How about as an alternatvive to heavy-handed authoritarian intervention - a
partnership between government and landowners - 'stakeholders' as in the case of
the Conasaugua watershed and other places where emphisis on cooperation has had a
And what can private individuals / groups do to on their own to mitigate and undo
the damage of bad land management? Could we do more to educate our friends and
neighbors about simple things as buffer zones to protect stream banks as well as
habitat and dispersal cooridors for reptiles, amphibians and other wildlife? The
use of native plants in public and private landscapes (re-wilding parts of the
property) - organic gardening -little things that can add up to a big positive
Showing people how to live sustainably in a way that is non-authoritarian is the
best way to go. This is the true spirit of environmentalism in a third-wave
culture - as opposed to the practice of governments shoving masses of people
around as if they were nothing more than earth or concrete- a hallmark of the
industrialized second wave mindset that unfortunately still prevails in many
governmental organizations that are themselves the product of that age.
Somewhere along the way I think many environmentalists ended up being coopted by
these institutions- because they have resources and power. And the institutions
and even wealthy conservative estalishments embraced environmentalism because it
offered a philosophy of 'conserving' the status quo.
Now that the world is changing rapidly, there is great need for flexibility in
responding to problems on the local and global scale. State and federal agencies
are big and out of touch with events on the local scale and act in ways that are
contradictory. Obsolete building codes prevent cost-effective environmentally
friendly housing from being built. Environmental organizations have aquired a
vested intererest in promoting the politics of scarcity as opposed to the
politics of plentitude. States and nations obsessed with proprietary rights to
species have systematically created and sustained the endangered status of many
taxa - the case of the Golden Toads endemic to Monte Verde in Costa Rica - Zoos
wanted to breed these creatures but the Costa Rican government said no and the
species became extinct about ten years ago.
A similar case is the San Francisco Garter Snake which is federally endangered
but like most of it's more common relatives it's simple to breed in captivity and
the small geographic area of the population justify maintaining breeding
populations elsewhere. But the feds don't want even zoos to breed this animal
because 'they want to keep the issue focused on the preservation of its habitat".
As for fishes - it seems the Olympic Mudminnow is in a similar boat - though the
population size is a bit bigger. Not long ago I was told by someone that captive
propagation and reintroduction of a state endangered fish to repopulate suitable
habitat in the historic range was a bad idea- yet states think nothing of
introducing popular game fish from stocks quite distant in geography to public
So is the focus of an AGENDA more important that actually conserving a species
and rehabilitating dysfunctional habitats? Could it be that government agencies
are more concerned about the erosion of power than the recovery of species and
overall health of ecosystems? Job security? Could it be that environmentalists
are more concerned about having something to crow about than rolling up their
sleeves and getting out there and doing something with their own resources as
opposed to forcing someone else to do it for them - and foot the bill as well?
To some degree the world is being created. To some degree the world is being
destroyed. But it dose not and never will remain the same. We need conservation
strategies that are attuned to the realities of a changing world as opposed to
fretting about change and feeble efforts to preserve the temporary conditions and
mayfly species of this brief interglacial period. And we need to put our eggs in
many baskets as opposed to one.
That's the great falacy of centralized command and control of both states and
national governments that created many of these problems to begin with and
continues to underwrite the vested interests involved - bail outs for obsolete
industries, people who build in flood prone areas etc.
That's why I think that in many cases environmental problems are better solved at
the grass roots level. The threat of government force has in many places
alienated land owners and boosted the popularity of politicians
anti-environmental messages. Freedom is also a quality of life issue the same as
a healthy environment.
There's no reason why we cannot have both.
> In a message dated 00-02-20 16:47:12 EST, Martin wrote:
> << To me, the less
> legislation, the better. >>
> I agree completely. As if we aren't already over-regulated with many of our
> freedoms compromised.
> Bruce "Give me liberty or give me ......hmmm, maybe I'd better think this
> thru some more" Scott
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