Inspired by the recent discussion where user was proposing to add third category between “wild” and “cultivated” because of the sequoias that were planted 150 years ago and now growing in the wild forests. It would not work that way, but I can agree that it seems to be wrong to put observations of ancient trees in nature to the same category with random selfies and photos of food.
First of all, photos of trees in natural habitats, especially when these trees are dominating or even defining for the habitat, has scientific and “naturalistic” value. These observations are making other observations around more valuable as, for example, I can check what is growing around some observation of a snail to have more context or even grounds for more precise ID.
Secondly, how even someone supposed to know if tree was planted if now it’s growing in the forest that seem to be completely wild? To submit request in a local forestry agency before adding observation? If history of those sequoias would not be very well-known nobody would figure it out that these trees were planted.
Thirdly, it’s clearly not fair and uneven comparing to the animal observations considered “wild” for iN. Why a “feral dog” that was born captive and run away is “wild” after several months being outdoors and a tree that was growing 150 years in nature is not? Some people even adding backstories to their observations of chickens, how they escape and were runaway for few days, so their observation could be not “casual”, and this is considered better for iN than ancient sequoia growing in nature!
Otherwise a requirement for animals to be “born wild” should be added.
It requires no technical changes, only descriptions of what is considered wild or cultivated should be changed. For example, something like “tree that was planted, but now growing in what seems to be a wild forest without direct care from humans”.
I would also argue that additional “grade” is required for “grey zone”, some “middle grade” or “naturalist grade”, not only for disputable cases of wild/not wild, but even more for observations with low accuracy of data that now considered RG and giving low-quality data to GBIF. Perhaps it could be something that someone, or only curators, could just mark being not good enough for RG, and maybe to put there automatically all observations with accuracy of coordinates below 1 km or at least 10 km. But these obs should be equally visible as RG and “needs ID”, so people would stop trying to made their observations being RG.