This just came up on the EGA Facebook page.
Someone has found 50-60 ringbarked mature A. obtusifolia in a NSW national park. Link below, click through for pictures.
Absolutely deplorable behaviour. Events like this WILL have a profound negative impact on the local environment.
If the person who did this is reading this, I urge you first to slap yourself. Ringbarking all the mature trees in an area is effective local extermination of a species. The genetic and seed resource of these trees will not be replaced.
How do we stop it? Perhaps Atlas of Living Australia needs to have restricted access to information on "sensitive" species? We can't set up cameras on every stand of Acacia.
When DMT Equals Killing the Environment
"What I saw yesterday has left me sickened and shocked.
I took the Nexian, Spice Sailor, to see a very special and pristine nature reserve in a national park where there were large mother seed trees of Acacia obtusifolia. We went simply to enjoy the presence of the trees and the bush. This was a sacred site, too sensitive to touch, I would have thought.
To our dismay, every single mature tree was either dead or dying. They had been completely stripped of bark, or had so much taken that they could no longer live. Every one of them was bare—maybe 50-60 trees—except for some very small saplings not yet ready to produce seed. At the rate these trees grow in the wild, they would have been between 20-50 years old. A few were older.
I understand that there are greedy and ignorant people out there, but this is the worst case I have ever seen.
If the perpetrator(s) were ignorant, then let me say yet again that taking bark kills trees! Then it is another 15-20 years before other trees grow to such a large size. As stated several times, the small twigs have the same percent alkaloid content as the bark. There is no need to cause long term harm or kill these trees. As I've said, if you're growing trees, you realize that killing them for trunk bark is wasteful and stupid…you can prune a branch.
Please stop and think about what you’re doing. Nature reserves are there to protect the plants!
If the people who did this acted out of greed, then they have stupidly destroyed what was a tremendous sustainable supply. The amount of bark taken indicates very large-scale dealing. Please, if you care about the future of these trees and the environment in general, don't support the sale of DMT; you are inadvertently supporting this kind of environmental carnage. The people who do this are as callous as mining companies and have no qualms about harming the environment.
These trees were part of the ecosystem; providing shelter for numerous birds and other creatures, and maintaining the soil. More than just the trees are harmed by this thoughtless act. Even worse, all of the seed-producing trees in this area are now gone. How will this arboreal community ever repopulate normally? This once pristine area will now be severely affected for decades. A place where the acacia naturally thrived is now unlikely to do so for a long time. If a bush fire takes out the saplings, these trees may never come back.
Seeing this devastation makes me wish that I'd never been involved in efforts to spread knowledge about acacias, in case my doing so increased the likelihood of this happening. If trying to increase awareness of psychoactive plants leads to this, it isn't worth it. When we first started exploring acacias, we took time to describe the potential damage to these species presented by harvesting bark, and to insist that increasing species diversity as well as growing new trees and harvesting sustainably were crucial. But to what avail?
So savage was the destruction I saw, I have to put it down to more than ignorance. It's a level of greed approaching evil. There are such people in this world who have no issues wreaking such environmental havoc. We see them in a myriad of forms around the world; the extractive energy companies, the industrial production and refinement facilities, the drug cartels in Mexico or elsewhere. The main ways to stop them are to not support their trade and to disrupt their ability to act with impunity. Share the knowledge of what is going on and find ways to take action to prevent the atrocities with which they are so comfortable.
So, Australians (and anyone else) reading this, the situation is now serious for this acacia, and it is the direct result of the selling and buying of DMT. I doubt the people who do this even take the substance much. The Nexus has lots of information on sustainable and easy to find sources of DMT, strains of Phalaris for instance, as well as great examples of growing acacias. Use them!
Other than trying to increase awareness of this sorry situation, which shames the Australian entheogen community, the other action I'll take is to inform the national parks authority about what is going on in that particular area (in NSW) so they can monitor it more closely. If anyone else has any other ideas, we would like to hear about them. And if there is more of this horror going on elsewhere, please speak up and let us know.
I can't believe that in 20 years I've watched beautiful pristine areas turn into graveyards due to people looking for a molecule that is meant to expand their consciousness! It's a crime against nature. If anyone reading this has any idea of who did this, please try to educate them as to the harm they've caused—not just to the environment, but to their own future options. These are dark days for DMT, indeed, when DMT means death and habitat destruction.
For those growing the trees; thank you deeply. This work goes hand in hand with utilizing the compounds they provide.
One more time, for the ignorant: don't take trunk bark. It will kill the tree and—in the case of A. obtusifolia—they are not fast growing in the wild. It’s so sad that I have to have to say this again. I thought we were getting somewhere."
"...and how I longed to be left alone with Eternity in a flower, Infinity in four chair legs and the Absolute in the folds of a pair of flannel trousers!" - Aldous Huxley, DoP