YCQM: Jan. 28, 2018

BURLINGTON, Vt. Guests Melanie Carpenter and Rosemary Gladstar from the United Plant Savers talks about saving plants that are near extinction. Plus WCAX Political Analysts Mike Smith & Steve Terry recap the Governor's budget address.

>> Announcer: FROM WCAX, THIS IS
"YOU CAN QUOTE ME."
>> Darren: GOOD MORNING,
EVERYONE.
I'M DARREN PERRON.
RIGHT NOW ON "YOU CAN QUOTE ME,"
PLANTS ON THE VERGE OF
EXTINCTION.
WHAT ARE THEY?
WHAT HAPPENS IF THEY DISAPPEAR,
AND WHO'S TRYING TO SAVE THEM?
I'LL TALK TO A PAIR OF EXPERTS.
>>> PLUS, A LOOK AT THE NUMBERS.
THE GOVERNOR LAYS OUT HIS
BUDGET.
DOES IT ADD UP?
WE HAVE EXPERT ANALYSIS, AND
THAT'S WHERE WE BEGIN THIS
MORNING.
NO NEW TAXES AND A PLEDGE TO
GROW VERMONT'S WORKFORCE.
THE MAIN POINTS IN THE
GOVERNOR'S BUDGET ADDRESS TO
LAWMAKERS.
HIS BUDGET INCLUDES NEARLY
$3.9 BILLION IN STATE SPENDING.
THAT'S UP 82 MILLION FROM LAST
YEAR, AND HE WANTS TO GET IT
DONE WITHOUT ASKING TAXPAYERS TO
GIVE MORE.
OUR POLITICAL REPORTER NEAL
GOSWAMI HAS A CLOSER LOOK AT THE
GOVERNOR'S IDEAS.
>> Reporter: THE GOVERNOR IS
SPEAKING $3.2 MILLION FOR THE
EFFORT.
THAT INCLUDES INCENTIVES TO
RELOCATE INFORMATION TARGETED AT
POTENTIAL RESIDENTS WHO APPEAR
INTERESTED IN MOVING HERE.
>> WE'LL FOCUS ON THOSE MOST
LIKELY TO MOVE TO VERMONT,
PEOPLE WHO LIVED HERE BUT LEFT,
CAME HERE FOR COLLEGE, WHO
VACATION OR DO BUSINESS HERE.
>> Reporter: THE PLAN ALSO
INCLUDES WHAT HE CALLS
STAY-TO-STAY WEEKENDS, AN ADDED
DAY IN VERMONT FOR POTENTIAL
VERMONTERS ON THE STATE'S DIME
TO SHOW OFF ECONOMIC
OPPORTUNITIES.
>> THERE'S NO QUESTION THIS
APPROACH IS DIFFERENT.
>> Reporter: IT COULD BE TOO
DIFFERENT FOR LAWMAKERS WHO WERE
SKEPTICAL TODAY AFTER THE
ADDRESS.
SENATE APPROPRIATIONS CHAIRWOMAN
SAYS THE ADMINISTRATION NEEDS TO
MAKE A STRONG CASE.
>> WE AS AN APPROPRIATIONS
COMMITTEE IN THE SENATE WOULD
NEVER MOVE FORWARD TO SOMETHING
LIKE THAT WITHOUT THE
EXAMINATION AND TESTIMONY BEFORE
THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT FOLKS.
>> Reporter: TO MAKE THE STATE
MORE AFFORDABLE, SCOTT PROS
POSING TO ELIMINATE THE STATE
INCOME TAX ON SOCIAL SECURITY
OVER THREE YEARS AT A COST OF
1.9 MILLION IN THE FIRST YEAR
AND OVER 6 MILLION BY THE THIRD
YEAR.
>> ONLY FIVE STATES FULLY TAX
SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS.
TODAY, I ASK YOU TO JOIN ME IN
BRINGING THAT NUMBER TO FOUR.
>> Reporter: THE CHANGE IS AIM
AT KEEPING RETIREES HERE BY
EASING THE TAX BURDEN ON THEM.
SCOTT SAYS THERE'S AMPLE
EVIDENCE TO SUGGEST THAT THE
CURRENT POLICY IS DRIVING
SENIORS AWAY.
>> THERE'S A REASON
APPROXIMATELY 26,000 NATIVE-BORN
VERMONTERS LIVE IN FLORIDA.
IT'S NOT JUST THE WEATHER.
BECAUSE 27,000 NATIVE-BORN
VERMONTERS NOW LIVE IN NEW
HAMPSHIRE.
>> Reporter: LAWMAKERS SAY IT'S
NOT A NEW IDEA AND LOW INCOME
SENIORS ARE ALREADY PROTECTED.
>> THE ONE THING TO UNDERSTAND
IS IF YOU'RE LOW INCOME RIGHT
NOW, YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY IS
ALREADY XAEMPT.
>> Reporter: TO HELP WORKING
FAMILIES, SCOTT SAYS HE'LL
MAINTAIN A DOWN PAYMENT
ASSISTANCE PROGRAM, A DOWN
PAYMENT FOR HOMEBUYERS AND SEEK
MORE MONEY FOR NATIONAL GUARD
MEMBERS.
