Recreation effects on wildlife conference

The effect of recreation on wildlife is a topic that has come up a few times here.  It has apparently reached the visibility of a “conference theme,” at least in Canada: “Responsible Recreation: Pathways, Practices and Possibilities.”  This conference in May focused on the Columbia Mountains in southern B. C., but may be of broader interest.  You can still sign up to see the recorded conference until the 16th, but the written proceedings are available from this website.

From the conference description:

Recreation and adventure tourism opportunities and activities are expanding globally, with the Columbia Mountains region being no exception. From hiking, mountain biking, snowmobiling, dirt biking, cross-country skiing, to motorized and non-motorized watercraft use, all activities can have an impact on wildlife and ecosystems. However, empirical measures of impacts are often difficult to obtain, with unknown thresholds that ultimately affect the viability of wildlife populations and ecosystems. This limits policy development and impact management. Furthermore, the cumulative effect of multiple overlapping recreational and industrial activities on the landscape are seldom considered or addressed.


“Proforestation” It Aint What It Claims To Be

‘Proforestation’ separates people from forests

AKA: Ignorance and Arrogance Still Reign Supreme at the Sierra Club.

I picked this up from Nick Smith’s Newsletter (sign up here)
Emphasis added by myself as follows:
1)  Brown Text for items NOT SUPPORTED by science with long term and geographically extensive validation.                                                                                                                                                        2) Bold Green Text for items SUPPORTED by science with long term and geographically extensive validation.
3) >>>Bracketed Italics for my added thoughts based on 59 years of experience and review of a vast range of literature going back to way before the internet.<<<

“Proforestation” is a relatively new term in the environmental community. The Sierra Club defines it as: “extending protections so as to allow areas of previously-logged forest to mature, removing vast amounts of atmospheric carbon and recovering their ecological and carbon storage potential.”          >>>Apparently, after 130 years of existence, the Sierra Club still doesn’t know much about plant physiology, the carbon cycle or the increased risk of calamitous wild fire spread caused by the close proximity of stems and competition driven mortality in unmanged stands (i.e. the science of plant physiology regarding competition, limited resources and fire spread physics). Nor have they thought out the real risk of permanent destruction of the desired ecosystems nor the resulting impact on climate change.<<<

Not only must we preserve untouched forests, proponents argue, but we must also walk away from previously-managed forests too. People should be entirely separate from forest ecology and succession. >>>More abject ignorance and arrogant woke policy based only on vacuous wishful thinking.<<<

Except humans have managed forests for millennia. In North America, Indigenous communities managed forests and sustained its resources for at least 8,000 years prior to European settlement. It is true people have not always managed forests sustainably. Forest practices of the late 19th century are a good example.                                                                                                                                                 >>>Yes, and the political solution pushed on us by the Sierra Club and other faux conservationists beginning with false assumptions about the Northern Spotted Owl was to throw out the continuously improving science (i.e. Continuous Process Improvement [CPI]).  The concept of using the science to create sustainable practices and laws that regulated the bad practices driven by greed and arrogance wasn’t even considered seriously.  As always, the politicians listened to the well heeled squeaky voters.  Now, their arrogant ignorance has given us National Ashtrays, destruction of soils, and an ever increasing probability that great acreages of forest ecosystems will be lost to the generations that follow who will also have to cope with the exacerbated climate change.  So here we are, in 30+/- years the Faux Conservationists have made things worse than the greedy timber barons ever could have.  And the willfully blind can’t seem to see what they have done. Talk about arrogance.<<<

Forest management provides tools to correct past mistakes and restore ecosystems. But Proforestation even seems to reject forest restoration that helps return a forest to a healthy state, including controlling invasive species, maintaining tree diversity, returning forest composition and structure to a more natural state.

Proforestation is not just a philosophical exercise. The goal is to ban active forest management on public lands. It has real policy implications for the future management (or non-management) of forests and how we deal with wildfires, climate change and other disturbances.

We’ve written before about how this concept applies to so-called “carbon reserves.” Now, powerful and well-funded anti-forestry groups are pressuring the Biden Administration to set-aside national forests and other federally-owned lands under the guise of “protecting mature and old-growth” trees.

In its recent white paper on Proforestation (read more here), the Society of American Foresters writes that “preservation can be appropriate for unique protected areas, but it has not been demonstrated as a solution for carbon storage or climate change across all forested landscapes.”

