Nature programs' goal: No child left inside
There was a story in the LA Times today by Julie Cart (no link, it’s a link unfriendly newspaper) that visits to national parks are dropping and there seems to be a general ignorance of actual outdoors by today’s children due to lack of experience.
Here is a story on at least a beginning at changing that.
Nature programs’ goal: No child left inside. USA Today. By Wendy Koch,
Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.
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This is the crux of all our wildlife problems. The disconnect between the natural world and our life styles. Children today do not know where hamburgers or corn dogs come from or how the wildlife they see from the car speeding down the highway lives its life.
Conservation of all kinds will slowly suffer as new voters fail to see why the wilderness is important, why habitat conservation deserves their money, and why hunting and and farming are important parts of their existence.
Is Kempthorne having some kind of mid-life crisis? First the motorcyle, now this getting in touch with his inner child? The article you link to describes Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne rhapsodizing about the flowers and smells and sights of nature in his childhood.
Too bad that as Governor of Idaho his Orwellianly named Office of Species Conservation – better known to biologists in Idaho as Office of Species Extinction – did all it could to push one of Idaho’s rarest plants -slickspot peppegrass – further towards extinction by a few well-connected cattlemen.
Now, in just a few weeks time, Fish and Wildlife Sevice – theoretically under Kempthorne’s control – has a deadline to make a slickspot Listing ESA Decision.
The Snake River Basin Office of the Fish and Willdife Service itself circa 2001 had prepared a Listing rule for slickspot peppergrass. Then Mike Crapo butted in – running interference for the Cattlemen, as well as the Air Force who had plunked a new bombing down in the midst of occupied slickspot habitat. This was followed by Kempthorne’s Jim Caswell-led OSC’s rabid support of every anti-science rangeland myth and tall tale to counter the fact that if you put a half ton bovine in the same areas as a small, wet clay soil site where a rare plant grows, doom ensues …
Will Dirk again try to quash ESA Listing for slickspot peppergrass? We’ll soon see!