HE'S ALSO PROPOSING A $625,000
TAX CREDIT PILOT PROGRAM FOR
REHABILITATING EXISTING HOMES.
IT'S ALL AIMED AT FINDING 2200
NEW WORKERS EACH YEAR.
>> Darren: OUR POLITICAL
ANALYSTS MIKE SMITH AND STEVE
TERRY WATCHED THE ADDRESS WITH
US AND SAT DOWN WITH EVE HAVE
McCANN TO GIVE THEIR TAKE ON
WHAT THE GOVERNOR SAID.
>> Eva: MIKE AND STEVE, THANK
YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR TIME.
WHAT ARE THE KEY TAKEAWAYS FOR
YOU FROM THE SPEECH?
WHAT DID YOU THINK?
>> Terry: WELL, OVERALL, I
THOUGHT IT WAS A GOVERNOR SCOTT
SPEECH THAT FITS HIS
PERSONALITY.
BY THAT I MEAN, I THINK HE'S A
VERY DECENT, HUMANE INDIVIDUAL,
AND THAT KIND OF CAME ACROSS.
BUT I HAVE TO SAY THE ISSUES
THAT HE LEFT UNANSWERED STILL,
LIKE PROPERTY TAX, HOW WE'RE
GOING TO DEAL WITH EDUCATION
SPENDING, HOW WE'RE GOING TO
DEAL WITH WHAT WE'VE HEARD
DEMAND FOR CLEAN WATER, MORE
FUNDING, HOW -- AND OTHER SOCIAL
ISSUES, NONE OF THOSE HE
ADDRESSED AND I'M SURE THAT'S
WHAT DEMOCRATS WILL TALK ABOUT.
>> Eva: THAT'S A FREQUENT
CRITICISM.
ARE WE GOING TO HEAR THIS AGAIN?
>> Smith: WE ALWAYS HEAR IT IN
THE BUDGET ADDRESS AND YOU HAVE
TO BE A LITTLE BIT CAUTIOUS WHEN
YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT A BUDGET
SPEECH VERSUS WHAT'S IN YOUR
BUDGET BECAUSE I'VE HELPED WRITE
THESE BUDGET SPEECHES BEFORE,
HELPED CRAFT A STATE BUDGET
BEFORE.
YOU WANT IN YOUR BUDGET SPEECH
THINGS THAT YOU WANT TO
EMPHASIZE, AND IT'S -- YOU GOT
TO KICK THE TIRES ON THE BUDGET
LATER ON TO FIGURE OUT HOW ALL
THIS SORT OF FITS TOGETHER IN
THE BIG PICTURE OF THINGS.
I THINK THERE WERE TWO
INITIATIVES THAT I WOULD
PROBABLY FOCUS IN JUST WHAT I'M
HEARING ABOUT.
THE FIRST ONE IS THE THINK
VERMONT PROPOSAL, WHICH IS
REALLY INTERESTING.
IT'S INTRIGUING TO ME IN THAT
WE'RE USING THE WAY THAT
COMPANIES TARGET CUSTOMERS TO
TRY TO GET CUSTOMERS, THE WAY
THAT CAMPAIGNS TARGET VOTERS, TO
REALLY LOOK AT PEOPLE'S
PREFERENCES AND REALLY ZEROING
IF ON THE INDIVIDUAL, NOT THIS
WIDE MARKETING CAMPAIGN, BUT THE
BIG QUESTION -- AND STEVE
ALLUDED TO THIS -- THE BIG
QUESTION IS HOW DO YOU FILL AN
$80 MILLION GAP IN NEW EDUCATION
FUNDING?
THERE WERE SOME PRINCIPLES THAT
WERE LAID OUT HERE.
I AM CERTAIN, AS STEVE SAID,
THAT'S WHERE THE DEMOCRATS ARE
GOING TO GO AT THE GOVERNOR WITH
THIS SPEECH.
>> Eva: WHY DO YOU THINK HE
DIDN'T OFFER ANY NEW -- PLANNING
TO KEEP TAXES LEVEL?
>> Terry: IN FAIRNESS TO HIM, I
THINK HE'S QUOTING IDEAS AND
TRYING A DIFFERENT PATHWAY THAN
HE DID LAST YEAR.
I THINK HE'S TRYING TO STIMULATE
MUCH MORE EARLIER DISCUSSION
THAT WILL CERTAINLY HAVE TO
HAPPEN BY THE END OF THE
LEGISLATURE.
NOW, HE DID DO ONE THING THAT I
DID THINK WAS PRETTY CREATIVE.
THE WHOLE IDEA OF THIS GROWTH
RATE CALCULATION, WHICH IS A WAY
TO MEASURE HOW MUCH VERMONT IS
DOING TO RE, IN -- TO REMAIN,
IN HIS WORDS, AFFORDABLE.
THAT WILL BE AN INTERESTING
NUMBER AS PROPOSALS ARE MADE IN
THE LEGISLATURE TO THEN MEASURE
AGAINST.
DON'T YOU THINK, MIKE?