Proforestation doesn’t work when forests convert from carbon sinks into carbon sources. A United Nations report pointed out that at least 10 World Heritage sites – the places with the highest formal environmental protections on the planet – are net sources of carbon pollution. This includes the iconic Yosemite National Park.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recognizes active forest management will yield the highest carbon benefits over the long term because of its ability to mitigate carbon emitting disturbance events and store carbon in harvested wood products. Beyond carbon, forest management ensures forests continue to provide assets like clean water, wildlife habitat, recreation, and economic activity.

Forest management offers strategies to manage forests for carbon sequestration and long-term storage.Proforestation rejects active stewardship that can not only help cool the planet, but help meet the needs of people, wildlife and ecosystems. You can expect to see this debate intensify in 2023.

Sierra At Tahoe Ski Area Re-opens

After the Caldor Fire seriously impacted the ski area, Sierra At Tahoe is open again. As you can see, it was a high intensity portion of the fire, with the previous forest being highly flammable and loaded with decades of heavy dead fuels. After several droughts, the area did not have any salvage operations. The area is also known to have nesting pairs of goshawks around.

As you can see, snow sports people will be enjoying a new experience of skiing and boarding, without so many trees ‘hindering their personal snow freedoms’. *smirk*

“Wild Souls” Book Review by Jennifer Weeks

This book apparently goes into many topics of interest that have been frequently discussed by TSW readers. I found this review on The Society of Environmental Journalists page. Would anyone like to review the book for TSW readers? I have to wonder about how these concepts track with abstractions like “ecosystem integrity” or the more recent BLM idea “health of the landscape” (at least with reference to grazing rules) as Steve quoted here.  I have to say it’s much easier for me to think about the question of “what is the appropriate level of intervention?”under the abstraction of “climate resilience.”

BookShelf: ‘Wild Souls’ Explores Paradox of Managing Species To Save Them

“Wild Souls: Freedom and Flourishing in the Non-Human World”
By Emma Marris
Bloomsbury, $28.00

Reviewed by Jennifer Weeks

A decade ago on a family trip to the Grand Canyon, my 7-year-old daughter spotted a signboard as we walked along the South Rim: “Condor presentation here at 3:00.”

“Look, a condor is coming!” she said.

We had mentioned that they were one of the region’s rarest species and were clawing their way back from the brink of extinction.

I started explaining that the sign meant a ranger was going to give a talk, not that he or she would bring a condor — they were wild and free-flying, not on display.

As I was in mid-sentence, a huge shadow fell across the sidewalk.

Everyone along the path looked up and started taking pictures of, yes, a California condor gliding overhead. Its massive wingspan and bright red head made it hard to miss.

“See, it’s here early!” my daughter announced.

What’s ‘wild’ when humans interfere?

This episode captured the complexity that journalist Emma Marris explores in “Wild Souls: Freedom and Flourishing in the Non-Human World,” a hard look at what it means for a species to be “wild” or “natural” on a planet where humans have radically altered it.

Condors were then and still are critically endangered: At the end of 2020 their wild free-flying population was 329, spread across parts of Arizona, Utah, California and Baja. The most dire threat they face is poisoning from consuming lead shot in animal carcasses they feed on.

And they’re present at the Grand Canyon because they were reintroduced there from a captive breeding program

We may value wild animals, but we interfere with their lives in all kinds of ways that call into question what “wild” means.

“The condors that have been released into the ‘wild’ are still tended to pretty closely by humans,” Marris writes. “They are routinely vaccinated against West Nile virus. When chicks are in the nest, they are visited monthly to make sure their parents aren’t feeding them plastic trash. If they are, the nestlings are whisked away for a quick surgery to remove the plastic. Every condor is assigned a ‘studbook number,’ which it wears prominently on a wing tag.”

Condors illustrate Marris’ central point: We may value wild animals and want to have good relationships with them, but we interfere with their lives in all kinds of ways that call into question what “wild” means.

Hybrid of wild nature and human management

Captive breeding programs are an example. Reintroductions, such as the planned return of gray wolves to Colorado that state voters endorsed in a 2020 ballot measure, are another. So is exterminating predators to protect at-risk species they hunt.

In one well-known example, the National Park Service killed thousands of feral pigs on California’s Channel Islands to save small endemic foxes. The program was so controversial that novelist T. Coraghessan Boyle novelized it in his 2011 book, “When the Killing’s Done.”

