The Essence of Life

The Essence of Life

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Nature Wars

Beaver continue to impact the landscape

I just finished reading the excellent book "Nature Wars: The Incredible Story of How Wildlife Comebacks Turned Backyards Into Battlegrounds" (eISBN: 978-0-307-98566-8) by Jim Sterba.

In this very well researched and well written book Mr. Sterba analysis several "cases" of how radical nature changes that range from an incredible reforestation process in her Eastern United States, to wildlife population explosion that goes from beavers, Canada geese and whitetail deer to feral domestic cats, as well as the explosive human spraw through suburbs and exurbs, and the resulting mutual encroachment and conflicts between human and wild life.

Sterba study spans beyond the standard evaluation of habitat carrying capacity and considers the social carrying capacity as a threshold for human tolerance of the close presence of wildlife, different aspects of human-wildlife interface, the fact that Man has been an integral and active participant of the natural world, and discuss in good depth the process of denaturalization that is taking place in the United States today, where people no longer have an active role in interacting with nature, but take the position of a simple and sometimes irrelevant observer, as a key element in the balance or lack of it between humans and wildlife.

I almost every chapter there is a discussion of how to restore some semblance of balance in an effective way, and how the denaturalization mentioned above may deeply endanger the long sustainability of our constantly evolving backyard environment.

The book is not at all partisan, but if there is a conclusion is that too much passion and misunderstanding are a true barrier to fact based scientific management of the environment and the relationships within it, and that a dwindling hunter population and ever mounting restriction on where and how to hunt are clearly an aggravating factor in the current lack of balance.

"Nature Wars" is a great reading for us hunters in order to provide solid argumentation to defend our passion in face an ever mo uneducated, passional and partisan opposition.

1 comment:

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