Johnson quoted on possible bioterrorism attack on California's eucalyptus trees
The irony of California’s biological control program to save an invasive weed isn’t lost on Doug Johnson, executive director of the Cal-IPC. “It does seem a little surreal that you have some people working to get rid of eucalyptus and others working to save eucalyptus,” he says.
The reasons California is saving an invasive weed aren’t straightforward. There are invasive plants in California where it is hard to find anything positive about them, says Johnson, but “in any given situation there may be more benefit to keeping eucalyptus than removing it.” Many people like big trees of any type and have grown up seeing eucalyptus as part of the landscape. It also has ecological uses; for example, monarch butterflies roost in it. The approach has been to manage it locally on a case-by-case basis—often to great controversy—rather than to use biocontrol.