Throughout the birth and “growing pains” of the Furbearer Conservation brand and think tank, there’s been some underlying themes that have embodied the majority of my attention and resources. While there’s a multitude of varying topics we try to cover here at the FC, there’s a select “few” that continue to bubble up to the surface and wriggle their way into almost every conversation pertaining to the future of wildlife management, hunting, trapping, and man’s impact on the natural world. I’ll take the opportunity to add, that we are, in fact, part of the natural world - as much as a core few are trying really really hard to remove “us” from it.
The inevitable truth is that some people are hellbent on yanking the licensed hunter and regulated trapper out of the conservation equation. I’ve made it my mission, call it my “civic duty”, along with my constituents and contributors, to “hold the line” and ensure that hands-on management continues - provided it adds wealth to conservation efforts. Notice I said conservation efforts - not to be confused with a convoluted “hands-off, observe wildlife from behind a “no-touchy” velvet rope” mentality that seems to be sweeping through the environmental community like a flu virus. Many people feel the urge to “defend” wildlife, and provide what they think is a “voice” for the animals. Don’t be confused - there’s about a 1000 and 1 instances where advocacy for exploited wildlife and natural resources IS needed. Regulated activities, realistically, aren’t one of them. The problem lies when you lump every “consumptive” activity of wildlife “usage” or “take” into a perceived threat.
So what’s my point? Many of these topics deserve their own center stage, an area where they can blossom, educate, and advocate outside of a mere blog post. It is my great pleasure to introduce the Furbearer Conservation “Issues” Tab.
The first major string of general topics pertaining to our ongoing advocacy are listed and now available. They signify over four years of research in the making and we hope to build upon them as they continue to be important talking points around the future of conservation endeavors. We currently have the “big four” completed, with four additional subjects making their way in the near future:
You can click the titles above to browse every page individually, or head to the “Issues” tab on the navigation menu at the top of this page.
Game Funding and Management Decisions discusses the ongoing trend of removing hunters and the activity of hunting from the wildlife management toolbox, by replacing proven methods with what some have deemed the “non-consumptive crowd”. Its an issue that has spread like a ghastly, under-educated and oversimplified plague. As we all know, there’s no such thing as a “non-consumptive” activity in the outdoors. Every activity, hunting-related or not, stresses or impacts wildlife in a negative way.
Predator Management in North America touches on the ideology that predatory animals can “do no wrong” and deserve full protections from wildlife management methods. The idea that top predators deserve a pedestal of conservation hierarchy has proved to be the biggest catalyst for the Game Management topic listed above.
Politics & Wildlife Management discusses the role hunting and trapping play in wildlife biology and continued conservation efforts, and the problems plagued when political forces muddy the waters of an otherwise non-biased wildlife conservation model. Political strong-arming state agencies into restricting hunting activities through legislation is typically a side effect of environmental activist groups failing in their attempts to overthrow game management decisions “in house”. Seeing a trend yet?
A World Without Trapping discusses the obvious. Similar to our column “Bash Those Lowly Trappers, At Your Own Peril”, this issue plays a very important part in the future of wildlife management, sustainable use of our natural resources, and continued conservation efforts to bolster biodiversity for future generations to enjoy and protect.
As stated above, we will have much more to add. These pages were developed to be reference-oriented stand-alone pieces. As many of us know, its nearly impossible to hold someone’s attention when trying to explain the key concepts behind many of the national and international drives to effectively “end” hunting and trapping activities. I hope the enrollment of these pages helps to wrap these topics into a neat little bundle to keep the conservation community informed. At the very least, whether you agree with hunting or not, I hope the advancement of an “Issues” page gives you something to think about. Keep watching this blog, or sign up for our newsletter to continue to receive updates on these and other important topics pertaining to the future of conservation in North America.