Nature trolls the Republicans:
Mammals are not the only things that the park must seek to curate. Out past where the sedges and bunchgrass near Abbotts Lagoon give way to rolling dunes, engangered plants have been struggling to survive an onslaught of invasive European beachgrass. Familiar to residents and seashore visitors, the European grass has been making its glacial advance since it was first planted in the late 1800s, and crowding out everything in its path. This includes the Tidestrom’s lupine, a plant that is delicate and low to the ground, with small purple flowers and soft, silvery leaves that feel like velvet.
From January to July 2011, the park bulldozed over a hundred acres of beachgrass-covered dunes, as part of a large-scale restoration experiment. All of the vegetation was churned deep under the sand, and the rhizomes, the stubborn root-like tendrils of the grass that can extend more than nine feet below the surface, were either destroyed by the excavators or pulled out. Without the grass’s tenacious grasp, the dunes dissipate and blow flat, and the team of biologists then waited to see what native plants, if any, decided to take up residence there. But the process must be “natural,” and scientists won’t place the plants themselves. When I visited the site in 2012, small fields of the endangered Tidestrom’s lupine had taken root and were blooming.
In fact, the majority of Point Reyes’s grasses are not native, but were brought from the Mediterranean, both on purpose and accidentally, smuggled in the digestive systems of livestock. When the fallow deer grazed the hillsides, they were Mediterranean deer, eating Mediterranean grass. Many of America’s most iconic plants and animals are not native. The ubiquitous tumbleweed of the American Southwest is a monumentally invasive species from Russia, a stowaway in nineteenth-century grain shipments. The apple tree, of course, is also not native to the Americas, even though nothing is more American than apple pie. In every sense we are a country of immigrants.
---from The Oyster War: The True Story of a Small Farm, Big Politics, and the Future of Wilderness in America by Summer Brennan.