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.
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
Sharing a recent NYT op-ed by William Ruckelshaus. Wise counsel from the former EPA Administrator under Presidents Nixon and Reagan, who was summoned back to the Agency 28 months into Reagan's first term to calm the frayed nerves of the American public. The wisdom and lessons learned from that tumultuous time in EPA's history speak for themselves. There are many who I believe have wrongly pre-judged Scott Pruitt. He is a very able and smart jurist committed to the principles of cooperative federalism. As Pruitt has rightly proclaimed, "we can be both pro-growth and pro-environment." While the Agency personnel and public only knows the former side to the Administrator - as an aggressive state Attorney General fighting back an EPA perceived read more
Kudos to President Trump and the White House for bringing greater attention to the issue of that nation's infrastructure, including water infrastructure and opportunities to advance more green solutions. This week, the White House convened some of the nation's prominent voices, including Lynn Scarlett of The Nature Conservancy, to discuss the status of our nation's infrastructure, including water infrastructure and ideas for adopting common-sense solutions. I'm re-posting a Greenwire article that summarizes Scarlett's message to President Trump, Secretary Perry, Administrator Pruitt, and some of the President's top aides. Administrator Pruitt has also made water infrastructure a priority for the EPA. Despite the hand-wringing by many environmental groups, this Administration offers a unique opportunity for conservatives and liberals to work together to read more
Most Americans probably missed this one, given the dizzying pace of political developments these days. But no sooner had Ryan Zinke been confirmed as Secretary of Department of Interior than he struck down an Obama Administration rule which was hastily adopted on January 19, the day before President Trump assumed office. The rule, supported by environmental advocates and activists like PETA, was effective immediately and banned the use of all lead-based ammunition and fishing tackle on federal lands, such as national parks and wildlife refuges. While environmental advocates hailed the decision, it enraged many mainstream hook'n bullet groups, like the NRA, B.A.S.S., Sportfishing Association and the National Shooting Sports Foundation. These groups welcomed Zinke's action overturning the ban. Historically, lead has been the read more
Friedrich Neitzche once noted, "The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently." Well, I'm pleased to report that there are a few youth within the GOP who are thinking differently from their political tribe, and bucking the norm of the party faithful when it comes to the environment. A handful of 20-something startups have formed a new group called Conservatives for Environmental Reform. Benji Backer, the Founder and President, self-identifies as a conservative activist from Appleton, WI, and is a freshman at the University of Seattle. Benji and eight other politically active colleagues are trying to change the dialogue within their party. I was read more
This week, President Trump issued an Executive Order that signals the beginning process for rescinding the Obama EPA's rule redefining Waters of the United States under the Clean Water Act. The E.O. can be found here, but it's included below in its entirety. Because the Rule is subject to the notice-and-comment requirements of the Administrative Procedures Act, the EPA and Corps of Engineers will need to articulate for the record a rational explanation for a change in direction. That new direction is reflected in the text, which directs the Agencies to revise the rule consistent with the opinion of the late Justice Scalia, who authored the plurality opinion in the Supreme Court Rapanos decision, which resulted in a divided 4-1-4 decision. According to 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.