The word “nativism” is often used as a pejorative term, referring to people who are chauvinistic and want to restrict their country’s inhabitants to its “native” peoples, or likewise want to preserve the country’s original culture (whatever that is).
There’s another kind of nativism that has nothing at all to do with the people of the country, but of its flora and fauna. Ignoring the animals (fauna) for a moment, let’s look at the flora (foliage, plants and trees). An example of this is (of course) South Africa, where there has been a great push to restrict and even destroy what are called “foreign” plants — even if said plants were imported more than a century earlier and are now as “native” as any other plant. Thus the jacaranda trees, which are so popular and so widespread that the nation’s capital Pretoria is known as the “Jacaranda City”, and the northern suburbs of Johannesburg are likewise full of these trees with their gorgeous purple flowers. Here’s an aerial view of Joburg’s northern suburbs:
…and what it looks like at street level:
But to the Seffrican government, because the trees originally came from South America (back in the 1880s), they are “foreign”, may no longer be planted or even maintained, and in fact can be chopped down for firewood without penalty. Sic semper Africanis.
But that’s not the full purpose of this rant. This is.
Let’s say that you own an area of great natural beauty, but a bunch of the fauna in the area are not native to the area. So you partner with an organization which concerns itself with the “national heritage”, agree with them to restore the area to its original state, and set about removing various shrubs, flowers and bushes. Then the following happens:
Scottish Natural Heritage had agreed a tree management plan for ‘selective felling’ of non-native trees on the island in 2013 but did not tell landowner Luss Estates of the change to the plan for the widespread killing of more than 300 trees.
David Maclennan, SNH area manager for Argyll and the Outer Hebrides, said: ‘Although Luss Estates was party to the original management agreement in 2013, which posited the removal of rhododendron and, by selective felling, of ‘non-native species’ over a five year period, Scottish Natural Heritage accepts that the subsequent amendment, which proposed to kill all the beech trees on Inchtavannach in a single operation by chemical injection of glyphosate was not shared with Luss Estates Company.
‘SNH apologise for what was, with hindsight, an error on our part.
‘We should have ensured that Luss Estates Company was informed of and consented to the proposed operations.’
He added: ‘The speed, scale, and visual impact of the operation was much greater than anticipated and we recognise that this has caused considerable detriment and upset to Luss Estates Company and to Sir Malcolm Colquhoun personally. For this we unreservedly apologise.
‘There remains a need to undertake works to remove fallen timber from agreed areas – and we have offered to do this through a new agreement.’
Here’s a pic:
All those dead trees were poisoned by the SNH. And forgive me, but a little “oopsie” apology wouldn’t cut it with me.
Were I Sir Malcolm Colquhoun (the owner of the estate), the “new agreement” would insist that the poxy SNH not only pay for the removal of the dead beech trees but also take on the cost of planting new fully-grown trees as replacements (look up how much it costs to replant a single fully-grown pine or oak tree, then multiply it by 300). Then I would include in the agreement a demand for the hanging of the SNH manager who signed off on the poisoning action, and a public flogging of all the minions who actually performed the filthy deed. (“Ve voss chust obeyink orders!” is indefensible.)
My ire in all this is not caused by the damage to the estate — at least, not much — but by the sheer fucking arrogance of an organization which thinks it can just ignore the property’s owner and do whatever they want.
And yes, I know that non-native species can cause damage to the indigenous fauna — witness the kudzu overgrowth in the Southern states of America — but beech trees are native to Britain (just maybe not in that area of poxy Scotland), so that was never a concern. As far as I’m concerned, this is all of a part of the stupid Scottish Nationalist movement, where anything not Scottish is awful and needs to be removed or destroyed.
If I were His Lordship, once the dead trees are replaced I would order my groundskeepers to shoot these SNH pricks on site, but no doubt someone would have a problem with this.
Although the mindset of the South Africans and the Scots is identical, I can somewhat excuse the South African government’s war on the jacaranda because they’re stupid fucking Africans; but the SNH weasels? Strap them all to large rocks and toss them into Loch Lomond, the tartan fuckers.