>> Smith: I DO.
I THINK THAT WILL BE
INTERESTING.
WHETHER THEY TAKE THAT UP OR
NOT --
>> Terry: RIGHT.
>> Smith: AS LEGISLATORS, IT IS
AN INNOVATIVE WAY OF LOOKING AT
HOW YOU SORT OF MEASURE
YOURSELF.
I THINK THE OTHER PLACE WHERE
MAYBE DEMOCRATIC LEGISLATORS
WILL COME AFTER THE GOVERNOR IS
ON HIS CLEAN WATER INITIATIVES.
BECAUSE WHAT HE SAID IS THAT WE
WANT TO GO OUT AND EXPLORE THESE
VARIOUS OPTIONS.
WHAT SOME DEMOCRATS, INCLUDING
THE HOUSE SPEAKER, MITZI
JOHNSON, WANTS IS A SOLUTION
NOW.
>> Eva: A COMMITMENT.
>> Smith: AS COMMITMENT NOW.
THE GOVERNOR WILL COME BACK AND
SAY, LOOK, I'VE INVESTED A LOT
OF MONEY, MORE MONEY THAN WE CAN
SPEND IN A YEAR RIGHT NOW, BUT
THIS EXPLORATION IDEA MAY NOT,
MAY NOT SATISFY THE DEMOCRATS.
>> Terry: JUST TO BE CLEAR, THAT
EXPLORATION IDEA IS ACTUALLY A
PRETTY INTERESTING IDEA, CAN WE
SOMEHOW GET PHOSPHORUS OFF THE
LAND THROUGH TECHNOLOGY, DON'T
KNEW THINK, MIKE?
>> Smith: YES.
>> Terry: AND SORT OF PACKAGE IT
UP ON A RETAIL AND WHOLESALE
BASIS.
THAT'S PRETTY INTERESTING, BUT
IT IS, AS MIKE SAID, IT'S
EXPLORATION.
IT'S NOT GOING TO ANSWER THE TEE
MANNEDS.
NOW, EVEN -- THE DEMANDS.
NOW, EVEN LAST WEEK WE HEARD
FROM THE LAKE CHAMPLAIN CHAMBER
OF COMMERCE THAT WANTS TO CREATE
AN AUTHORITY WITH A PER-PARCEL
FEE OR TAX, PROPERTY TAX,
FRANKLY, AND HOW THAT WILL ALL
MESH, I DON'T KNOW.
BUT PRESSURE IS BUILDING FOR THE
CLEAN WATER.
>> Smith: RIGHT, AND THE
PER-PARCEL FEE, LET'S FACE IT,
THE GOVERNOR KNOWS THAT'S NOT A
POPULAR ITEM OUT THERE.
THAT'S A PROPERTY TAX AND PEOPLE
LOOK AT THAT AS A PROPERTY TAX.
>> Eva: SOMETHING THAT STUCK OUT
TO ME WAS HIS COMMENTS ON THE
ENVIRONMENT, ENVIRONMENTAL
INNOVATION AND ALSO THE ECONOMIC
INNOVATION, YOU CAN'T DO ONE
WITHOUT THE OTHER.
WE'RE NOT REALLY HEARING
REPUBLICANS ACROSS THE COUNTRY
SORT OF MAKE THAT KIND OF
COMMITMENT TO THE ENVIRONMENT.
THAT REALLY STUCK OUT TO ME
HERE.
>> Terry: REMEMBER, THIS IS
VERMONT, AND THIS IS IN -- IN
ORDER FOR THE REPUBLICANS TO
PROSPER IN VERMONT, THEY REALLY
HAVE GOT TO RELATE TO THOSE
VERMONT VALUES.
NOW, HE HAS A -- WHAT IS IT
CALLED, MIKE?
A CLEAN ENERGY GROUP THAT'S
LOOKING AT IDEAS.
>> Smith: CLIMATE CHANGE.
>> Terry: CLIMATE CHANGE.
I THINK THIS IS EMERGING OUT OF
THAT.
THERE IS ALWAYS IN VERMONT THE
WILLINGNESS AND DESIRE TO MAKE,
IN THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROSPERITY
THROUGH CLEANING UP THE
ENVIRONMENT.
I.E., THE SOLAR DEVELOPMENT.
>> Eva: ONE OF THE MOST
CONTROVERSIAL ASPECTS OF THE
BUDGET ADDRESS, DO YOU THINK IT
WILL BE AROUND EDUCATION?
>> Smith: IT'S DEFINITELY GOING
TO BE AROUND EDUCATION.
THOSE ARE THE ITEMS -- LOOK, THE
EDUCATION FUND HAS A DEFICIT.
THE ONLY WAY TO COVER THAT
DEFICIT IS FIND WAYS TO SAVE
MONEY OR TO MAKE SURE -- TO
INCREASE PROPERTY TAXES BY 7%.
OR, YOU KNOW, 9.2 CENTS ON THE
STATEWIDE PROPERTY TAX.
THE GOVERNOR KNOWS IN AN
ELECTION YEAR, THAT'S NOT GOING
TO BE VERY, VERY POPULAR, SO HE
HAS PUT OUT THESE IDEAS OUT
THERE.
