Species to planet-wide Conservation

Peter Rauch anamaria at GRINNELL.BERKELEY.EDU
Tue Jan 12 08:21:46 CST 1999

On Tue, 12 Jan 1999, John Shuey wrote, among much:
> "The Mission of The Nature Conservancy is to preserve the plants,
> animals and natural communities that represent the diversity of life
> on Earth by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive.  The
> Nature Conservancy's conservation goal is the long-term survival of
> all viable native species and community types through the design and
> conservation of portfolios of sites within ecoregions."
> Thus, you can see why the Conservancy cannot accept planning
> strategies that select "high value" targets at the expense of others.
> It all has value.

Your extensive comments in this and the previous note raise many
issues which are not simply "academic" vs "conservationist", nor simply
between those whose "perspectives of those who practice conservation,
and those who talk about practicing conservation"  --so many issues that
I'm left somewhat breathless; so, for now I'd just like to briefly make
an observation/question about the above quote on TNC's strategy...

You describe a practice of strategically applying "filters", coarse and
fine, of making "judgements" all along the filter spectrum; and, then,
of applying operational plans to the results derived from all that

To me, that describes "selecting 'high value' targets at the expense of
others," which you suggest TNC does not do.

TNC, in my opinion, employs a particular strategy for choosing and
selecting where and when to apply its scarce resources. Those choices,
as you describe, are made based on a variety of seemingly sound and
practical theory, data, and interests. But, in your act of
dichotomizing the "academics" and the "conservationists", the "do-ers"
from the "talkers", you paint extremes which probably exist only as
extremes, and you tend to dismiss the possibility that other "practical"
strategies for selecting conservation "targets" have sufficient
validity to merit respect and support. Maybe that's not the spirit of
what you intended to convey, but that's the way it came across to me in
this case.

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