants just because they're on the noxious weed list. Check with your state's department of environmental conservation or the like to see if they have a list of noxious plants that they are actively regulating before you take any action. Also, check with any state to which you are selling plants to see if they are being regulated there. If you ship a plant to a state in which it's banned, you have just broken the law. So, be careful. Othewise, CITC will be the ones who will most likely find out that you broke the law (they're the ones who work at the ports and check for noxious/invasive species) and they'll allert the authorities in your state, be they state or federal.

    In the meantime, I'll bug the feds in my office and see if I can dig up any info.
     
  16. Robert H

    Robert H Aspiring Guru

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    Its not only plants on the federal noxious weed list that will get you in trouble, it is also buying ANY plant from overseas that does not export it it into this country LEGALLY. If people in this country are dumb enough to buy plants from some guy in Singapore or Malaysia on Aquabid or EBAY who just sticks them in the mail to you without going thru customs, without being inspected, without a certificate, they deserve to get busted. Its called smuggling.

    Sorry, no, you have "gathered" completly wrong
     
  17. Ghostshrimp55

    Ghostshrimp55 Banned

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    Well, after having read and been involved with discussions about federal noxious weeds I took some initiative and attempted to find the federal noxious weed list. I found it, but it seems that it doesn't reflect all aquatic plants that are being regulated. I believe this is because certain states have their own noxious weed list in addtion to the federal government's list. The list is current as of June of 2006 and can be found here:

    http://www.aphis.usda.gov/plant_heal...edlist2006.pdf

    But, like I said, there seem to be more regulated plants that are not on that list. To find out which plants are being regulated in your state, you can go here:

    http://plants.usda.gov/checklist.html

    Just type in the scientific or common name and click on your state. Tell it to search and, if there's an issue with the plant in your state, it will come up. However, just because it comes up in your state, doesn't mean it's illegal to have it. For instance, Egeria densa (anacharis) isn't on the list, is considered a pest in some states, and is distributed throughout most of the country. However, it isn't banned nationwide. You have to look at the description next to your state's name to find out what's going on with that plant, whether it's just considered a pest or is banned statewide.

    Or, you can find a composite list of plants being regulated by the federal government and/or individual states here (this includes plants not on the fed. list):

    http://plants.usda.gov/java/noxComposite

    This list is a little more user friendly since you just have to scroll down and find your state for a list of noxious weeds. Scroll down further and you can find the scientific name of the plant in question and the states that regulate it. The only drawback is that it doesn't seem to list all of the other names the plant might be known by. I believe the checklist link above this link takes into account the other names a plant may be known by.

    Just figured some would like to know where to look for this info.
     
  18. Ghostshrimp55

    Ghostshrimp55 Banned

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    If I'm wrong then explain why Hygrophila polysperma is able to be sold in this country. It's on the list. It's recognized as invasive in several states and yet, here in New York, it's sold freely. Maybe you should actually look at the APHIS web site before you judge whether or not someone is wrong.

    This was pulled directly from the APHIS site regarding Hygrophila:

    Noxious Weed Information:
    Hygrophila polysperma (Roxb.) T. Anders.

    This plant is listed by the U.S. federal government or a state. Common names are from state and federal lists. Click on a place name to get a complete noxious weed list for that location.
    United States:
    Miramar weed Noxious weed

    Alabama:
    Miramar weed Class A noxious weed

    California:
    Miramar weed Quarantine

    Florida:
    hygrophila Prohibited aquatic plant, Class 2

    Massachusetts:
    Miramar weed Prohibited

    North Carolina:
    Miramar weed Class A noxious weed

    Oregon:
    Miramar weed Quarantine

    South Carolina:
    Miramar weed Invasive aquatic plant
    Indian hygrophila, Miramar weed Plant pest

    Vermont:
    East Indian hygrophila Class A noxious

    You'll notice that these are the only states that currently have the plant on their noxious weed lists. Not all of them have prohibited the plant. It depends on the state.

    New York State, interestingly enough, has no noxious weed list.

    Further, this might be of some use to you:

    The Plant Protection Act (Title IV of the federal Agriculture
    Risk Protection Act of 2000) replaces 10 existing federal
    laws with one statutory framework. This new act provides the
    USDA with the ability to prohibit or restrict imports, exports or
    interstate movements of noxious weeds.
    Subtitle A of the Plant Protection Act:
    Section 412: The USDA may prohibit or restrict the
    importation, entry, exportation, or movement in interstate
    commerce of any plant, plant product, biological control
    organism, noxious weed, article or means of conveyance, if the
    USDA determines that the prohibition or restriction is
    necessary to prevent the introduction into the United States or
    the dissemination of a plant pest or noxious weed within the
    United States.