I THINK THE DEMOCRATS ARE GOING
TO COME BACK AND SAY, LOOK,
WHERE DO WE GO HERE?
WHERE'S THE DIRECTION, WHERE'S
THE LEADERSHIP?
I THINK THAT'S WHAT THEY
PROBABLY WILL HIT HIM WITH ON
THIS PROPOSAL.
>> Terry: THAT WILL BE THEIR
FIRST LINE OF ATTACK IF -- BUT
THEN, AT SOME POINT, THEY ARE
THE MAJORITY IN THE LEGISLATURE
AND THE PROBLEM DOESN'T GO AWAY
BECAUSE THERE IS A LOT OF
PRESSURE WITHIN VERMONT ON HOW
WE NEED AN ACTION PLAN.
IT DID SEEM TO ME THAT HE WAS
OPENING THE DOOR AGAIN, MIKE, ON
ONE OF THOSE YET EDUCATIONAL
FINANCING COMMISSION PROPOSALS
THAT WE HAVE HEARD A LOT ABOUT
OVER THE YEARS.
WHETHER IT'S THE MILLER FORMULA
OR ACT 60.
I MEAN, THERE WAS NO DIRECTION
OTHER THAN THE IDEAS, BUT HE
SEEMED TO ME TO SAY MAYBE WE
NEED TO START OVER AGAIN ON A
BLANK PIECE OF PAPER.
>> Smith: SCRATCH ACT 60, LET'S
START OVER AGAIN, LET'S SEE
WHERE WE GO.
THE PROBLEM IS THAT TAKES TIME.
>> Terry: RIGHT.
>> Smith: THEY HAVE AN
$80 MILLION PROBLEM RIGHT NOW.
>> Eva: DO YOU THINK THAT IN AN
ELECTION YEAR, IT WILL IMPACT
THE NEGOTIATIONS WHEN IT COMES
TO TALKING ABOUT THIS BUDGET IN
THE WEEKS AND DAYS TO COME?
>> Terry: CLEARLY, I THINK SO.
>> Smith: YEAH, AND I DO TOO.
I THINK YOU'RE GOING TO FIND
THAT THIS IS GOING TO BE A
LITTLE BIT MORE POLITICAL THAN
IT WAS LAST YEAR.
IT GOT A LITTLE POLITICAL
TOWARDS THE END LAST YEAR, BUT I
THINK YOU'RE GOING TO FIND IT'S
A LITTLE BIT MORE POLITICAL.
AND BY THE WAY, WHEN YOU GET
UNDER THE HOOD, THERE ARE GOING
TO BE THINGS THAT COME OUT.
FOR EXAMPLE, THE GOVERNOR TALKED
ABOUT PHASING OUT THE TAXES, THE
STATE TAXES ON SOCIAL SECURITY
FOR MODERATE AND LOW INCOME
PEOPLE.
TAXPAYERS HERE IN VERMONT.
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
WHO DOES THAT AFFECT?
HOW MANY PEOPLE DOES THAT HIT?
WHAT IS A PHASE-OUT?
HOW MUCH THAT IS GOING TO COST
IN THE FIRST YEAR, THE SECOND
YEAR, THIRD YEAR?
HOW MANY YEARS?
SO ALL OF THAT INFORMATION IS
GOING TO COME OUT IN THE NEXT
FEW DAYS, THE NEXT WEEK OR SO,
AND I THINK, YOU KNOW, ONCE WE
START GETTING A GOOD CLEAR
PICTURE OF WHAT'S HAPPENING UP
THERE, THEN WE'LL HAVE A GOOD
ANALYSIS OF WHERE THIS IS GOING.
>> Terry: I THINK MIKE IS RIGHT,
BUT THAT KIND OF DISCUSSION HE
JUST DESCRIBED IS WITHIN THE
BUILDING.
I THINK YOU'RE GOING TO FIND THE
INSTANT REACTION TO OLDER
VERMONTERS WHO WILL SAY, HEY,
I'M LOW AND MODERATE INCOME,
THAT'S GOING TO HELP ME, I
REALLY LIKE THAT IDEA, AND THAT
WILL BUILD SOME MOMENTUM ON THE
LEGISLATURE.
>> Smith: YOU'RE ABSOLUTELY
RIGHT.
I MEAN, ONE OF THE CALLS I GET
IN ON MY RADIO PROGRAM EACH TIME
IS ABOUT THE TAXES ON SOCIAL
SECURITY.
PEOPLE ARE UPSET ABOUT THIS,
ESPECIALLY PEOPLE WHO ARE ON
SOCIAL SECURITY.
THEY'RE GETTING, YOU KNOW, A
MINIMAL INCREASE IN THE COST OF
LIVING IN THEIR SOCIAL SECURITY,
AND YET THEY'RE TAXED ON IT AND
THEY'RE UPSET ABOUT THAT.
>> Terry: RIGHT, AND THAT IS A
WAY AS THE GOVERNOR, I THINK,
RIGHTFULLY NOTED, IF WE WANT TO
KEEP VERMONTERS HERE, THAT'S
SOMETHING YOU NEED TO THINK
ABOUT.
