Conservation of Natural Resources is a concept that represents hanging target now because of global warming, habitat loss or fragmentation, the consequent decline in biological diversity and eradication of indicator species.
For nearly a century now, Americans have provided a national, legal framework for the identification, inventory, management and use of forests, rivers, minerals, wildlife and fisheries. To examine current ecological practices that shape policies for the protection and long-term development of renewable and non-renewable necessities, ecological design principles are necessary to comprehend.
Industrial practices and urban growth have demanded that common property resources and the natural features these embody be managed for the maximum benefit of the national interest. These exercises are intended to highlight conflicts today, and in the past, between competing views of the national interest in wildlife.
Wildlife ecology is recognized today as an indicator of the health of our natural resources.
Texts to read and take notes from are numerous so start here.
Involve students in an active discussion of local conservation efforts in view of the readings, class activities and research.
Offer participants a chance to learn to use the internet and contact local and state conservation action organizations.
To define orally and in writing the ecological problems associated with defining and judging conservation efforts now and after the class is over.
Expose participants to at least one local areas natural features that promote an awareness of and the need to conserve water, energy, air and landscape features for wildlife.
While computer skills are not required for the successful completion of this class, the
instructor recommends your using of computer programs, e-mail, and the World Wide Web, become commonplace because people with computer skills have a higher earning potential.
Dates Subject or Activity readings due before that class.
Ecological Problem Solving, Cox 101-146, Hudson ix -39, Leopold 6-19, 137-140
workshop on wildlife
Sustaining Local Needs, Cox 243-257; Leopold 101-124; Hudson 117-140
"the Design Process"
Land (Biogeo connections) Hudson 40-116, Leopold 58-69, 177-187
turn in interviews (copy) typed summaries, double-spaced, 5 page minimum
Water (Hydro marine relations) Leopold 158-163, 188-236; Cox 147-218
Cycles (Acid Rain Problem) Cox 219-242; Leopold,3-5, 19-36, 44-55
"The Land Ethic" Leopold 237-263; Cox 258-267
"Conservation Aesthetic" Leopold 70-82,164-168, 280-295; Cox 268-299
Designing Natural Preserves, Leopold 264-279, Hudson 162-180, Cox 300-310
site survey and habitat protection goals for natural areas.
Asking questions and getting answers Cox 23-100; Leopold 150-158
propose three questions and draft answers from the texts
What is it we do not know? Leopold 83-98,
read your drafts of the tentative answers to the 11/20 questions
5/8 Final Exam, oral reports on your chosen preservation imperative.
Introduction: what is our role in conservation and ecology?
Identify the problem & give your response
Conservation is the long term protection of natural resources whose ecological functioning is necessary to the future survival and benefit of the greatest number of people.
Practiced by the Indian Emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century B.C., conservation remains centered on the land, vegetation, wildlife and water in the modern world. Conceived as a national comprehensive policy for systematic protection of watersheds by William John McGee and Gifford Pinchot in the 1900s, conservation is a policy of the Federal and state governments to promote the best practices in managing forests, fisheries, wildlife, water, minerals and soil.
Gifford Pinchot, a close friend of President Theodore Roosevelt (1900-1909), once defined conservation as a policy goal to "promote the greatest good for the greatest number for the longest time." This is also known as utilitarian conservation.
Due to the vision of Roosevelt, Pinchot and McGee, Pelican Island national wildlife refuge in the Indian River Lagoon and the Ocala National Forest exist today as example of the national commitment to wildlife and timber reserves. These are tangible biotic assets.
Conservation ecology, argues George Cox, of San Diego State University, "is a field that is partly basic and partly applied. Its foremost goal is to obtain and apply the knowledge necessary to conserve and manage biotic diversity for the benefit of humanity . Thus the key goal of conservation ecology is to find ways both to gain scientific knowledge and apply it to the protection and wise use of biotic diversity." (4)
Literally, conservation means to keep from harm, damage, or decay. A conservator is anyone who practices the arts and sciences of protection, restoration and renewal of either natural (ecological) or cultural (social) resources.
Questions to consider for next week:
WEAL & Wildlife, the necessary connection
Weal as a root word and as an acronym:
weal Anglo- Saxon -- Germanic word for forest (wald)
weal stands for water -- energy -- atmosphere -- landscape
Weal is the abiotic features and transition milieu that all living things need.
water surface and underground
energy sunlight, geothermal, tides & wind
air nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon dioxide
land transition milieu from rock to soil (a living tissue)
W stands also for wildlife
Wildlife - the animals: fauna; birds, reptiles, amphibians, mammals, insects characteristic of a particular place, bioregion, and biome (Nearctic realm) functioning together in an ecological system of cycles and dependencies constitute the assembly of moving parts of the biological engine of wealth are indicators of the functional integrity & nutrient flow in any place.
isolate the problem define the component parts your problem and consider these types of species role in defining what matters are at stake in the problem.
sentinel species indicate the risks in a place:
panthers, red-cockaded woodpeckers, scrub jays.
keystone species provide shelter for others:
sea otters, alligators, beavers, gopher tortoises, urechis marine worm.
top level predators limit populations:
pumas, jaguars, eagles, sharks, wildcats, panthers,
big-game hunted for trophies to display, conspicuous consumption:
deer, elk, moose, bison, grizzly bears, tarpon, sailfish, marlin, rhinoceros, elephants, tigers.
non-game species not hunted, not trophies:
opossum, bats, manatees, turtles, coyotes, wolves, armadillos.
"charismatic species" attract peoples sympathies:
otters, pandas, cougars, lions, tigers, elephants, polar bears, Koalas, kangaroos.
Ecological Problem Solving, Cox 101-146, Hudson ix -39, Leopold 6-19, 137-140.
workshop on wildlife Olympic National Forest & Park: Good Neighbors?
1: Temporal considerations:
What is the importance of time?
Make a personal time line of important events in the past relating to wildlife:
2: Assessing Problem Solving
What is the intrinsic or inherent value of any animal? Of wildlife?
What do we use animals for? How useful are they to us?
Pick an animal and describe its life cycle, place on the food chain and ecological function:
3: Spatial importance:
measure a particular spot & record the dimensions:
What is an acre? What percentage of an acre did you measure?
What is a square mile? How many acres does it contain?
Write a short essay explaining Gap analysis and the significance of it for maps.
4: How has your understanding of ecology and conservation changed?
Define, clarify and organize the problem you are looking to solve.
Now examine conflicts within conservations aims and objectives, such as game protection versus non game wildlife habitat preservation.
Define a local conservation problem
What are the leading issues?
How would Leopold respond?