In her previous book, “Rambunctious Garden: Saving Nature in a Post-Wild World” (2013), Marris argued that the idea of preserving nature in a pristine, pre-human state was unrealistic, and that instead the goal should be a hybrid of wild nature and human management.

“Wild Souls” extends this line of thinking to wildlife, drawing on science, philosophy and literature for perspective.

Too often, Marris asserts, we divide the world into nature, which we view as good, and our domesticated world, which we blame ourselves for ruining. In her view, this either/or framing is too simple — and it also is harmful.

Acknowledging human influence

“Our concepts of ‘nature’ and ‘wilderness’ sadly limit the solutions that we can imagine,” she writes. “To make good environmental decisions, we must stop focusing on trying to remove or undo human influence. … We must instead acknowledge the extent to which we have influenced our current world and take some responsibility for its future trajectory.”

What does that mean in practice?

One example Marris raises is tolerating hybridization between some species — such as grizzlies and polar bears, or barred and spotted owls — if it expands the gene pool for a dwindling species.

Another might be deciding to let a hyper-specialized rare species go extinct, rather than inflicting mass suffering on its better-adapted predators.

A third is using genetic editing tools to help species that we want to protect adapt to a human-altered world.

“Imagine using a gene drive to remove horns from all rhinos so there would be no reason to poach them — and then using another gene drive 100 years later to put the horn back once the market has dried up,” she posits.

None of these interventions would be simple.

But with the Earth losing so many species now, “Wild Souls” is a heartfelt but practical guide through the tangled moral underbrush.

Jennifer Weeks is senior environment and energy editor at The Conversation US and a former board member of the Society of Environmental Journalists.


Hundreds of Giant Sequoias Considered Dead From Wildfires

It appears that rumors of ‘natural and beneficial’ wildfires in the southern Sierra Nevada have been ‘greatly exaggerated’. Even the Alder Creek grove, which was recently bought by Save the Redwoods, was decimated. Of course, this eventuality has been long-predicted.

Why Pinyons and Junipers Are Where They Are or Were Where They Were: Many Possibilities

This study says that PJ coming into sagebrush is not good for sage grouse.

Last week I ran across two studies (a paper and a presentation) that both illustrate what I think it an important point. When we look at what happened in the past (usually from photos, or history books, or what’s there today) and see changes, we don’t know for sure if that is due to (1) previous people doing things (Natives and settlers), or (2) what happened when previous people stopped doing things, (3) vagaries of weather/climate or (4) other causes.

Last week I attended a Colorado State University featuring Dr. Marina Redmond, talking about pinyon-juniper woodlands and their expansion and contraction. The first point that she made is that there is an enormous range, and each situation/place is different. In some areas, PJ is expanding, and in other areas contracting, due to drought-induced mortality. According to this paper the mortality in pinyon is due to Ips species, and in juniper due to “plain old” drought stress.

If you just look at PJ expansion, you might think it’s due to fire suppression, which has changed over time. But it might also be caused by wetter conditions that were good for tree seedling establishment. Or it might even be that there was overgrazing in the past, which established conditions (little grass cover) in which PJs got a chance to take hold. It could even be a combination of several of these factors. Or in more generic terms, climate change (that is change mostly before what we call anthropogenic cc based on GHGS), post-disturbance recovery (I guess these would be “natural” disturbances, but perhaps these may not be obvious 100 years later), and changes due to human interventions (say, removing bison, adding cattle) and recovery from human interventions. Humans have a long history in the Southwest. Then, when you get into interactions among these, it seems like it would be hard to know for sure, and perhaps even harder to find (1) an ideal target NRV that people agree on (2) the FS can afford to intervene to produce and that (3) will be resilient to climate change.

It seems to me that keeping endangered species around (as in the study shown in the image above), producing useful things for wildlife and people (and cows) like forage and pinyon nuts, and at least thinking about resilience to climate change are challenging (and expensive) enough for land managers without introducing ideas like NRV or HRV. Perhaps the above observations in PJ are an example of what Millar and Woolfenden point out as “conceptual and practical” problems with ideas such as NRV.

