Thursday, September 25, 2008

Who is Conservation Really About?

"The purpose of conservation: The greatest good to the greatest number of people for the longest time."- Gifford Pinchot, first Director of the U.S. Forest Service

While I understand what Gifford Pinchot is saying here, I find it very interesting that people think that conservation is simply about people, just like everything else. I believe that conservation is about doing what is best for the species that we are trying to protect and while it may allow future generations to enjoy what we enjoy now, that is a secondary and less important aspect.

We conserve to protect our current species and to bring species back that have been pushed out by past generations of people. Why try to make this about helping people? Why can we not conserve for the sake of helping the plants and animals that are being driven out of existence by other people who also claim to be helping people. We seem to lose track of the fact that people have caused the problems that much of our wildlife are now confronted with. I believe that the message should be, let’s help the wildlife because it is best for them, and not let’s help the wildlife because it is what is best for us.

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