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trucha

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About trucha

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    I work for the plants.

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  1. trucha

    Another paper

    Steven Barker is a good worker and a really nice guy, I've been a fan of his for many years. His goals in this line of work (in and beyond this one paper) do not seem to be totally overlapping with Rick Strassman's though. I am in complete agreement that DMT will be found to play some type of role in mammalian neurochemistry but I'd be happy to enter into a wager that the idea a large release DMT at a psychedelic level occurs at birth and death turns out to be pop science. Similarly the cycle of pineal chemistry he described in The Spirit Molecule is at best implausible. I've talked with Rick Strassman on these topics, starting not long after his first book came out. I like him and I enjoy his thoughts but his weak point is having an attachment to proving his theories. Rick Strassman is a medical doctor who is engaged in some interesting research. He is not an actual research scientist. The mark of good scientist is always being open to both exploring the possibility and even to learning that they are wrong. "Proving something" does exist in mathematics and in applied sciences. In pure science, a theory is supposed to be evaluated for having a solid basis of plausibility (which is what Barker has been doing very well) and then rigorous attempts to disprove the actual theory are supposed to be made. (Not the established biochemistry but the package that is also being presented concerning, birth, death, NDE etc.) There are no doubt plenty of people who will disagree with that idea as the alternative path is easier but I'd rather trust the people I learned from as to how good science should be done. If a person sets out to prove a cherished theory, especially if they are attached to having a particular outcome, there is a danger they may stop too soon (sometimes as soon as they see some evidence potentially supporting their ideas) or create approaches that contain sampling biases, and other flaws. A heck of a lot of poorly done science exists right now. (Not counting the actual wealth of BAD science and bogus results one can find flying past peer reviewers in disturbing numbers but that is a separate subject that merits a book of its own.) That last reference cited above contains a lot of interesting reading for such a short piece (by both Barker and by Nichols). Barker, S. A. (2018). N,N-dimethyltryptamine facts and myths. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 32(7), 820–821. doi:10.1177/0269881118767648 url to share this paper: sci-hub.se/10.1177/0269881118767648
  2. trucha

    Lophophora varieties

    I made a post at our website https://cactusconservation.org/blog/2019/06/30/bbnp-peyote-is-now-extirpated-i-e-made-locally-extinct/
  3. trucha

    Rhynchites auratus

    What did you use to capture that beautiful image? Very nice!
  4. trucha

    Another paper

    Agreed on all of those points. As far as I can tell no one has actually demonstrated the native presence of DMT in those particular tissues except as something transient and observed under very artificially created conditions. Sasha made a valuable comment, "Never get attached to your theories." Science moves forward best and farthest by finding what is believed to be factual is actually wrong or somehow skewed from accuracy and not by proving something is right. In fact science can really only PROVE what is wrong with a theory and truth becomes more solidly suggested to be accurate by generating additional support and by the repeated failure to disprove it. That is something subtle many people miss; sadly including too many people in science. (The *applications* of science can be established to be right or wrong of course.) Some of the people involved in this work have actual motivation to prove themselves right. That mindset often compromises good science whether in design of studies or in the interpretation of the results. Thankfully there ARE some excellent workers involved. And those would almost certainly be open to hearing suggestions and criticisms such as what you have voiced.
  5. trucha

    regrowth study in 2019

    No argument at all with the wisdom of returning seeds to the wild. Selectively planting seedlings would have a higher success rate and would also be a good activity to consider; if and where possible. Especially if the planting was done Hopi-style with a mind not just for selecting a microniche encouraging survival but also with a mind for where the seeds of the survivors would go after being dropped in the future. Steps could even be taken to improve microtopography for encouraging better seed capturing and seedling recruitment. Two concerns should be considered if taking those paths. 1) Diseases and pests are also nurtured better under cultivated conditions. A mind for being aware of an avoiding introduction of pests from insects and fungi to viruses and microbes would be of value. Soil from commercial cultivation operations would a good thing to not include; just as a precaution. Fortunately cacti do perfectly fine being planted bareroot. 2) Some cacti, like peyote, have become adapted to specific climactic zones or soils. This is where what Gerhard Koehres has done in propagating a wealth of Lophophora from many different known localities could be of immense benefit. Picking and choosing plants originating from a specific geographic area would be of value for returning the same genetics as came from a particular locality to that same locality. If not possible, selecting seeds from another point of origin that was similar in climate and soil to the target zone for replanting would be helpful. Peyote plants from South Texas would most often all die if growing unprotected in West Texas where wild peyote can experience brutal cold with single digit temperatures (and survive) but those from Chihuahua might do fine. The reestablishment of cacti through seed planting has been evaluated in Astrophytum asterias and was judged to be an ineffectual approach. However, there is something worth understanding about that. The conclusion was based on a lower survival rate when compared to the replanting of seedlings. The survival rate of the seeds was NOT zero. It was actually higher than most botanists anticipate for wild cactus dropping their seed. The conclusion was based on practical matters such as having a limited number of viable seeds and wanting to maximize the returns on the investment of resources. Forgive me for sounding like a cliche. The plants of tomorrow do begin with the seeds of today.
  6. trucha

