Wildflower is published quarterly by the Wildflower Center. Its content is national in scope with articles about the conservation and use of native plants as well as news from the Wildflower Center. A subscription is provided to Wildflower Center members as a benefit of membership.
Letter from the Editor - Spring 2009
AT PRESS TIME FOR THIS MAGAZINE, Science magazine published the findings of a study by United States Geological Survey authors that found that drought from rising temperatures is causing trees in the Western United States to die nearly twice as fast as they did a few decades ago.
The same day, The New York Times discussed a Pew Research Center poll that found that global warming had dropped to the bottom of people’s concerns. When asked to rate their top priorities from a list of 20 issues, only 31 percent listed global warming as one of their top priorities – down 5 percent from last year. The biggest drop was for protecting the environment, which dropped 15 points to 41 percent. Of most concern to respondents were the economy (85 percent), jobs (82 percent) and terrorism (76 percent).
But if these worries understandably overshadow the public’s concerns about global warming and the environment right now, President Obama made it clear in his inaugural address that they were key priorities for his administration.
“We will restore science to its rightful place…and roll back the specter of a warming planet…We will harness the sun and the winds and soil to fuel our cars and run our factories.” The new president said this would require some sacrifices on the part of Americans, presumably using less energy and taking care to conserve natural resources.
For more than 25 years, the Wildflower Center has been working on issues of environmental significance through scientific research and trying to educate the public about how their actions in the garden and the outdoors affect the health of the landscape.
Wildflower magazine reflects the value the Center places on such ideals. For example, author Bibi Wein takes an in-depth look at the threatened ice meadows of New York’s Adirondack region and how early ice melt may affect the wildflower displays found there (“River Scenics,” page 20). The article “Troubled Waters” (page 28) discusses the invasive plant giant salvinia’s hold on East Texas’ beloved Caddo Lake. And in an interview with world-renowned botanic artist Patrick O’Hara, who has painted a number of California native plants and their habitat for the Wildflower Center’s affiliate the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, we discuss the conservation problems of the Golden State.
We know that as supporters of ours you share our concern for the environment. We are happy for the opportunity to educate you about our work and about that of scientists and conservationists across the country and world who took heart in President Obama’s inaugural words this January.