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.
Data, data, and more data! At times it seems we are drowning in data - information overload. But smart data is becoming the future of environmental protection. As satellite imagery and technologies have become super-sophisticated and produce ever better resolution of the earth's landscapes and activities, we are getting smarter about how to do environmental protection. Nearly 25 years ago, while completing my Masters work at Duke University, I focused my research on the potential for using various natural resource data bases to populate then very primitive Geographic Information Systems. The concept was simple. Take available data on wildlife populations, sensitive and stressed habitats, water resources, forests and refuges, and developed areas, etc., - all in disparate conditions, locations and formats - read more
Maryland's Republican Governor continues to lead the way on environmental initiatives, announcing today $65M in new state funding for several environmental programs aimed at boosting the state's renewable energy portfolio and promoting water quality trading markets. I had the pleasure this morning of joining Governor Hogan and several of his cabinet members, Ben Grumbles, Kelly Schulz,Boyd Rutherford, and Mary Beth Tung, at today's announcement. What is particularly gratifying about these initiatives, is the emphasis on advancing environmental protection through better incentives and fewer top-down command and control solutions. While a strong advocate for protecting Maryland's environment and natural resources, Governor Hogan has rejected the old playbook of "government knows best" - and is trying to find the right balance between job creation read more
Dan Botkin has an important message for all of us this Christmas season - get back to Nature. AN ECOLOGY OF CHRISTMAS. As our nation, and most of the world, continues on this strange angry, divisive, and dangerous path, I would like to consider what I call an ecology of Christmas, with the hope that it might help us understand what forces ‐‐ human motivation and beliefs, and modern technology and science -- may be playing a role in creating ‐‐or at least acting as one ‐‐ of the primary moving forces in creating this odd and difficult time. My primary theme is that our modern civilizations move us away from nature, away from our contact with and dependence on our natural living surroundings in ways that are leading us astray. Nature contact and nature knowledge were guides to life, which modern technology, in addition to its great advantages, can easily allow us to follow divisive paths that may be one of the reasons this is such a contentious time. (To continue reading, you can subscribe to Dan's newsletter here.) Just this morning, I learned that Amazon now delivers groceries right to your doorstep, offering great time-savings from standing in those ulcer-forming checkout lines. read more
This past week brought another Trump nominee, Scott Pruitt, Oklahoma's Attorney General, who was named to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In nominating Pruitt, the President-Elect had this to say: For too long, the Environmental Protection Agency has spent taxpayer dollars on an out-of-control anti-energy agenda that has destroyed millions of jobs, while also undermining our incredible farmers and many other businesses and industries at every turn. [Pruitt] will reverse this trend and restore the EPA’s essential mission of keeping our air and our water clean and safe. [M]y administration strongly believes in environmental protection, and Scott Pruitt will be a powerful advocate for that mission while promoting jobs, safety and opportunity. And Pruitt is quoted as saying: The American people are read more
Whether one calls it environmental conservatism or conservative environmentalism, I had the honor of participating in the Hoover Institution's forum on the topic, which featured Sir Roger Scruton, one of my favorite conservative philosophers who has promoted the importance of environmental stewardship through his talks and book, How to Think Seriously About the Planet: The Case for Environmental read more
Guest Contributor: Eli Lehrer President-elect Donald Trump obviously doesn't have very many fans on the environmental left. And he has said things about climate change that don’t jibe with reality. There are nonetheless some Trump policies that could have pretty good effects for the climate. There are four in particular that stand out: Support for natural gas development. Increased natural gas exploration and development, a key promise of Trump’s platform, has produced more CO2 emissions reductions and greater particulate pollution reductions than any other single factor, including massive, market-distorting subsidies for trendy renewables like wind and solar energy. Using more natural gas is the best and quickest way to get emissions of all sorts down in the short term. Accelerated pipeline permitting. Trump 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.