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CASH Courier > 1994 Spring Issue

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The C.A.S.H. Courier

Spring 1994 Issue

THE ECOSYSTEM APPROACH

From the Eleventh Annual Report of the Council of Environmental Quality, entitled “Biological Diversity”:

Managing for the enhancement of yields or the survival of one species invariably affects others; benefiting some, harming some. In contrast, the ecosystem approach intentionally preserves diversity rather than doing so incidental to maximizing one or a few kinds of organisms…The underlying idea is that an undisturbed ecosystem will permit a wide variety of organisms to exist in a quasinatural balance with minimal human subsides…Because human ecological knowledge is incomplete, there is great virtue in letting nature take its course rather than intervening – action which may be well-intended but sometimes misguided or even heavy handed…Most species in well-designed ecological reserves will maintain abundant levels and escape extinction indefinitely without species-oriented help, so long as they are not deprived of feeding, hiding and breeding places and are not polluted, hunted, or harassed severely. [Hunting is severe harassment.]

The report concludes:

Providing sufficient tracts of undisturbed land and fresh water obviates the need for heroic intervention to prevent extinction. A further advantage to the ecosystem approach is, once land is purchased, administering ecological reserves is much less costly than managing species by one. [Game management]

Conservation means “the deliberate, planned guarding and protecting of something precious.” The deliberate mismanagement of wildlife for hunter recreation and exploitation has nothing to do with protecting something precious such as wildlife and our environment. In fact, hunters’ license fees are used to manipulate a comparatively few game species into overpopulation at the expense of a much larger number of non-game species which includes the extermination of natural predators. This contributes to the loss of biological diversity, genetic integrity, and the ecological balance of wildlife. Hunters’ licenses pay for environmental degradation, not conservation as is claimed.

 

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