habitat conservation

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Arguments in favor of protecting this stream or that forest tend to come down to ecological significance or some other scientific reason. 

Robert Leonard Reid--mountaineer, musician, mathematician, and writer--likes the concept of protecting things because of their beauty. 

He explores the concept further in the 19 essays of Because It Is So Beautiful: Unraveling the Mystique of the American West.

Wikimedia

It seems like a straightforward path: fix the environment, and the people will thrive. 

But the experience of Western organizations and individuals in Africa tells a different story.  Efforts to restore animals and ecosystems have often gone awry, with researchers noting local people getting sicker and hungrier while animal populations fail to thrive. 

This is the story told in White Man's Game: Saving Animals, Rebuilding Eden & Other Myths of Conservation in Africa

Author Stephanie Hanes lived in, and reported from< Africa several years. 

oregonwalktheland.org

If you follow news about land set aside for preservation, you may occasionally wonder: when can I go visit that land?  This Saturday, June 24th, is a good answer. 

That is officially Oregon Walk the Land Day, sponsored by land trusts all over the state. 

They'll lead tours pointing out the highlights of lands protected by trusts in the far-flung corners of Oregon. 

颐园新居, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=49176327

They're pretty and they provide shade, but trees mean more than that to non-human species. 

The trees are homes for many animals, and arborists like Brian French encourage people to maintain trees for habitat. 

They don't even have to be living trees to qualify as habitat trees. 

McKenzie River Trust Buys Former Timber Land

Jan 13, 2016
Wikimedia

Where chain saws once roared, only the sounds of the McKenzie River can be heard.

And that's the way things are likely to stay for a very long time. 

The McKenzie River Trust just closed a deal to buy a chunk of land along the river, near the community of Blue River, from a timber company. 

Wikimedia

Offshore drilling for oil and gas is often opposed by people who favor the protection of sensitive and significant lands. 

Except for one thing: the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund

LWCF uses offshore oil and gas lease income to purchase property for public use; grants have bought big chunks of land in both states. 

But two issues loom: Congress often diverts money from the fund for other purposes... and the fund will expire this year without Congressional intervention. 

The Northwest wine industry has grown tremendously over the last few decades. That’s had a big economic impact but has also changed the region’s landscape.