Sara Graybeal (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
While the “poaching” of Venus flytraps from public land in coastal North Carolina is now a felony punishable with prison time, flytrap harvesting traditions extend back through generations of coastal North Carolina residents. This paper argues that these harvesting traditions constitute long-term farming relationships between residents and public land, which has been misrepresented by lawmakers, wildlife officers, and mainstream media. I analyze the conservation narratives used to justify state control over these communities’ engagements with nature, while identifying the primary culprit in Venus flytrap species decline: not harvesters, but unchecked coastal development.
Part of 04-12 Folklore and the Environment in the Coastal American South, Friday, November 03, 8:30 am–10:00 am