Welcome to ConserveFewell
We hope that you enjoy our site, interspersed with the beautiful and awe-inspiring work of various wildlife artists, and engage with us for a rich and diverse dialogue on environmental stewardship. Please share with us your ideas, conservation success stories, and conservation heroes, so we can highlight them here for all to share and enjoy.
“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 discussing the issue of climate change with one of my friends this week, he opined "Al Gore has done more harm to rational efforts than any number of skeptics." I find myself in partial agreement. And here is a thoughtful article by my friend, John Murdock, titled Al Gore's Holy Anger, that makes the case in rather persuasive fashion. When asked how he dealt with hostile skeptics, Al Gore first advised against returning anger with anger. Then he approvingly noted an instance of biblical zeal: “Jesus takes the jawbone of an ass to clear out the temple.” (Sorry, Al—that was Samson’s tool for killing Philistines. Jesus used a whip in Jerusalem.) I heard that jumbled Sunday school memory firsthand more than read more
It's not often three Presidential cabinet members pen a joint Op-ed piece, but that's what EPA Administrator, Scott Pruitt, Secretary of Energy, Rick Perry, and Secretary of Interior, Ryan Zinke, did this past weekend. The trio wrote a hopeful and up-beat Earth Day Op-ed, but for what I can tell it only ran in the Waco Tribune, Missoulian, and Billings Gazette. Hardly a ringing endorsement of the message or the messenger. Sort of reminds me of that saying, If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? Sadly, no one heard this one fall - instead, everyone, including the media, was glued to their television watching climate scientists and activists, who read more
Earth Day is upon us again - in all its splendor and glory. It is indeed the largest secular holiday in the world, celebrated by more than a billion people every year. But truth be told, many conservatives are feeling left out of today's celebration and festivities. If you are one who feels no need to participate or desire to celebrate Earth Day, that's fine - I get it - but I'd ask you to reflect upon the following. How should we conservatives think about Earth Day or environmentalism for that matter? I share with you below certain attributes and principles of what I think it means to be a conservative environmentalist, which draws upon the vast work and thinking of read more
President Trump promised on the campaign trail that he would, if elected, donate his salary back to the government. Within days after the inauguration, liberal groups took him to task because he had not yet announced just how he would implement that promise. Two weeks ago, in the middle of a press conference, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer presented a check in the amount of $78,333.32 to Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke and Harper’s Ferry National Park Superintendent Tyrone Brandyburg. Zinke announced the contribution would be put towards the daunting backlog of deferred maintenance in our national parks. ConservAmerica, the organization with which I am affiliated, immediately took to social media to celebrate the gift. We believe it is great read more
Those were the defiant and recalcitrant words of California's Attorney General, Xavier Becerra, this past week in response to President Trump's signing of Executive Order rolling back the Obama EPA's Clean Power Plan. These words were music to my ears as I sat through Becerra's keynote speech at the American Bar Association's annual environmental meeting. Not that I'm a supporter of Becerra or the Clean Power Plan, but I am an unapologetic supporter of our federalist system, which enables States to lead and chart their own course on important issues such as environmental protection. In this case, despite Trump's action to rescind the CPP, California will stay the course, accelerating its efforts to reduce carbon-emitting sources through a host of read more
The Best of Intentions: Incentive, not bureaucracy, is the key to environmental protection. The American Conservative By BRENT FEWELL • March 8, 2017 Su Justen / Shutterstock Much speculation has emerged over what the forthcoming Donald Trump administration will do for environmental protection. While many liberals and environmentalists fear Trump will cause substantial harm to the environment, there is ample reason to believe that his election poses a unique opportunity to reset the way we think about and respond to environmental challenges. As a former U.S. EPA water official, I have spent years working with a wide variety of stakeholders, eco-entrepreneurs, companies, utilities, and environmental and conservation groups to advance environmental protection. And I have seen firsthand many of the great strides the country has read more
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and positions of their employers or their clients.