I DON'T THINK I HAVE EVER SEEN,
OTHER THAN PERHAPS IN THIS
SPEECH -- AND MAYBE I'VE JUST
MISSED IT -- THE NUMBER OF
VERMONTERS WHO HE SAYS MOVE TO
FLORIDA AND IT'S EVEN MORE OF
THOSE WHO CHANGE THEIR RESIDENCE
TO NEW HAMPSHIRE BECAUSE OF TAX
MATTERS.
>> Smith: ALL IN ALL, EVA, I
THINK HERE IS THE BOTTOM LINE.
THE GOVERNOR STUCK TO HIS
AFFORDABILITY AGENDA.
HE STUCK TO THE AFFORDABILITY
MESSAGE THAT'S OUT THERE, AND BY
THE WAY, HE KNOWS AND SO DOES
EVERYBODY IN THAT BUILDING KNOW,
THAT'S A VERY POPULAR MESSAGE
OUT IN THE PUBLIC.
AND IF YOU GO AROUND THE
BUILDING NOWADAYS, AND STEVE AND
I HAVE, EVERYBODY'S TALKING
AFFORDABILITY.
NOW, IT'S IN THE EYES OF THE
BEHOLDER OF WHAT IS AFFORDABLE,
BUT TO THE GOVERNOR, IT IS
CONSTRAINED STATE BUDGET --
CONSTRAINING STATE BUDGET, NO
TAX INCREASES AND THAT INCLUDES
PROPERTY TAXES, BUT HE DIDN'T
LAY OUT HOW WE'RE GOING TO GET
THERE, AND IT MEANS, YOU KNOW,
MAKING SURE THAT FEES AND THOSE
SORT OF THINGS STAY WITHIN --
WELL, THERE'S NO INCREASE IN
THEM.
>> Terry: MY VIEW IS THIS IS A
STRONG VERMONT REPUBLICAN SPEECH
AND CONTRAST WITH THE NATION,
THE NATIONAL REPUBLICAN PARTY.
AND EVERYONE IN -- ALL THE
DEMOCRATS IN THAT BUILDING KNOW
THAT HE WON HIS FIRST TERM BY A
BIG MARGIN, AND HE DID NOTHING
HERE IN MY POLITICAL JUDGMENT TO
HURT HIM IN HIS RE-ELECTION.
>> Darren: STILL AHEAD, PLANT
PROBLEM.
WHAT CAN BE DONE TO SAVE SPECIES
ON THE BRINK OF EXTINCTION.
>> Darren: AND WELCOME BACK,
EVERYONE.
THE LATEST NEWS AND WEATHER AT
THE TOP OF THE HOUR.
SCOTT, WHAT YOU WORKING ON?
>> Scott: DARREN, COULD YOU
DANCE FOR 24 STRAIGHT HOURS?
>> Darren: I DON'T KNOW.
>> Scott: THAT'S TOUGH.
SOME FOLKS IN LINCOLN ARE
GETTING READY TO PARTICIPATE IN
A 24-HOUR DANCE-A-THON.
IT'S A FUNDRAISER FOR A MOUNTAIN
CAMP.
THE CAMP'S MISSION IS TO CREATE
LIFELONG FRIENDSHIPS AND
OPPORTUNITIES FOR PEOPLE WITH
DIVERSE NEEDS.
IT'S A NONPROFIT, ATTENDEES
DON'T HAVE TO PAY AND NEARLY ALL
THE STAFF DOESN'T RECEIVE A
PAYCHECK.
WE'LL HEAR MORE ABOUT THE CAMP
AND THE DANCE-A-THON COMING UP.
AND WE'RE ONE WEEK AWAY FROM
SUPER BOWL LII AND AN AWARD
LOCAL CHEESE MONGER HAS CHEESES
THAT WILL MAKE YOUR SUPER BOWL
PARTY THE BEST IN TOWN.
PLUS, WE'VE HAD A NICE STRETCH
OF WARM-UP WEATHER THIS WEEK.
WILL IT LAST?
DAVE WILL HAVE THE COMPLETE
FORECAST.
WE'LL SEE YOU AT 8:00 A.M.
SHARP.
>> Darren: WE'LL SEE YOU THEN,
SCOTT.
THANK YOU SO MUCH.
COMING UP NEXT, THE RUSH TO SAVE
RARE PLANTS.
DON'T GO AWAY.
>> Darren: PLANTS AS MEDICINE.
THEIR USE IN HEALING PREDATES
RECORDED HISTORY, AND THERE'S
BEEN A RAPID RISE IN THE USE OF
HERBAL MEDICINES.
THAT'S CREATING SOME CONCERNS.
THERE IS INCREASED DEMAND ON
WILD MEDICINAL PLANTS LIKE
GINSENG.
SOME AREAS SEEING A SEVERE
SHORTAGE.
SO WHY IS THAT A PROBLEM AND
WHAT CAN BE DONE?