    Another paper

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-45812-w?fbclid=IwAR1qTb76NM_Ws5qivWVDoAx_KkWoi6ySqJvm6RitdBn2vSk7LR_O_uh7bLc
  7. trucha

    regrowth study in 2019

    One problem is that was not a natural population but the last known surviving population of a deliberate planting of peyote plants by indigenous people really long ago. (At least three such sites were once known and the other two - at Hueco Tanks and Glenn Springs- were removed many years ago.) The spot appears to have been chosen by someone based on the soil looking sort of similar to some peyote soils in color but it was actually a small zone of *really* alkaline weathered volcanic tuff in the midst of completely unsuitable and inhospitable "soil" types. The plants there were healthy but clearly at their limit with a slow rate of growth and an extremely low rate of seedling recruitment so it was a really unique locality to even exist. Broadcasting seeds will have results similar to what exists in nature. In good conditions, maybe one out of ten or a hundred will germinate and form a seedling and probably no more of those will make it to adulthood. It may be worth trying if a person has many thousands of seeds to spare but most people are going to opt for a higher survival rate and not waste so many precious seeds. Since natural seed recruitment was inhibited to an even lower rate at this site it would require far more seeds and with no guarantee of success. Due to the soil it is likely even planting them as plants will have a low survival rate. The easily located paper "Tragedy of the Commons" describes the problem very well. Each individual most often considers their impact to be acceptable as, in their mind, it is just about them and their action is regarded to be small. It is really common. It is easy in fact to find people online discussing their plans to go find and eat some peyote in Big bend. Not long ago someone told me about this and commented he only took a few in order to be respectful, not from BBNP but from a nearby wilderness area. When I lived in Texas I watched the Mammillaria heyderii, Echinocereus reichenbachii var. caespitosa and Echinocereus coccineus in the easy to access public areas near the camping zones completely disappear; one at a time. No doubt by individuals who probably believed taking just one wouldn't hurt anything. Plenty of Opuntia is left of course. And removing plants removes more than plants, it removes the seed supply for the future. Again though, a take away point here is those Big Bend plants were DUG up so are likely in someone's plant collection or may be appearing for sale as plants or as their seeds in the future. Even Gerhard Koehres pilfering just a few seeds for amplification and commercial distribution directly played a significant role in its destruction. While one can say the genetics are now preserved in horticulture, this seems like a high price for plant lovers to have some BBNP peyote in captivity. Increasingly I have real difficulty believing wild peyote is not going to be "loved" into total extirpation. Most likely heavily weighted towards the people who believe it is a spiritual medicine and deliberately seek it out for that reason but as this case suggests cactus collectors also have had lasting impact. In fact, plant collectors are now widely considered to be the single most serious threat that exists to wild cacti (and succulents) in both North and South America. In some cases that has clearly been due to commercial scale harvesting but it is also due to the increasing numbers of people who believe their small take will be insignificant and not caring they are but one in a perennial flood of tourists. The planet will likely require a good asteroid to solve this problem.
  8. trucha

    regrowth study in 2019

    Someone also wiped out every last plant in the Big Bend population. Since those were harvested with roots it was likely a cactus collector. In South Texas, on the other hand, the primary poachers are now and always have been the licensed distributors and their employees who are harvesting to sell to the NAC. Not all of them (I think maybe 6 licensed distributors are registered this year) but one in particular actually holds this as a point of pride and is famous for publicly proclaiming "No fence is too high for me.". As long as those buying the medicine are OK with this, it has no possibility of changing. BTW I've been informed by several people now that no one in South Texas considers it to be "poaching". Everyone prefers the more polite "fence jumping". Dudleya may be in even worse shape here in California. People stealing $90K" worth of plants to ship to China or Korea face a $10K fine. One successful trip will pay for several failures and still be nicely profitable. The market for them appears to be booming. Google Dudleya poaching if you want to learn more.
  9. trucha

    Lophophora varieties

    As an update for June 2019: The Big Bend peyotes have finally all been collected. Someone took around half of them a few years back after Gerhard Koehres posted a series of scenery shots taken at the site but now the remaining couple of dozen have been removed too --roots and all. Which probably suggests cactus collectors rather than consumers. That tiny population is now extirpated. People owning these really should be regarded as being akin to ivory collectors.
  10. A recent summary is online with more to come. https://cactusconservation.org/blog/2019/05/17/lophophora-williamsii-harvesting-regrowth-mortality/
  11. trucha

