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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 . . .
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.
By Daniel B. Botkin Copyright © 2016 Daniel B. Botkin Reprinted by Permission While Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump trade insults focusing on their personalities, histories, and abilities, those of us who have long considered the environment an essential modern issue are wondering what attention will be given---what policies, and actions will be implemented to address environmental problems at home and internationally in the next four years. We’re far from alone. It is said that the six or seven major international environmental organizations raise billions of dollars focused on a variety of environmental problems and have millions of members. The popularity of nature is illustrated by a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimate: almost 19 million Americans go on bird-watching trips away from read more
For those environmental policy wonks like me who simply can't get enough of this stuff, the Congressional Research Service did us all a favor and chronicled the evolution of the term, "Waters of the United States" (WOTUS) in this new report by Stephen Mulligan titled Evolution of the Meaning of "Waters of the United States" in the Clean Water Act. For those who haven't been following the controversy for the last couple of decades, the reach of the federal government is defined by the Clean Water Act as WOTUS or "navigable waters." Not very instructive. The plain meaning of the term "navigable" however might suggest to many that federal jurisdiction only applies to waters that are navigable. That read more
I've spent the last couple of days with one of my favorite organizations, Sand County Foundation, where I participated in their symposium, Innovations on the Land: Managing for Change, held in beautiful Monterey, California. The gathering is mostly farmers and ranchers who share Aldo Leopold's land ethic. So many inspiring stories of conservation by landowners working to restore grasslands, sage-grouse habitat, wetlands, streams and water quality, and the soils that give life to the food we eat. I'm linking below to a brand new 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 read more
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
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.