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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
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 . . .
By Brent Fewell
I never weary of great stories like this one, capitalism at work to improve the human condition and sustain our oceans. The Bloomberg Philanthropies Vibrant Oceans Initiative is the largest philanthropic commitment to internationally reform fisheries management. This Partnership between Encourage Capital, RARE, and Oceana will help Brazil, Chile and the Philippines sustainably manage their fisheries, enhance food security and strengthen local communities.
Jim Huffman has a thoughtful article in the most recent issue of the PERC Reports titled Designing Institutions for the Anthropocene, Getting the Incentives Right. The thesis of Huffman's proposal is that government institutions need to adopt a better approach to resource management based largely on the fact that nature itself is dynamic and always changing. Huffman begins, Writing in 1990, Daniel Botkin observed that since the beginning of the modern environmental movement in the 1960s, environmental policymakers have had one core mission: restore the balance of nature. The laws and regulations intended to achieve this objective are designed to halt further human disruptions of nature or reverse the consequences of past disruptions. Recently, Emma Marris explained that this balance-of-nature paradigm read more
The statistics are sobering, nearly 700 million or 1 in 10 human beings on this earth lack access to safe water. Water-related disease impacts 1.5 billion every year and claims the life of a child every 90 seconds. Over 160 million children suffer from stunting and chronic malnutrition linked to dirty water and poor sanitation. Let me be clear. The world's water crisis is big and daunting, but it's very solvable. It's solvable, one drop, one filter, one person, one family, and one community at a time. Water is life, and clean water is hope. But where does one begin to offer such hope? For starters, by loving those in need and supporting the unsung heroes, like Radhames Carela from the Dominican Republic, read more
Everyone loves a green lawn, until that green turns local streams and waterways green with nasty algae. And then the fish die. Increasingly, the issue of eutrophication - a fancy word for nutrient overload that depletes the amount of oxygen in water and suffocates all inhabitants - is wreaking havoc with our nation's waters. Many communities continue to struggle with figuring out how to cleanup our polluted waters. It's heartening to see that some within Corporate America are doing just that - helping out. I commend The Scott's Company not only for making their fertilizers more environmentally friendly, but teaming with communities and eNGOs to help cleanup our waters through an initiative called Water Positive Landscapes. Now some might cynically suggest read more
This past week, the National Academy of Sciences, released a study titled Genetically Engineered Crops: Experiences and Prospects, which constitutes the most robust, independent review of the peer-reviewed research on the use of genetically engineered (GE) crops conducted to date. Andrew Pollack of the New York Times reported on the news here, Genetically Engineered Crops are Safe, Analysis Finds. The NAS report largely reinforces the safety of GE crops to human health and animals that consume such crops, but I suspect the report will not put to final rest the highly charged issue. Here's the NAS executive summary: Since the 1980s, biologists have used genetic engineering of crop plants to express novel traits. For various reasons, only two traits—insect resistance and read more
Pa. can keep the Chesapeake Bay clean without hurting farmers - here's how By Ron Kreider By PennLive Op-Ed May 25, 2016 I grew up in Lancaster County and generations of my family have called Kreider Farms Dairy our home since 1736. I'm fortunate to be part of a community that cares so much about our agricultural heritage and works to be good environmental stewards of our land. Every farmer I know wants to tackle the real environmental threat of livestock waste runoff. It's a serious threat to Pennsylvania's environment, waterways and the Chesapeake Bay. That's why it's disappointing to hear the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection wants to transform local conservation districts and have them 'police' farmers who are working to deal with this problem. Not read more
Seems to be a malt theme running through some of these positive developments. Recently, we reported here regarding the Saltwater Brewery in Florida that recently created a wildlife-friendly six-pack holder that would reduce the number of wildlife deaths caused each year from plastic holders. This week, the Flying Dog Brewery in Frederick, Maryland, announced that it will unveil a new eco-brew in September, proceeds from which will help to support the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay. This isn't the first eco-brew by Flying Dog, but it reinforces the increasing popularity of eco-brewing with beer loving patrons. Here's the scoop from Al Todd, Executive Director for Alliance for the Bay, who teamed with Flying Dog on this latest brew. For those 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.