Re: NANFA-L-- The myth of restoration?

Christopher Scharpf (
Mon, 09 May 2005 23:07:32 -0400

> When a private, commercial landowner such as a farmer restricts public access,
> or charges a fee for hunting, we call that "property rights." When a private,
> conservation owner such as TNC does the same thing, some of us get upset that
> the conservation organization is keeping us out.

HA! I was thinking the exact same thing!

A woman from TNC spoke-in-the NANFA Convention in Illinois in 1999. Here is
what I wrote about her talk:

Diane Rudin of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) began the afternoon by
discussing efforts to protect the Mackinaw River watershed. First, she
placed the issue of fishes, farmers, and land use into the proper social

"Most of the folks [around here] grew up thinking of rivers and streams as
drainage ditches....It's not that they wouldn't change their ways. It's that
they don't know how to do anything but grow crops....And so, given that, it
is a far more complex social problem, as well as an environmental problem,
that we face in the Midwest."

Since it's impossible to purchase an entire watershed, TNC is instead
working with private landowners to help them become better stewards of the
land. Under the auspices of the Mackinaw River Partnership, the TNC is
leading several community driven projects to help stabilize badly eroding
streambanks and reduce stormwater flooding.

"It's a lot more expensive to restore habitat," Ms. Rudin said, "than it is
to protect."

Her talk -- and the cooperation she was getting from nearly every farmer --
were both VERY impressive.

Chris Scharpf

/ This is the discussion list of the North American Native Fishes
/ Association (NANFA). Comments made on this list do not necessarily
/ reflect the beliefs or goals of NANFA. For more information about NANFA,
/ visit Please make sure all posts to nanfa-l are
/ consistent with the guidelines as per
/ To subscribe, unsubscribe, or get
/ help, visit the NANFA email list home page and archive at