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Old 05-27-2009, 05:07 PM   #1
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Default Beyond the doom & gloom

Often what we hear about is the doom & gloom stories. While it is certainly true that urban sprawl needs to be reigned in and that environmental threats have to be addressed, the last 30 years has produced more information needed to conserve land efficiently than probably anyone ever could've imagined. Prescribed burns on overgrown and densely shaded public land, savannah restorations undertaken, outdoor education centers being created are just a few of the fews of progress. At least some states have provided money for nature related fieldtrips at a time when money for even art fieldtrips has been taken away from many other schools. The way public lands are managed has improved, but more improvements yet are still needed to keep up with the times. Some of the most damaging chemicals have been banned, and a number of people who were posioning birds have been convicted, but there remains toxic threats to address. The ever shrinking amount of nature means cameras and watchful citizens are needed to keep poachers from stealing from protected lands, and many a weed warrior is needed to control invasive species. The great news for me is all this active management that is needed means there is a huge opportunity for volunteers to get involved, learn a lot, and see some cool things in the process.

Just some example of recent success stories near me: Translocations of animals have put collard lizards back on glades that they had long been wiped out of due to heavy shading created by trees and habitat fragmentation. Roadsides that used to be sprayed with toxins and mowed are now roadside wildflower plantings. Wasted space of lawn grass is now a savannah at Forest Park and a full time nature tech helps insure the land provides max benefits for the wildlife. Fishless ponds have been created to provide breeding sites for amphibians. On one hand we live in the dark ages of suburban sprawl, on the other hand we live in the golden years of knowledge regarding habitat management and species conservation. The transition from knowledge to practice is going to require a lot of active involvement from a wide base of people. I know I am excited to be a part of this period of history in land management, never have our efforts been more important.
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Old 05-27-2009, 05:37 PM   #2
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While some people seem to think becoming aware of the world situation is "doom and gloom" it is also the way that people become aware and become involved in effective action. I agree:

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. . . never have our efforts been more important.
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Old 05-27-2009, 09:29 PM   #3
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Oh my gosh. This is so well stated by both of you. Public awareness is being heightened in a very positive way. We aren't be left to feel powerless.
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Old 05-28-2009, 10:04 AM   #4
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Thank you midwest!
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Old 05-28-2009, 10:49 AM   #5
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It's very important to be reminded of the positives! Thanks!
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Old 05-28-2009, 06:43 PM   #6
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Thank you for sharing your perspective midwesternerr.
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