Welcome to ConserveFewell
“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.
Scott Pruitt's fall from grace offers many learned lessons. Many have asked my thoughts on his resignation. Like many of my friends, I believe his departure was long overdue. Despite a number of laudable themes and goals such as reinforcing the rule of law, cooperative federalism, cutting through bureaucratic inertia, innovating entrepreneurialism, and engendering greater transparency in science and rule-making, his many ethical lapses are disappointing and shocking and simply indefensible. There are few who could have survived the withering onslaught of daily attacks and scrutiny. On a personal level, it is clear he was either unprepared for the level of animus and hostility that awaited him or he was woefully unprepared for the larger job at hand, or maybe a read more
The nation’s economy is humming along nicely with unemployment at an all-time low. Now President Trump and Congress must unite for a clean and healthy environment, and Republicans must reclaim leadership on this critical issue. Republicans have rightfully opposed misguided policies such as President Obama’s Clean Power Plan and the Waters of the United States rule. But for far too long, we have done little to proactively shape policy solutions, leaving a vacuum that liberal interest groups have filled with big-government solutions. It’s high time the party of Teddy Roosevelt reclaims the environment, redefines the narrative, and leverages good old-fashioned American know-how and innovation. As Roosevelt once said, “Conservation is a great moral issue, for it involves the patriotic duty of insuring read more
In December 2016, after Trump's election and Scott Pruitt was nominated to be the next EPA Administrator, I made a prediction, "If Pruitt remains focused on strengthening the concept of cooperative federalism and surrounds himself with like-minded policy-makers committed to pragmatic environmentalism, we will witness even more environmental progress than we got under the Obama EPA." I'm elated to see that my prediction is starting to take shape. In an E&E article today, After winning one of the country's largest conservation ballot measures in California last week, advocates believe they have found a campaign issue with bipartisan political appeal in the Trump era. With nearly 57 percent of the vote, California voters approved a record $4.1 billion bond package that will provide read more
This Earth Day, Try Conservation Optimism Brian Yablonski Reposted from PERC April 22, 2018 EMIGRANT, Mont.—It is Earth Day, and as I write this, I am facing out across the vast Yellowstone River Valley at mountains so brilliantly beautiful, you’d swear God deserves a raise. At night, it can be hard to decipher the major constellations through the veil of a billion other stars. Life here is indelibly entwined with the environment—abundant wildlife, fresh snow-fed waters, and clean, cool mountain air. Earth Day is often a time for Malthusian, apocalyptic speeches on the dire state of the planet and imminent exhaustion of our natural resources due to rapid growth and human overpopulation. But for me, as a conservation optimist, Earth Day is a moment read more
This past week, a group in California called Public Water Now, an anti-privatization movement aimed at re-municipalization of community water systems, has successfully garnered enough signatures to place their initiative on November ballots. If successful, water systems under the ownership and operation or private water companies, like California American Water, would be taken by eminent domain. According to reports, “the grassroots group wants to force a public takeover of California American Water and make water service on the Monterey Peninsula a public utility. Public Water Now is hopeful a public utility would mean local control and lower water bills for customers.” What the public needs to know is that we don't need "lower water bills" - what we need is sustainable read more
In some corners, the topic of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) will evoke blood-curdling screams and political rancor the likes of which are rivaled only by immigration reform and calls for building the Wall. Sadly, scientists estimate that one-third of all wildlife species in the U.S. are vulnerable due to habitat loss and invasive species which have had significant impact on birds, mammals, fish, amphibians, reptiles, butterflies, and bees. All types of wildlife are declining—in many cases dramatically. And the cost to save these species from extinction under the ESA is staggering, costing $1.4B USD each year with little to show for it. Toward this end, between 1990–2010, of the nearly 1,300 listed species over half were continuing to decline even 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.