I'M JOINED NOW BY TWO EXPERTS ON
THE MATTER, ROSEMARY GLADSTAR IS
THE FOUNDER OF UNITED PLANT
SAVERS, AND MELANIE CARPENTER IS
THE ORGANIZATION'S VICE
PRESIDENT.
GOOD MORNING TO BOTH OF YOU.
>> GOOD MORNING.
>> GOOD MORNING, DARREN.
>> Darren: THANK YOU FOR BEING
HERE.
LET'S TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT
THIS AND WHAT UNITED PLANT
SAVERS DOES.
>> WELL, OUR MAIN MISSION OF THE
ORGANIZATION IS REALLY TO
PROTECT THE MEDICINAL PLANTS AND
ALSO TO ENSURE THAT WE'LL HAVE
ABUNDANT SUPPLIES FOR EONS TO
COME.
THAT'S OUR MISSION.
>> Darren: WHY ARE WE SEEING
PLANTS DISAPPEAR, MELANIE?
>> Carpenter: YOU MENTIONED IT
IN YOUR INTRO, THERE'S AN
INCREASED USE OF MEDICINAL
PRODUCTS, AND SO WITH THAT
INCREASE IN DEMAND, THERE'S AN
INCREASE ON THE PRESSURES PUT ON
OUR WILD POPULATION, THE SUPPLY
CHAIN FOR THE DEMAND.
SO UNITED PLANT SAVERS, WE LOOK
AT HOW CAN HERBALISTS WHO LOVE
PLANTS AND WANT TO USE THEM CAN
ALSO WORK ON THEIR CONSERVATION.
SO THAT'S OUR PURPOSE.
>> Darren: AND WHAT HAPPENS IF
THEY DO DISAPPEAR?
>> Gladstar: WELL, ONE BIG THING
IS SO MANY OF THE PLANTS ARE
USED TO TRADITIONAL MEDICINE,
BUT ALSO BY THE PHARMACEUTICAL
INDUSTRY, SO, YOU KNOW, SO
THERE'S THAT.
BUT EVEN THE BIGGER PICTURE IS
PLANTS ARE VERY IMPORTANT FOR
THE WHOLE WEB OF LIFE IN NATURE.
SO PART OF OUR MISSION IS, YES,
TO SAVE THEM FOR US, FOR FUTURE
GENERATIONS OF PLANT USERS AND
PLANT LOVERS, BUT EVEN MORE
IMPORTANTLY IS TO SAVE THEM FOR
NATURE ITSELF.
>> Darren: AND YOU'RE NOT REALLY
ADVOCATING THAT PEOPLE STOP
USING THEM TO REDUCE THIS
PROBLEM.
>> Gladstar: OH, ABSOLUTELY NOT.
THAT WOULD BE PROBABLY THE LEAST
THING.
WHAT WE WANT TO DO IS LOOK AT
ORGANIC PRESERVATION,
SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE SO THESE
PLANTS ARE AVAILABLE FOR FUTURE
YEARS AND FUTURE USE.
>> Darren: AND FOLKS AT HOME ARE
SITTING THERE THINKING WHAT CAN
I DO?
>> Carpenter: A GREAT QUESTION
AND THAT'S ONE OF THE THINGS
THAT'S REALLY EMPOWERING ABOUT
UNITED PLANT SAVERS.
IT'S GRASSROOTS ACTION.
THE COMMON PERSON HAS A HUGE
IMPACT ON THE INDUSTRY.
IF THEY'RE GOING TO USE PLANTS,
KNOW WHERE THEY COME FROM, BUY
LOCAL.
WHERE IS THE MANUFACTURER AND
INDUSTRY THAT SUPPORT YOUR
MISSION?
IF THERE ARE COMPANIES OUT THERE
THAT ARE SUPPORTING AGRICULTURE
AND SUSTAINABLE MODELS, PURCHASE
FROM THEM BECAUSE THAT MOVEMENT
FUELS PEOPLE THAT ARE GOING TO
FUEL IT.
AND ANOTHER THING THAT'S NEAR TO
OUR HEARTS IS START A SANCTUARY
IN YOUR OWN COMMUNITY AND IT'S
SOMETHING THAT ROSEMARY AND HER
COLLEAGUES STARTED AND THIS IS A
BEAUTIFUL MODEL.
>> Darren: IS IT WORKING?
I GUESS THAT'S THE BIG QUESTION
HERE.
>> Gladstar: WELL, I'D SAY WE'VE
HAD AN INCREDIBLE IMPACT AS AN
ORGANIZATION.
WHEN WE FIRST STARTED THIS
ORGANIZATION IN 1994, I WOULD
SAY THERE'S NO EMPHASIS PUT ON
MEDICINAL PLANT CONSERVATION AND
TODAY WE HAVE OVER 3,000 MEMBERS
AND AS FAR AS SANCTUARIES GO, WE
HAVE OVER 6,000 ACRES THAT OUR
MEMBERS HAVE PUT INTO BOTANICAL
SANCTUARIES ACROSS THE COUNTRY
AND ALSO CHANGED THE WAVE OF THE
INDUSTRY BECAUSE WHEN WE FIRST
STARTED THIS ORGANIZATION,
PEOPLE WEREN'T THINKING ABOUT
PLANT CONSERVATION AT ALL.
