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'Where They Are Native' 


In response to "In Mourning" (Mailbox, Sept. 28): For many years since 1977 I have driven past the eucalyptus trees on U.S. Highway 101 between Eureka and Arcata at least twice a day. I love these plants: the unique bark on the eucalypts is still a pleasure to see.

Many years ago, we visited Australia to see its unique flora and fauna. Flying into Melbourne was our first view of the country. To my disappointment that city looked just like those in Southern California — urban sprawl, highways and with many of the native plants replaced by Mediterranean plants from Europe and California. The endemic plants were bulldozed and replaced by houses and non-native ornamentals. 

Why do people visit California (besides Disneyland and Hollywood)? For our beautiful coastline, our unique floral landscapes from the deserts to the mountains ... and for the tallest trees in the world, the biggest trees in the world and possibly the oldest living trees in the world?

Our exquisite Humboldt Bay needs to be surrounded by the endemic plants that have shared this unique spot for millennia, not by non-native species like eucalyptus, purple leaf plums or ice plants. Eucalyptus are a treasure to be protected, but in Australia, where they are native, not Humboldt Bay.

Peter Haggard, McKinleyville

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