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Wild animals and birds occupied the North American continent long before humans came to settle the land. Then for several thousand years, after they arrived, Asian immigrants had minimal impact on the natural flora and fauna. But, when Europeans arrived, they took what suited them and killed and pushed back the wildlife that inconvenienced them. It was hardly a fair contest. By exterminating wolves and spraying insecticides on swamps, we changed the ecology of the land. We ploughed grasslands and cut millions of trees. It’s important to keep the wildlands and wildlife that we have left or the transformation will be complete, harming not only our own prospects for survival but also the remaining integrity of the land itself and its remaining wild inhabitants. Does Nature have Rights? From a moral perspective, we believe it does.
We believe it’s important to foster awareness of the wild, the land and its flora and fauna. As the human population increases on the surface of the planet, it’s hard to see that more people and more development will not have a harmful effect on the remaining wild land and the wildlife that inhabits it. So, we regard it as important to strengthen a phalanx of resistance. Protect as much land as we can, even returning land to the wild. Save the forests and trees from the saw for the benefit of the birds and the animals who regard this as essential for their existence. Protect wildlife from wanton, unnecessary exploitation. Increase human awareness of the requirements of the natural world to existence for its own sake. Develop an empathy to see nature as deserving of, and retaining, its own integrity.
What that means is that we can visit wildlands to appreciate its splendor – but leave no trace of our having been there, and that, while there, we do as little as we can to be quiet and undisturbing. No motorized equipment, no bikes, no chainsaws, no guns, no lead bullets, no shovels. no burning. What it means is that we accord the land with integrity and its wildlife with respect. It means that the boundaries of wilderness will be pushed back no further than they already have been. It means that we will do what we can to maintain connectivity between ecosystems, even by strengthening wildlife movement corridors by building highway underpasses and overpass bridges and culverts and benches to encourage movement. It means that we will install and maintain fencing to restrain animals from crossing highways in places where both human and animal lives are endangered. It means that we will no longer use poisons and pesticides and traps to kill animals we regard as pests. It means that we will find ways to accommodate ourselves to wildlands and wildlife without harming them. It means that we will accord nature the rights it deserves as a system that can nurture and sustain itself – and that it is just and right for the natural world to persist without further human interference.
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WILDERNESS & WILDLIFE is a half-hour radio interview program hosted by Jay Shell in Bozeman, Montana and `Des Moines. WA. Interviews were originally broadcast on KGVM FM, community radio in Bozeman. Wilderness & Wildlife was initiated on KGVM in June 2018 and is produced by the Gallatin Wildlife Association in Bozeman, Montana. New interviews are posted weekly as they become available. Suggestions are welcome and can be done via email. Letters and Bulletin Board notices are posted to Subscribers as they become available but are subject to editing.
Jay Shell is an outdoor enthusiast and conservationist who began birding at age 11 at a camp in northern New Jersey. He has worked in Yellowstone and has adventurous stories to tell. While spending his career as a financial planner, he has backpacked across the West in Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon, California and Washington. He is a member of Audubon, the Sierra Club, Defenders of Wildlife, Greater Yellowstone Coalition and Gallatin Wildlife Association and he’s served on the Boards of several wildlife & conservation organizations.
Editor’s comments are attributable to him alone and may not apply to any other organization or entity.
RECOMMENTATIONS: STATE LEGISLATION
Will post recommendations for STATE legislation that is compatible with our philosophy. If already in bill form, please post bill number and sponsor. Send to Jay@jswilderness5.net
Some states have outlawed the use of M44, chemical 1080 (sodium fluoroacetate), firebombing and trapping of wildlife, If you would like to participate in the campaign against these lethal actions, let us know you would like to be involved. Sign up below.
RECOMMENDATIONS: FEDERAL LEGISLATION
RECOMMENDATIONS: EXECUTIVE ACTIONS
We will post recommendations for Executive actions for Governors and Agencies, both state (identify state) and federal that will benefit wildlife and the environment. If a campaign is already underway, please provide contact information. Send to Jay@jswilderness5.net
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Send us SUMMARIES of articles and research findings that we can post – and don’t forget to show how they can be found.
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There are many people who have made notable achievements in the cause of saving wilderness and wildlife (e.g. Thoreau, Brower, etc.). Read about them here – and send us your nominations.
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