IT WAS MORE, HOW MANY PRODUCT WE
MAKE FROM THESE PLANTS?
BUT TODAY IT'S A MAJOR ISSUE AND
COMPANIES ADDRESS IT AND AS
MELANIE WAS SAYING, WE'RE TRYING
TO GET CONSUMERS, PEOPLE WHO ARE
USING THE MEDICINES, TO REALLY
LOOK AT WHERE IS MY PLANT
MEDICINE COMING FROM.
>> Darren: GIVE US THE ORIGIN.
HOW DID THIS START?
>> Gladstar: THAT'S ANOTHER
GREAT STORY.
IT ACTUALLY STARTED IN VERMONT.
IT'S ANOTHER VERMONT-GROWN
ORGANIZATION.
I HAD JUST MOVED HERE IN THE
LATE 1980s AND I HAD JUST MOVED
HERE FROM THE WEST COAST AND I
WAS REALLY INCREDIBLY EXCITED TO
SEE SOME OF THESE PLANTS THAT
I'D BEEN USING IN MY PRACTICE
BECAUSE ALONG THE WHOLE STRETCH
OF THE EASTERN SEABOARD FROM THE
SOUTHERN STATES UP INTO VERMONT,
SOME OF THE MAJOR PLANTS THAT WE
USE BOTH IN THE HERBAL INDUSTRY
AND BY HERBALISTS, BUT ALSO
PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES, THIS
IS THE ONLY PLACE IN THE WORLD
THAT THEY GROW.
SO IT'S A VERY IMPORTANT HABITAT
FOR PLANTS.
THAT GIVE ME A COUPLE OF
EXAMPLES.
>> Gladstar: WELL, GINSENG IS
PROBABLY THE BEST EXAMPLE WE CAN
USE.
THE STATE STILL ALLOWS PEOPLE TO
HARVEST IT AND IT'S A BIG ISSUE.
THINGS LIKE BLACK COHOSH, A
MAJOR IMPORTANT ONE, ONE OF THE
PRIMARY PLANTS THAT ARE USED IN
EUROPEAN PLANT MEDICINE AND ALL
OF THE BLACK COHOSH UNTIL
RECENTLY CAME FROM THE WOODLANDS
FROM THE UNITED STATES, MADE AN
ENORMOUS IMPACT IN OUR PLANT
POPULATIONS.
>> Darren: CAN YOU ALSO EXPLAIN
TO FOLKS WHAT SOMETHING LIKE
THIS -- WE'RE SEEING ON IT THE
SCREEN NOW.
WHAT IT'S USED FOR.
>> Gladstar: WELL, BLACK COHOSH
IS USED PRIMARILY AT THIS POINT
BY MENOPAUSAL WOMEN AND THERE'S
A WHOLE LOT OF US IN THIS WORLD
RIGHT NOW.
AND IT ALSO IS USED FOR STRESS
AND FOR MUSCLE AND NERVE DAMAGE,
BUT THE PRIMARY USE TODAY WOULD
BE FOR MENOPAUSAL WOMEN AND IN
EUROPE, AS I MENTIONED, IT'S THE
NUMBER ONE PRODUCT OVER
PHARMACEUTICALS EVEN THAT'S USED
FOR WOMEN GOING THROUGH
MENOPAUSAL YEARS.
IT CAN BE USED BY MEN AS WELL.
[ LAUGHTER ]
>> Darren: PICK UP YOUR STORY,
THOUGH.
SO YOU RECOGNIZE THAT THESE
PLANTS WERE RARE AND HERE.
>> Gladstar: WELL, ONE, I WAS
EXCITED TO MEET THEM BECAUSE I'D
ONLY KNOWN THEM IN MY JARS AND
PRODUCTS.
SO I SPENT THE FIRST COUPLE
YEARS LOOKING AROUND TO THEM IN
THE WOODLANDS AND THAT'S WHEN I
BECAME AWARE OF WHERE ARE THESE
PLANTS, WHAT'S HAPPENING TO
THEM.
I WAS ON IT IN MY WOODLANDS ONE
TIME, WE LIVE IN A BEAUTIFUL
WILDERNESS AREA, I WAS WALKING
ALONG, AND I FELT LIKE AN
HERBALIST, AND I TOOK IT
SERIOUSLY.
I STARTED PLANNING THESE NATIVE
PLANTS BACK INTO THE WOODLANDS,
BUT EVEN MORE IMPORTANTLY THAN
THAT, WE WERE HOSTING THE SECOND
NATIONAL SYMPOSIUM WHICH IS A
LARGE GATHERING THAT BRINGS
HERBALISTS NATIONALLY AND
INTERNATIONALLY TOGETHER TO
SPEAK ABOUT PLANT MEDICINE AND
AT THAT GATHERING, I INVITED A
GROUP OF PEOPLE ALL DEEPLY
INVOLVED IN PLANTS TO JUST,
AROUND THAT DISCUSSION, IS THERE
A PROBLEM AND IF THERE IS, WHAT
SHOULD WE DO IT, AND EVERY
SINGLE PERSON IN THAT ROOM
CONCURRED THAT WE WERE SEEING A
DEMISE OF THE PLANTS.