    Proper taxonomy

    Taxonomy has always been more of a political endeavor than a scientific one. It is not actually about the plants but rather is about what names people want to apply to them and how they want to rank them with regards to their perceived relationships to each other. Even when based on molecular data there is still plenty of room for individual opinions to be expressed. It is true that anyone can name a plant but getting a proposed name accepted is not so easy. The International Code of Botanical Nomenclature is available (both online and in print) should you want the details about naming plants. The Melbourne version is the most recent one.
  12. I somehow forgot a title. Sorry about that! Some Simple Tryptamines https://www.dropbox.com/s/8rt48q7b1ejc7dx/SomeSimpleTryptamines_2ndEd_2007_with_addendum.pdf?dl=0
  13. I was unclear where might be best for posting this. Moderators please move it if it would be better elsewhere. Thanks! With my apologies to all that that this is my reality today. Recently it was brought to my attention that links from my former website Largely Accurate Information Media are being used for exposing people to malware and a virus. I stopped using several websites a couple of years or so ago, that being one of them. Apparently it is now owned by someone who is using it to deliver malware. The titles that are affected: Notes on the Genus Desmodium San Pedro book (with and without Pachanoi or Pachanot) Pachanoi or Pachanot Cactus Chemsitry By Species Cactus Chemsitry By Species Light Cactus Alkaloids Some other succulents I uploaded an earlier copy of Some other succulents and also Notes on the Genus Desmodium from prior to the addition of internal links to other publications or articles of mine. That was not possible for the others so all of those have been revisited and the links either removed to else replaced with something current. This was noted on their front cover to make it easier to recognize the replacement files. All of these are now at troutsnotes.com replacing the compromised copies bearing the same names. If you have one of those earlier copies they are safe as long as you do not click on a link to the LAIM site or follow the suggestions that pop up but a much safer idea is to just delete all of those and obtain new copies. I also uploaded a copy to DropBox where a person can take a look at them prior to deciding whether to downloading them. Cactus Cultivation C2_CactusCultivation.pdf https://www.dropbox.com/s/fvp1y7sl5aq0y5b/C2_CactusCultivation.pdf?dl=0 Cactus Alkaloids C13_CactusAlkaloids.pdf https://www.dropbox.com/s/8im9x6bsdvvjavt/C13_CactusAlkaloids.pdf?dl=0 Cactus Chemistry By Species Light (illustration-free for easier use during research) CactusChemistryBySpecies_2014_Light.pdf https://www.dropbox.com/s/4tf64kfn538d8q7/CactusChemistry_2013_Light.pdf?dl=0 Cactus Chemistry By Species (Intensely illustrated.) CactusChemistryBySpecies_2014.pdf https://www.dropbox.com/s/aikxohacl8iavjb/CactusChemistry_2013.pdf?dl=0 Pachanoi or Pachanot? Pachanoi_Pachanot-bad-links-replaced-jan-2018 https://www.dropbox.com/s/p1tx3q17hg6y1vd/Pachanoi_Pachanot-bad-links-replaced-jan-2018.pdf?dl=0 San Pedro and related Trichocereus species SanPedro_2006_with_pachanoi_pachanot_addendum.pdf https://www.dropbox.com/s/kshk4mn74fpolfr/SanPedro_2006_with_pachanoi_pachanot_addendum.pdf?dl=0
  14. trucha

    2016 peyote harvest numbers are online

    One other comment. At this moment none of the actively ongoing cultivation activities inside of the USA (all of which are relatively tiny operations) involve groups with legal protection for that activity and, as far as I can determine, none of them produce sacrament for or accepted by the federally recognized legal users of peyote. This appears to be in the process of possibly shifting but it is not there yet. There is a subtle element many people miss. No group presently using peyote or ayahuasca with some degree of legal protection is doing so under constitutional guarantees of religious freedom and are variously accomodated under either state law or is based on congressional legislation.
  15. trucha

    2016 peyote harvest numbers are online

    Sure, there is no question about that. Dig into their documents --at their website and elsewhere online-- to study the actual details of their legal challenges (or ask them) Peyote Way lost their last court battle more than twenty years ago despite being recognized as sincere by the same judge. They are not just sincere but dedicated to their beliefs and did not abandon them. They are operating openly but it is without recognition of legal protection. They are simply being unmolested. That subject is densely complicated so it is often misunderstood to be something other than what it is. Ever since Oklahueha and two ayahuasca churches experienced limited success the DEA is picking their fights carefully to avoid more of those from occurring. In the scenario as it now exists and if PWCOG had the resources to support such a legal fight it is conceivable they might triumph in the wake of being attacked now. It would take them many years and a lot of money to do so. I don't know how much money Oklavueha spent but it took them 12 years of court appearances and legal fees. AND it is clear the powers that be are still wanting to try and find a way to somehow take them down. It is a circus very much worth watching in the wake of them declaring cannabis, ayahuasca "and other" to be their sacraments in addition to peyote. It is also important to understand Peyote Way ended up in court due to actions that involved Emerson Jackson who was then president of the Native American Church of North America and objected to them being peyote people -- on racial grounds. There are cultivation efforts occurring in Alaska and in Canada. One important element about the limited efforts ongoing towards peyote cultivation is those are all greenhouse activities and none are presently involving wildcrafting or repopulation in South Texas.
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