[PCA] White Pine Blister Rust Brochure

Brown, Christopher MVN Christopher.Brown at mvn02.usace.army.mil
Mon Jun 6 09:41:09 CDT 2005

I think there is a good argument to be made for preserving rare species, even
though they may be pathogenic in some circumstances.  The primary reason why
this is desirable is for research.  For example, perhaps study of the
nearly-extinct rust would yield some insight into ways that related rusts
could be controlled, or perhaps a benign form of the rust could be introduced
to overwhelm the pathogenic form.  (These are just hypothetical examples).

This controversy is similar to the smallpox debate: should science preserve a
sample of smallpox, which has been virtually eliminated as a pathogenic
disease?  If it were completely destroyed, including lab samples, it would be
truly extinct (until a reservoir is found in some remote area).  But if it
were extinct, would research possibilities be restricted?  I think the answer
has to be "Yes."

Dr. J. Christopher Brown, Botanist
US Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District
P.O. Box 60267
New Orleans, LA  70160-0267
Voice phone:  504-862-2508
Fax:  504-862-2572
email:  christopher.brown at mvn02.usace.army.mil

 -----Original Message-----
From: 	native-plants-bounces at lists.plantconservation.org
[mailto:native-plants-bounces at lists.plantconservation.org]  On Behalf Of John
Sent:	Friday, June 03, 2005 10:53 AM
To:	native-plants at lists.plantconservation.org
Subject:	[PCA] White Pine Blister Rust Brochure

Greetings to all on this list.  I would appreciate critical review and
distribution of the White Pine Blister Rust brochure found at:

A downloadable PDF can be found in the "What's New" section.

The host species at risk to the non-native disease white pine blister rust
include  whitebark pine, which has a well established conservation
strategy, as well as rocky mountain bristlecone pine and great basin
bristlecone pine.  White pine blister rust was discovered last year for the
first time on Rocky Mountain bristlecone in Colorado, and the rust has
recently jumped to a mountain range within about 50 miles of the northern
edge of the distribution of great basin bristlecone in Nevada, also placing
that species at risk.

And a question for you folks, is there any precedent for placing a plant
disease on lists of plants/fungi in need of protection as a rare fungus?
The native plant disease white spored gall rust is only found in one
location in the Spring Mountains in Nevada (and possibly a couple other
unconfirmed locations).  One of the two populations was nearly wiped out in
a suppression effort in the 1970's, and I think the other population,
isolated in one canyon, is worthy of protection as a rare fungus.

Thanks, JCG

John Guyon
Forest Pathologist
Ogden Field Office
Forest Health Protection, Region 4
USDA Forest Service

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