With my graduation from CSU in Natural Resources Management there are a few things I would like to reflect upon that I have learned about the future of conservation efforts.
The relationship between the earth and people has become a complex issue as human influence has grown to span the entire world. Human technology and innovation has provided opportunities that allow for a better quality of living and a much larger population at the cost of the degradation of Earth’s biosphere. But these intellectual and technological advancements have also provided the ability for people to manage their environment for the better with ideals such as preservation and conservation. Ideological reform from the efforts of people such as John Muir, Gifford Pinchot, and Aldo Leopold and governmental laws and policies such as the ESA and NEPA have proven that the destructive influences of humans can be counteracted.
As today’s modern world becomes more separated from the “natural world” I think that education has become the most important aspect of conservation. Aldo Leopold’s “The Land Ethic” seems to be even more relevant today than its publication in 1948. With all of today’s economic constraints on conservation efforts this quote from Leopold is more relevant than ever: “The bulk of all land relations hinges on investments of time, forethought, skill and faith rather than on investments of cash.” Money is a critical aspect of conservation efforts but the way in which it is used will have the biggest effect.
Harrison Barnett 5.14.14