While there are many important lessons to learn from the past, we believe that we cannot rely on past forest conditions to provide us with blueprints for current and future management (Millar et al 2007). In particular, the nature and scale of past variability in climate and forest conditions, coupled with our imprecise ability to fully reconstruct those conditions, introduce a number of conceptual and practical problems (Millar and Woolfenden 1999a). Detailed reconstructions of historical forest conditions, often dendroecologically based,
are very useful but represent a relatively narrow window of time and tend to coincide with tree recruitment in the generally cooler period referred to as the little ice age (figure 1). As such, manipulation of current forests to resemble past conditions may not produce the desired result when considering future climates.

This quote is from this paper by Stephens, Millar and Collins (2010). I’d only add to that list “the nature and scale of past variability in human actions and our imprecise ability to fully construct” them.

“Intact” Ecosystems: What Does That Mean?

Vehicles waiting to enter the North Entrance of Yellowstone;
Jim Peaco;
July 28, 2015;
Catalog #20471d;
Original #IMG_9185

I wanted to highlight some interesting information from Lance, which was embedded way down in a different thread here. I’d like to start by reiterating one of my favorite Andrew Greeley quotes
in which Bishop Blackie Ryan says about individualism:
“Actually, individualism doesn’t exist”..””the word is a label, an artifact under which one may subsume a number of often contrasting and sometimes contradictory developments and ideas. Such constructs ought not be reified as if there is some overpowering reality in the outside world that corresponds to them.” From The Bishop and the Beggar Girl of St. Garmain. Today we might also ask of popular abstractions “who or what communities initiated these abstraction?” “why” and what other people or communities might win or lose from such framing?”

We old people remember forest management before the idea of sustainability took hold, and then the idea of ecosystem management,then ecosystem health, restoration, and ecosystem integrity. Basically, you could have the same thinning project and discuss whether it was sustainable, whether it fits in to ecosystem management, whether it contributes to ecosystem health, or ecosystem integrity, or restoration. But if you were watching, often the same folks were on the same side of arguing that the project is, or is not, sustainable, etc. all the way to integrity. I call this the “abstraction of the decade.” It’s great for producing new conferences and scientific papers with basically the same on-the ground information with a few new ideas thrown in. basically the same old disagreements (bad vs. good) under the mantle of a new abstraction. Again, as an old person, I’m not sure we’re moving the ball forward, however we might mutually envision what that would look like, by changing labels. Nevertheless it appears that a new abstraction has entered our abstraction corral.. the “intact” ecosystem.

Given that, let’s go on to what Lance observed in his comment here:

When the Greater Yellowstone Coalition talks about ecosystem integrity they state as their vision, “Our vision is a healthy and intact Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem where critical lands and waters are adequately protected, wildlife is managed in a thoughtful, sustainable manner and a strong, diverse base of support is working to conserve this special place as part of a larger, connected Northern Rocky Mountain Region.”

When the Trust for Public Land talks about an intact ecosystem they highlight the area having all the species that were present during the Lewis and Clark expedition.

In my quick review a few key themes came out: viable populations of historic flora and fauna, clean water, and connectivity to other regions. Less explicit were a relative lack of a human presence and natural process progressing unimpeded by human intervention (dare we say untrammeled.) I don’t have an issue with a definition based on these key points. I would disagree with a definition based on , “ those hunks of landscape we all know of that deserve more protection than they’re getting…” since it is presumptuous of me assume that my preferences are universal. We are lucky in Montana to have ecosystems so intact. Much like the Eastern Wilderness Act allowed more trammeled land to become wilderness along the east coast than we we consider pristine in the west, a certain amount of flexibility would need to be applied to implement in other states.

Now the Bitterroot Front abuts the Selway-Bitterroot and is part of the Central Idaho ecosystem and at this time is one large furry omnivore away from having it’s full complement of animals. So one issue of the Bitterroot Front Proposal impact the future introduction of grizzlies naturally, as one did this summer, or by introduction. A related question would be impacts on connectivity to the Glacier region and the Yellowstone region. As an aside it is interesting the the core of both of these ecosystems are trammeled National Parks, indicating that wilderness designation is not an absolute requirement for a healthy ecosystem.

I am still puzzled by how you can have a heavily trammeled Park in the middle of an “intact” ecosystem. Is it really as simple as “grizzly bears and wolves are there?”. Or does it mean “impacted by recreation and tourism only”?

Forest planning for “sustainable” recreation

A former Forest Service backcountry specialist talks about ecological integrity and increasing human recreation activities, and tries to answer the question of “what is sustainable recreation?”  The 2012 Planning Rule requires plan components “to provide for: (i) Sustainable recreation; including recreation settings, opportunities, and access; and scenic character.”

