NY Times Butterflying Article

Patrick Foley patfoley at csus.edu
Sun Jun 10 12:20:27 EDT 2001

Paul and others,

The statements made by NABA on the two web pages Paul cites
1) do not discourage scientific or educational collecting at all,
2) do provide information and ideas about butterfly releases that
represent the consensus among population biologists with any knowledge
on the subject. Not everyone agrees with NABA's anti release position,
but it is hardly a radical anti-scientific position. Most professional
population biologists that I have spoken with appear to agree with NABA
on release. In fact, the issue seems so obvious that it is hard to get
most population biologists to even see why there is a controversy. We
have argued this out at length on this list. The only reason I reply to
Paul's message is that you are encouraging a stupid ganging-up on NABA.
NABA is not your enemy. Overpopulation and poorly regulated development
is the enemy of the butterflies.

For utter clarification
1) I am not anti-collection. I collect bees and occasional butterflies.
Collection is a scientific and educational necessity.
2) I _am_ against unregulated butterfly releases except for locally
raised butterflies. The reasons are on record.
3) I am not a NABA member, but I like most of what they do. I especially
like Glassberg's books.
4) I am not trying to defend every position that scientists or NABA
members have ever taken.
5) I do not like govenment regulation, but in the absence of
intelligent, responsible individual behavior, we need to fall back on
robotic laws. Maybe the anti-anti-collectors and the anti-anti-releasers
on this list could work out an intelligent, responsible approach to the
problems that they could convince the NABA people of. Then stop the
endless whining.
6) I don't care if 5000 or 10000 people collect butterflies. But I want
_all_ children to study butterflies and plants and bees. The effect on
butterfly populations if _all_ children collect, would be significant.
Furthermore, I want all children who want to collect to do so
responsibly. Butterflies are not stamps or coins, and they should be
treated differently. NABA is doing children a service to make this
clear. Collectors do them a disservice if they encourage irresponsible
7) If you want a voice in the forming of a scientific and/or social
consensus, the appropriate methods are scientific and social. Crankiness
and sniping are rarely as effective on others as they are satisfying to
the egos of cranky snipers.

Somewhere in the spectrum,
Patrick Foley
patfoley at csus.edu

Paul Cherubini wrote:

> Bob Parcelles,Jr. wrote:
> > PAUL,
> >
> > Not every butterfly watcher is anti collecting nor is
> OK lets get off it and perhaps conclude and agree that the following
> is true:
> NABA's position on Collectors and Pinners:
> * Discourage the interest in collecting insects.
> * Use this advocacy of no collecting to obtain state restrictions on
> the activities of those who do not share the same view.
> NABA's postion on Breeders and Releasers:
> http://www.naba.org/qanda.html
> http://www.naba.org/action.html
> *"Releasing commercially-raised butterflies into the environment is
> an act of anti-environmental terror"
> *"Please let the USDA and the Dept. of the Interior know that you
> object to the  interstate shipment of commercially-raised
> butterflies intended for release into the environment.
> Here are some of the reasons you can provide to them why these
> shipments and releases should not be provided:"
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