Friday, December 14, 2007

The Difference Between An Enviromentalist and a Conservationist

The difference between Conservationists and Environmentalists...
Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
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"The term environmentalist has been adopted by groups who don't believe that we can use natural resources and still have them available for the future."

I happened upon this interesting exchange between a young lady and Dr. James Earl Kennamer, Director of Conservation Programs for the National Wild Turkey Federation:

"Q:  I've always been very concerned about the environment and pollution. I told a friend of mine that I'm an environmentalist, but my dad, who's been a member of the NWTF for years and years, said that I'm not an environmentalist, I'm a conservationist. What's the difference?
Anna Cromer, 16
Newtown, Ct.
A: Well, 50 years ago, there wasn't much of a difference between an environmentalist and a conservationist. People who wanted to do good things for the environment and wildlife understood that it was important to focus on the managed use of the world's natural resources, which is the definition of conservation. Hunters and non-hunters worked together to create laws to protect specific resources that were being depleted and ensured people could use renewable resources wisely and sparingly.

For example, at the turn of the 20th century, many wildlife species were in danger of becoming extinct. They were over hunted by a growing nation without game laws, and their habitat was disappearing as people needed more space. In the 1930s, hunters and anglers saw that the United States would soon be without many of the animals they enjoyed. So, they asked the government to tax them, believe it or not, so that the money they spent on firearms, ammunition, fishing gear and licenses could be used to help wildlife rebound. This was proposed as the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act, also called the Pittman-Robertson Act.
Since its adoption as law in 1937, the Pittman-Robertson Act has raised and spent more than $3.95 billion toward wildlife and habitat projects, solely funded by America's hunters and shooters. This great conservation effort has resulted in the amazing comeback of many of North America's wild species including white-tailed deer and wild turkeys.

Even though the success of this model has been proven over and over, today, there is a polarization in the outdoors. The term environmentalist has been adopted by groups who don't believe that we can use natural resources and still have them available for the future. They don't want people to hunt animals, they don't want foresters to use timber, they don't want people to have access to the rich wilderness areas of our continent.

This protectionist view is scientifically flawed for several reasons. Without human management, wildlife species become overpopulated and disease ridden, which eventually leads to plummeting populations. The same is true for forests and trees. Left unmanaged, ground litter builds up and can fuel wildfires that destroy thousands of acres of wildlife habitat. With active management, such as timber thinning, prescribed burning, legal hunting and fishing and other management tools, people can enjoy the use of our natural resources and provide the conditions for a healthier environment.
Dr. James Earl Kennamer"
Thats the answer I have been looking for!

Best Regards,
Albert A Rasch
Member:  Qalat City Tent Club
Member: Hunting Sportsmen of the United States HSUS (Let 'em sue me.)
The Hunt Continues...

The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles, Albert A Rasch, Hunting in Florida

Albert Rasch,HunterThough he spends most of his time writing and keeping the world safe for democracy, Albert was actually a student of biology. Really. But after a stint as a lab tech performing repetitious and mind-numbing processes that a trained Capuchin monkey could do better, he never returned to the field. Rather he became a bartender. As he once said, "Hell, I was feeding mice all sorts of concoctions. At the club I did the same thing; except I got paid a lot better, and the rats where bigger." He has followed the science of QDM for many years, and fancies himself an aficionado. If you have any questions, or just want to get more information, reach him via TheRaschOutdoorChronicles(at)MSN(dot)com.