What is “Sustainable Recreation”? The Forest Service defines it as “the set of recreation settings and opportunities in the National Forest System that is ecologically, economically, and socially sustainable for present and future generations.”

Here’s how it’s done:

The Recreation Opportunity Spectrum can be used in forest planning to define a desired condition for management within each zone. Indicators and standards are meant to define the tipping point beyond which management action must be taken.
 If the standard for a backcountry area (called “semi-primitive non-motorized” in ROS jargon) is that no more than six other parties are encountered on a typical day, when the encounter rate exceeds that number some action is supposed to take place to return to the desired condition.
It’s a neat framework, but doesn’t always play out as intended on the ground. ROS doesn’t differentiate between a semi-primitive area in the back yard of a town like Jackson or Bozeman and one that’s two hours away.
That seems like a major shortcoming, especially if all areas with a SPNM designation must have the same desired level of semi-primitive non-motorized use.  However, the Planning Handbook encourages “new approaches,” including creating “desired recreation opportunity spectrum subclasses” §(23.23a).
The usual sequence of remedial actions begins with non-intrusive measures like visitor education. If the problem isn’t solved, additional actions are considered.
The Bridger-Teton forest plan is typical in its prescribed sequence of actions, this excerpt taken from its direction on wilderness. The following recreational strategies should be used, listed in descending order of preference:
First Action – Efforts are directed towards information and education programs and correction of visible resource damage.
Second Action – If the first action is unsuccessful, restrict activities by regulation (for example, set a minimum distance between a lakeshore and where people can camp).
Third Action – If the first and second actions fail, restrict numbers of visitors.
Fourth Action – If first, second, and third actions are not successful, a zone can be closed to all recreation use until the area is rehabilitated and restored to natural conditions.
In my experience, outside of designated wilderness and other special areas where specific laws apply, the Forest Service keeps circling around the first action, which isn’t a bad strategy given the continuing need for it in communities where resident turnover is high.  It’s an ongoing need regardless of the often unmet requirement to step up restrictions. But restrictions trigger blowback, as when the Shasta-Trinity National Forest tried to set encounter limits for the wilderness that includes Mt. Shasta.
People basically said they don’t care if it’s crowded—they just want to reach the summit, and a judge agreed with them. On the other hand, those who float the Selway River are happy to wait until they get a launch day shared by no one else. Since everyone is going the same direction at about the same speed, everyone can experience a bit of peace and quiet. So the application of sustainable recreation standards depends on who is using the forest and what they will accept.
And those are the questions that forest planning should be designed to answer.  (Note:  the Bridger-Teton plan has not been revised, so may not be the current state-of-the-art.  Also, I couldn’t find the court case referred to.)  And this must be done against the backdrop of a requirement for ecological integrity.
User-built trails and roads are often the opposite of sustainable. They develop incrementally and aren’t designed with soil type, grades and curve radii in mind, or the needs of resident wildlife. The trail system after adoption by the Forest Service usually gets reworked so it doesn’t turn into deep ruts or wash into the creek, but where is the analysis that determines that the trail location is right in the first place?  The trail itself becomes more sustainable, but where do the grouse and elk and owls go?
The adoption of forest plan of components for desired recreational use has effects that must be evaluated during the NEPA process, but rarely does the Forest Service devote much attention to this.
The author describes a common fallacious argument that the Forest Service likes to make about sustainability to avoid controversy:
While the planning rule makes clear that ecological integrity underlies compatible uses in a national forest, the ecological, economical, and social sustainability have since been referred to as a three-legged stool, with all three legs of equal importance.
But if you parse the actual language of the Planning Rule, it is apparent that the ecological leg needs to support more weight (driven by the substantive diversity requirement of NFMA) (my emphasis).
“Plans will guide management of NFS lands so that they ARE ecologically sustainable and CONTRIBUTE TO social and economic sustainability; CONSIST OF ecosystems and watersheds with ecological integrity and diverse plant and animal communities; and HAVE THE CAPACITY TO PROVIDE people and communities with ecosystem services and multiple uses that provide a range of social, economic, and ecological benefits for the present and into the future.

Bark Beetle Epidemic in Calaveras County


The bark beetles started their invasion when I used to live there, in Mark Twain’s famous Calaveras County. Now it looks like it has reached epidemic levels, requiring emergency action, from multiple agencies.

