re: habitat preservation

Oliver T Massey CFS (
Wed, 7 Dec 1994 10:27:44 -0500

Comments below

> > All of the most successful efforts involving habitat preservation
> > provide the local population with a profit motive for saving that
> > habitat.
> What's left in the world now are largely the flood-plains, the deserts,
> the tundra, the cliffs, the "impenetratable" jungles which were thought
> useless. Now all the good seats are taken, but people are still looking
> for places to sit.
> > In the USA it is a matter of convincing people that bog
> > front property is as desirable as any other lake front or beach
> > front. Once the profit is there the developers will start bending
> > over backwards to fake it and charge even more for the real
> > thing. In south east Asia if the people were taught to harvest
> > propagating material in a sustainable manner from all the desirable
> > species not just the Cp. bring them under cultivation and distribute
> > them to a global market there would be $ for the people and there
> > government and a reason to protect the habitat. CITES needs to
> Unfortunately, once a few good clones are established in cultivation, it
> will be easier to propagate from cultivated plants. The wild plants
> will have lost thier value as "stock plants".
> > Hungry people NEED to eat and feed their families. they are every where
> > and cannot be ignored or told not to do this or that unless your ready
> > to provide them with a better alternative.
> I think the burden is on us "well-off" persons to try to convince people
> who ARE hungry that the last thing they NEED is to create a family of
> increasingly dependent and hungry children in their shrinking country.
> Unfortunately the social ramifications of this need a lot of work.

I deleted some of the material from above for the sake of space. All of the
following is just opinion, please take it in the spirit of discussion, not
attack. First, all that is left is not tundra, desert etc. Even well
intentioned arguments like this serve to undermine public support and genuine
concerns for over-development and environmental destruction. If you consider
Sarracenia country, thousands of acres exist which are not developed. This is
not tundra or desert. It is beautiful, fertile land with hot summers and cool

This is not to say that the Sarrs. are not, or will not be at risk.
Unfortunately, huge tracks of Sarrs in Florida, south Georgia, and Mississippi
will probably be lost in the next decade, not to poaching but to development.
CITES will be entirely useless in protecting the Sarrs. and other CP in these
areas. IMHO, trying to convince people to not have families, not move to
Florida, etc are equally useless. Everyone seems to want to move to (or
vacation in) Florida -and close the door after they get in.

A partial solution, at least in Florida, has been for state and local
governments to purchase tracks of land, not to turn a profit, but for
preservation. Everyone knows about efforts of other groups (such as NC) along
the same lines. Informed preservation, including monitoring water tables,
natural succession, natural burns, etc are critical. Growing and propagating
plants, and informing the public that something as strange and unique as the
Sarrs, (and Pings, Utrics etc) exist in their own backyard seems to me to be a
more effective way of ensuring community support for such tax based efforts.
I believe it is naive to think that cities will not grow, and equally naive to
believe that draconian solutions -either liberal or conservative- will solve
the problem.

Just my two cents.
Tom in Fl