    You might also want to look at this: (Taken from http://nationalplantboard.org/docs/usdaqua.pdf)

    1. IMPORTED PLANTS AND PLANT PARTS 7 CFR 301.10 and 11
    PEST: Various
    STATES REGULATED: All
    REGULATED ARTICLES: According to federal foreign quarantines, some plants and
    plant parts may be imported into some States or areas of the United States but are
    prohibited from being imported into, entered into, or distributed within other States or areas.
    RESTRICTIONS: Whenever any imported plant or plant part is subject to such
    destination restrictions (1) the State(s) or area(s) into which the plant or plant part is allowed to be imported is quarantined with respect to that plant or plant part; and (2) no person shall move any plant or plant part from any such quarantined State or area into or through any State or area not quarantined with respect to that plant or plant part.

    Unless the plant is prohibited or quarantined within a state (or part of that state) there is no action taken. Further, it is not illegal to ship that plant to a state if a) your state has no quarantines regarding that plant and b) the state you're shipping it to has not prohibited that plant. So, yes, a noxious weed can be considered to be regulated by the USDA. However, what action, if any, is taken depends entirely on whether or not that plant is requlated within a given state/region.

    The USDA doesn't just put blanket bans on the plant material that can be moved around the country. They work with state regulatory agencies to determine what action, if any, is needed regarding pests and weeds. The officials and ecologists within each state determine whether or not a plant is noxious within that state.

    To illustrate that point, here is an excerpt from the Florida Department of Agriculture's Plant Industry Division's policy regarding noxious weeds:

    5B-57.004 Introduction, Possession or Movement of Arthropods, Biological Control Agents, Plant Pests, Noxious
    Weeds, and Invasive Plants, Regulated by the Department.
    (1) It is unlawful to introduce, multiply, possess, move, or release any arthropod, plant pest, biological control agent, noxious
    weed, or invasive plant regulated by the department or the USDA except under permit issued by the department unless a federal
    permit, PPQ 526, has been issued by the USDA with concurrence by the Department. No permit shall be issued nor concurrence
    with a federal permit, PPQ 526 made unless the department has determined that the arthropod, plant pest, biological control agent,
    noxious weed, or invasive plant can be contained to prevent escape into the environment or that it will not pose a threat to
    agriculture, beneficial organisms, or the environment or become a public nuisance.

    Again, the plant can be on the noxious list but still be distributed in the state (in this case by permit only) if it is deemed to not be a threat to the local environment or economy of Florida.

    These are just some examples of how the law is treated in different states. There are many more available if you're willing to tool around on the APHIS website. But, before you go around saying that I'm wrong, do some research. Whatever you've gathered is obviously misleading at best.
     
    #18 Ghostshrimp55, Mar 11, 2007
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2007
  19. Ghostshrimp55

    Ghostshrimp55 Banned

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    Aaaaraaghhhh.....stupid editing time limit.

    Anyway, I just wanted to expand on something from my earlier post. With regards to "quarantine" and "prohibited;" these are terms used to describe a specific regulatory action taken against a controlled plant species within a state. With regards to California, H. polysperma is merely under quarantine. You can have the plant within the state. You cannot, however, move the plant out of the state. You can even receive the plant in the mail, as long as you don't take it out of the state after you receive it. Quarantine doesn't have to extend to the entire state, either. A plant may only be quarantined to a portion of the state. Either way, it is unlawful to move the plant outside of the quarantine area.

    This latter part usually only applies to plant material that may be infested with a pest or disease organism. For example, in NYS the Asian Longhorned Beetle is a pest of hardwood trees. However, it is only present in parts of the state (parts of Long Island and Manhatten) and those areas are under quarantine. You cannot move the trees or tree material that it infests out of the quarantine area. However, if you live outside the quarantine area, you can do whatever you want with the tree material you have. The plant material (trees and their parts) are only regulated if they originate within the quarantine.

    Prohibited means just that. You'd better not have the plant in a state in which it is prohibited. I, being from New York, cannot ship H. polysperma to Florida because it is prohibited in that state. I can, however, ship it to New Jersey, where there is neither a quarantine in place nor a prohibition.
     
  20. beviking

    beviking Senior Member, Sophomoric Attitude

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    Hey Ghostshrimp55, great post, albeit a bit long :)

    Funny I received a letter of denial for a permit application to ship H.polysperma or L.sessiliflora with the following explanation...

    "In 1983, PPQ listed both species as Federal noxious weeds after they were introduced into Florida , citing their tendency to form dense mats, impede water flow, inhibit passage, and clog irrigation pumps. After publishing an interim rule in 1999 adding interstate movement provisions to the noxious weed regulations, PPQ decided to issue permits for interstate movement of these species if the receiving State’s regulatory official concurred with permit
    issuance. The permit system for these species was ineffective. APHIS Smuggling Interdiction and Trade Compliance inspectors found these species for sale in retail establishments in States that did not approve of permit issuance. The conditions of permit were not being followed.
    For these reasons, APHIS concluded in 2004 that issuance of interstate movement permits for H. polysperma and L. sessiliflora did not provide adequate protection against further establishment and spread of these species in the environment of the United States.
    The Plant Protection Act states in Section 412 that the Secretary may prohibit or restrict the movement in interstate commerce of any noxious weed if the Secretary determines that the prohibition or restriction is necessary to prevent the introduction into the United States or the dissemination of the noxious weed within the United States . Accordingly, this application is denied."
    :huh:
     

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