Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - xx

iNTrODUCTiON

T

here are many different ways to look at the management of our natural
resources� Three different perspectives that must be considered are those of
the preservationist, the exploiter, and the conservationist�
If we view the world as preservationists, nature is something that should
be left intact as much as possible� From that perspective, humankind is a great
destroyer and pillager, and we have no right to destroy the land or tear the earth
apart� To a preservationist, managing nature is a foreign concept because nature is
something to be left alone and not managed� The preservationist would stop the
construction of a pipeline needed by our economy to move Alaskan or Canadian
oil because he or she believes it will make the landscape ugly and endanger the
migratory habits of wildlife� From that perspective, almost all development is
inherently bad� A preservationist would protect a rare 150-year-old tree simply
because it is a 150-year-old tree�
If we take the viewpoint of the exploiter, natural resources are merely a source
of wealth and power� They represent something that is there for the taking and
for our own use� From that perspective, nature is something to be reshaped for
our economic benefit, with little regard for other creatures in the ecosystem� The
exploiter would build a dam to supply electricity even if, by doing so, the habitat of a small, rare fish would be destroyed� The exploiter would harvest a rare
150-year-old tree because the wood could be used to make expensive furniture�
The conservationist viewpoint is somewhere between those two� From that
perspective, nature provides resources that should be used sustainably for our
collective economic benefit� The conservationist would encourage the harvesting
of forests to produce wood and paper as long as the trees are replaced by other
trees having economic value, but not necessarily the same kind of tree harvested
originally� The conservationist would allow the strip mining of coal as long as the
land is restored to a balanced, natural state when the mining is completed and as
long as no meaningful collateral environmental damage occurred during the process� The conservationist would consider whether to harvest the rare 150-year-old
tree in light of the impact on the area� If he or she decided to harvest the tree,
several tree seedlings compatible with that location would be planted to replace it�
Which viewpoint is right, and which is wrong? There is no simple answer to
such a question� If there were a right answer, there would not be such divergent
viewpoints� Consensus among the different factions would be possible� What we
can say for certain is that the world is not a very large place, and there are many
people� As the number of people on earth continues to increase, the pressure
applied by humans to the environment also increases� It is clear that we cannot
follow the exploiter's approach forever, but by the same token, a world human
population of over 7 billion cannot exist without affecting the shape and condition of the environment�
It is not the purpose of this book to convince you that any one of these three
divergent perspectives is the right one� We will try to make the preservationist
argument that such creatures as the bald eagle and the sea turtle have legitimate
rights to exist on earth� At the same time, it is difficult to argue convincingly
that the people of a village in India should be forced to live in constant danger of
being killed and eaten by tigers to safeguard the tiger population� We believe also
that without the exploiters, our nation would never have grown into the powerful

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp

Contents
Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - Cover1
Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - Cover2
Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - i
Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - ii
Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - iii
Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - iv
Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - v
Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - Contents
Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - vii
Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - viii
Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - ix
Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - x
Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - xi
Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - xii
Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - xiii
Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - xiv
Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - xv
Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - xvi
Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - xvii
Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - xviii
Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - ixx
Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - xx
Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - xxi
Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - xxii
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Managing Our Natural Resources, 6e, Camp - Cover4
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