I MIGHT MENTION, THE HERBAL
INDUSTRY IS ONE REASON, BUT
MOSTLY IT'S HABITAT DESTRUCTION.
YOU KNOW, IT IMPACTS ALL OF
WILDLIFE AND SO IT WAS AT THAT
MEETING WE CAME TOGETHER AND
SAID WE NEED TO BE A VOICE OF
THE PLANTS AND WE NEED TO
ADDRESS THIS AND WE REALLY HAD
NO IDEA WHAT WE WERE DOING, BUT
WE WENT AHEAD AND FORMED THE
NONPROFIT CALLED UNITED PLANT
SAVERS, WHICH HAS BECOME A MAJOR
VOICE, I WOULD SAY, FOR AMERICAN
HERBALISM AND THE VOICE OF THE
PLANTS.
>> Carpenter: AND ALSO ONE THAT
NETWORKS PEOPLE FROM DIFFERENT
STAKEHOLDER GROUPS TOGETHER.
WE HAVE THE MOM AND POP
HERBALISTS, THE FARMERS, THE
PEOPLE FROM THE INDUSTRY THAT
ARE MAKING THE PRODUCTS, WE HAVE
THE FOREST SERVICE INDUSTRY
POLITICAL GROUPS AND WHATNOT, SO
IT'S REALLY IMPORTANT FOR PLANT
SAVERS AND WE ENCOURAGE THEM IN
EVERY WAY WE WORK WITH THEM TO
BE CONSCIOUS OF WHAT WE'RE DOING
TO ONE ANOTHER AND TO REALLY
WORK FOR THE CONSERVATION OF
MEDICINAL HERBS.
AS A FARMER, BECAUSE THAT'S MY
OTHER HAT I WEAR, WE'RE EXCITED
TO SEE THAT PEOPLE, ESPECIALLY
FOR VERMONTERS BECAUSE WE'VE GOT
A SUGARING OPERATION, YOU HAVE A
BEAUTIFUL HARDWOOD, THAT'S PRIME
LOCATION FOR PLANTING NON-TIMBER
FOREST PRODUCTS WITH OUR
MEDICINAL PLANTS, SO NOT ONLY
HELPING YOUR ECOSYSTEM, BUT ALSO
CREATING A NEW CROP.
SO WE'RE EXCITED TO SEE.
LET'S EMBRACE THAT AND ENDORSE
CONSERVATION WHERE WE NEED IT
THE MOST.
>> Darren: I THINK THAT'S AN
IMPORTANT MESSAGE.
I THINK ALSO YOU ALLUDED TO THIS
AS WELL, THAT MANY CONVENTIONAL
DRUGS, MODERN MEDICINES REAL
ORIGINATED FROM PLANTS.
WE'RE TALKING ABOUT ASPIRIN,
MORPHINE, JUST A COUPLE OF
EXAMPLES.
>> Gladstar: RIGHT AND ONE OF
OUR VERMONT NATIVE PLANTS,
GOLDEN SEAL WHICH YOU HARDLY
FIND ANYMORE, THE PRIMARY REASON
FOR ITS DEMISE IS BECAUSE OF THE
PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES, NOT
REALLY THE HERBALISTS, SO
MEDICINES ARE HIGHLY SOUGHT
AFTER BY THE PHARMACEUTICAL
INDUSTRY NOT ONLY IN THIS
COUNTRY, BUT IN EUROPEAN
COUNTRIES AS WELL.
SO, YEAH, REALLY IMPORTANT
PLANTS, BUT AS I SAID, THEY'RE
IMPORTANT FOR US AS PEOPLE, BUT
THE BIGGER PICTURE IS THEY'RE
REALLY IMPORTANT FOR THE EARTH.
WE NEED TO REMEMBER THAT.
EVERYBODY WANTS TO BASE IT ON
THE BOTTOM LINE MONEY, BUT IT'S
REALLY BOTTOM LINE LIFE.
>> Darren: WE HAVE ABOUT 30
SECONDS LEFT.
WHY DO YOU THINK WE'RE SEEING
SUCH AN INCREASE IN THE HERBAL
MEDICINE MOVEMENT AND FOR SOME
PEOPLE, REALLY COMBINING WESTERN
AND EASTERN MEDICINES?
>> Carpenter: WELL, I WOULD SAY
BECAUSE IT WORKS.
IT WORKS AT A NUMBER OF LEVELS.
IT WORKS TO NOT ONLY IMPROVE
YOUR HEALTH, BUT ALSO YOUR
WELL-BEING AND YOUR LIFESTYLE
AND IT'S INSPIRING, GIVES PEOPLE
HOPE AND CONNECTS THEM TO THEIR
ENVIRONMENT.
>> Darren: THANK YOU BOTH VERY
MUCH FOR JOINING ME THIS
MORNING.
AND THANK YOU FOR WATCHING.
THE NEWS CONTINUES NEXT RIGHT
HERE ON THE WEEKEND.
TAKE CARE, WE'LL SEE YOU SOON.
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