Public Policy Proposals:
We need to tax the sale of invasive plants by nurseries. Ivy is still being sold, and the holly-growing industry recently prevented the State Noxious Weed Board from listing holly as a class C weed. Public policy should balance public and commercial interests, and taxation can encourage responsibility commensurate with the cost of control.
The Washington State legislature should exempt the service of ecological restoration (distinct from landscaping) from sales tax. Adding sales tax on restoration labor will dilute public money and be more costly to the State’s future control efforts given the increasing costs of neglect.
We have to solve the private property component of seed rain while respecting private property rights. Encouraging homeowners who are emotionally attached to invasive weeds will take incentives, probably in the form of property tax breaks for invasive control, and balancing revenues by increasing pollution taxes. There are other stewardship efforts worthy of such tax breaks, such as rainwater management (installing rain gardens and cisterns), increasing tree cover, and encouraging urban density.
It may be advisable to organize a ballot initiative to incentivize stewardship of private land for the public good. If you would like to receive email updates on organizing efforts, please submit your name and email address on our contact page (we don’t sell our email lists).
We are also interested in your constructive ideas on how to solve the problem of seed rain.