Welcome to ConserveFewell
“A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, the stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.” ― Aldo Leopold
“Without something like a conservation or land ethic, a sacramental regard for creation, a concern for future generations beyond one’s own short span on this planet, or some other moral and ethical North Star to guide and motivate citizens, farmers, ranchers, wood lot owners, and other actors, I am not optimistic that we can succeed on the basis of strictly free-market principles alone.” ― Tracy Mehan
Guest Contributor: Reed Watson
The following article was written by Reed Watson, Executive Director of PERC, and is being republished from PERC’s blog the Percololator.
A recently published article on predator conservation is generating significant attention in wildlife policy circles and in the mainstreammedia. The study, authored by Guillaume Chapron and Adrian Treves, points to changes in population growth rates of grey wolves during alternating periods of government-authorized culling to challenge the notion that legally killing threatened carnivores discourages illegal poaching.
Examining wolf populations in Wisconsin and Michigan during times when the species bounced on and off the endangered species list, the authors estimate population growth rates fell from 16 to 12 percent when culling was allowed.
Whether or not the data actually support that conclusion,commentators have conflated population culls by state wildlife agencies with hunting by individual citizens, inaccurately citing the article for evidence that hunting is bad for conservation. Worse, the current debate largely ignores the important connection between economic incentives and wildlife conservation. Read more here . . .
A must view film by director, Peter Byck, titled One Hundred Thousand Beating Hearts, an inspiring story of Will Harris, owner of White Oak Pastures, in Bluffton Georgia, who shares his evolution from industrial to regenerative farmer. This is great stuff that has the potential to revolutionize farming here in the U.S., but it will require a culture change across consumers and producers.
In some corners, the topic of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) will evoke blood-curdling screams and political rancor the likes of which are rivaled only by immigration reform and calls for building the Wall. Sadly, scientists estimate that one-third of all wildlife species in the U.S. are vulnerable due to habitat loss and invasive species which have had significant impact on birds, mammals, fish, amphibians, reptiles, butterflies, and bees. All types of wildlife are declining—in many cases dramatically. And the cost to save these species from extinction under the ESA is staggering, costing $1.4B USD each year with little to show for it. Toward this end, between 1990–2010, of the nearly 1,300 listed species over half were continuing to decline even read more
Despite the gloomy and dire predictions by environmental naysayers, there is good news going into 2018. For starters, more Republican leaders are acknowledging the impacts of human activity on climate, or at least the potential impacts on climate. The problem with making environmental protection a political wedge issue, as the Democrats have done so well, is that at times like this, they are relegated to nothing more than the town crier. I've long lamented that the environment in recent years has been dominated by political opportunists on one side and reactionarists on the other. While we can all hopef that common sense, rational thinking will ultimately prevail, it will take time for the political Left to cede ground to those on the read more
This week the Stewardship Roundtable was pleased to welcome Ed Russo, long-time environmental advisor to President Trump and environmental activist. Ed is a passionate environmentalist who spends his time saving the Florida coral reefs from pollution, cleaning up toxic waste sites that threaten human health and the environment, protecting drinking water, and working to reduce surface water pollution causing dead zones such as those in the Chesapeake Bay and Gulf of Mexico. For those who want to get into the mind of Trump on the environment, I suggest picking up a copy of Russo's book, Donald D. Trump: An Environmental Hero. Ed is a true hero in his own right, but he has many good things to say about his former boss and read more
Proud of my friend and former EPA boss for his leadership on array of environmental issues, including climate change. While Grumbles has weathered some withering criticism by some within his own party for his outspoken position on climate change, for conservatives, the question at hand remains, What is the correct policy position? As I continue to believe, based on the enormous uncertainties, a flexible "no regrets" policy is the conservative position. And while the Trump Administration has hit the temporary pause button, it's heartening to see states like Maryland continue to move forward under a no regrets trajectory. GOP enviro stalwart takes charge of motley climate gang Josh Kurtz, E&E News reporter Published: Thursday, December 7, 2017 Maryland Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles. BALTIMORE — Ben read more
This week's action by President Trump to chop the size of two national monuments in Utah was met with equal numbers of howls and praise. Many have expressed concern about what this means for protection of federal lands. According to the NYT, under the President's action, the Bears Ear and the Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments "would lose their strict protection and could be reopened for new minig or drilling." This post is not about whether the President's action makes good policy. My personal view is that while our federal lands are national treasures, the feds (and, yes, that includes Presidents) have overreached at times, failing to consider important state and local issues. More importantly however, and this seems to get lost in the read more
I'm reposting in its entirety this great piece by Steven Hayward with a great TED Talk video of Michael Shellenberger. Reposted from Powerline Blog NOVEMBER 20, 2017 — STEVEN HAYWARD THE CORRUPTION OF THE CLIMATISTAS Here’s a paradox that few people in the fawning green media seem to perceive: the more serious you think the problem of global warming may be in the future, the more farcical and unserious are the policy prescriptions of the “climate change community.” In fact I’ll go further: if perchance we do experience catastrophic, man-made global warming many decades from now, historians will look back and blame the environmental community for being the chief impediment to taking serious incremental action to reduce carbon emissions in a significant way—not the read more
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