21st Century Conservation Needs More Idealists
By David R. Bue, Pheasants Forever VP of Development
Like you, I am keenly interested in the future of upland wildlife habitat and the hunting tradition. It excites me to know that Pheasants Forever's passionate donors, landowners, members, and team members across the country are working hard to positively impact wildlife habitat every day.
Your steadfast approach to overcoming the challenges facing upland wildlife habitat gives me solace because I know we can overcome almost any challenge if we work together with a sense of urgency.
A Common Trait
During Pheasants Forever's Rally for Conservation in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, world-renowned conservationist Shane Mahoney spoke about the founding fathers of American conservation and the one trait they all share: idealism.
As Mr. Mahoney spoke about Theodore Roosevelt and other early conservationists, I began to think about these great men and the guiding light they cast for American conservation. For a number of generations, the ideals of these conservation champions were the guiding light for 20th century conservation. In essence, however, we have been riding on their coattails for far too long.
Unfortunately, we have been met with new challenges that threaten the great work of these men and the future of wildlife in America. The founders of conservation faced adversity at every turn as they developed the principles of American conservation idealism. Now we must carry the torch by ushering in a new age of conservation idealism to the 21st century.
Take a Stand
As Mr. Mahoney so eloquently states, "Part of our absolute responsibility as citizens of the world is to preserve the natural world."
It is time for each of us to rally around the ideals we hold dear as American conservationists and take a stand for conservation. We also must realize that being guided by practical considerations alone will only lead to the continued loss of wildlife habitat across the country.
We all need to be more idealistic in our approach to wildlife conservation by outwardly expressing that further destruction of wildlife habitat is not acceptable, and by pledging our financial support of wildlife conservation efforts.
Which Will You Choose?
We have two choices going forward:
- either carry a brighter torch for wildlife conservation; or
- let the flame burn out and watch the American model of wildlife conservation die with it.
Please join me as a 21st century conservation idealist. Let's help create a brighter future for wildlife and their habitat across this great nation by rallying for conservation.