Even with recent wet winters, tree mortality will remain a pressing issue as long as bark beetle infestations and drought conditions continue, said Brady McElroy, a hazard tree specialist in the Calaveras Ranger District of the Stanislaus National Forest.

“By no means is the issue going away,” McElroy said. “What the Forest Service has to focus on are the high priority areas, the immediate hazards to homes, roads and highways.”

In the long-term, McElroy said the Forest Service hopes to increase the pace and scale of thinning projects to restore overstocked forests that have been allowed for by a century of fire suppression.

“Our forests are overstocked, which increases competition (and) stressors on the trees, (and consequently) their ability to defend against bark beetle,” McElroy said. “The ongoing goal is to thin forests to a healthy kind of pre-European settlement stand to where they’re a little more resilient. We’re focusing on high-priority areas in the wildland-urban interface … We know what happens when these overstocked forests catch fire – we lose them.”

Diana Fredlund, a public affairs officer with the Stanislaus National Forest, said that although federal budget decreases have impacted the scale of the work for the Forest Service, the agency has been able to collaborate with private, county, state and other federal agencies and contractors for tree removal projects.

“We do what we can with what we have,” Fredlund said.

The Forest Service offers its own tree mortality program for homeowners with properties adjacent to Forest Service land. Property owners can fill out a Hazard Tree Evaluation Request Form to be considered for hazard tree abatement.

The Feral Conference and the Nativism Paradigm- Exploring Ideas About Nature

I originally became interested in the conference “Defining Nature in a Globalizing World”,  co-hosted by Massey University Political Ecology Research Centre (PERC) and Wageningen University Centre for Space, Place and Society (CSPS) because it was carbon-neutral and worldwide, for those of us with low or nonexistent travel budgets. See link here. I also really liked how respectful folks were in the comments. Here is a link to the abstracts. Here is a link to  the keynote talk by Mark Davis, of Macalester College in Minnesota.

We’ll hear more from Irus Braverman, one of the commenters,  in later posts on our site.

Davis says “History is not a directive… restoration goals are management decisions” . Sound familiar? Oh, but someone changed “historic range of variation” to “natural range of variation”- so that’s a different idea (or is it?), currently enshrined in the 2012 NFMA Planning Rule. So ideas matter and it is open to all of us to question those ideas.

Macalester talks about the “Nativism” paradigm and its current popularity in the fields of conservation biology and restoration ecology.  This is one of those talks in which values and views of scientific disciplines are teased apart.  As he says, this is an interaction between the fields of environmental philosophy, history and sociology of science, and various scientific disciplines about the definition of Nature. But each individual person gets to have our own “ideas about things”, in this case, about the nature of Nature, which are just as legitimate as anyone else’s.  These are not particularly complex ideas to grasp, nor do any particular group of scientists or philosopher have authority to determine which ideas are OK.

Here are some comments from the Davis keynote talk which may resonate with Smokey Wire concerns and issues.

Comment from Marianne Milne:

The challenges for ecologists or perhaps us all is to decide what is it that we need to do to retain biodiversity in our local spaces. I too would like to see a move away from the war on weeds/war on pests analogies but also fear loss of whole species if unbalanced ecosystems are left to their own devices. How do we manage our wild spaces? Which immigrants are tipping the scales and need active management. Which can or should be eradicated and which can we manage alongside. The context is different for each spaces and dependent on presence of species threatened with extinction. I love the idea of novel ecosystems but there is a place for preservation of unique species. So much rapid change, so much unpredictability. How do we build resilience?

Response from Mark Davis:

Hello Marian, you pose several good questions. Adopting the ecological novelty paradigm certainly does not mean that ecosystems should be left to their own devices. There is no easy answer to your question regarding how to manage our wild (or not wild) spaces. There is no ecological or divine imperative to guide us. It is up to us to decide how we want to manage the environment, which will emerge from our value systems. Do we want to manage for productivity, biodiversity, to prevent erosion, to protect a particular endangered or unique species? Our objectives will vary from site to site and ultimately will be decided in the public square. What does society value?–Mark

Davis also touches on how ideas get supported in different scientific communities, and how hard it is to break free of a paradigm once established and funded in a scientific discipline.

You all are invited to check out this conference and see what else you might find interesting, and comment below.