Protecting Wild Spaces

My yard is a certified NWF nature areas – I have lots of butterfly plants to encourage them to come for the flowers and endlessly eat the milkweed and other plants.  We spend hundreds each year feeding caterpillars to get butterflies, which he hope avoid the lizards. Its ok.  I have ospreys, sparrow hawks, red shouldered hawks and a variety oof cool birds that frequent the lot.  Ospreys eat fish, but the other two will eat small rodents.  I am cool with that.  I have not seen the owls, but I think I have heard them.  Night-time rodent removal. 

My land in Colorado, Wyoming and Michigan are just open – no one there.  Nothing happens.  Let nature do its thing.  And that is ok.  I could lease those lands for windmills, oil and gas, but money isn’t everything.  Let it lay. Feel free coyotes.  Ultimately nature will balance itself   Huge change occurred in Yellowstone after the wolves were introduced.  Hawks, eagles, beaver sand other wildlife that have been lost for nearly 100 years returned.  La because the wolves do not let the elks eat everything in sight near the streams (they are like cows that way).

Protecting public lands is actually a benefit on other ways. It helps property values, lowers transportation costs, protects drinking water sources.  Protected lands have huge value for tourism.  Think about Zion National park – nearly 4 million people go there like I did in May.  They stay 2 days – that is probably 3 to 4 million hotel nights, 8-10 million meals, and incidental shopping when they show up with the wrong equipment or need a souvenir.  The economic engine of Zion in the middle of the desert is huge.  We often forget the economic value of tourists. 

Working with tribal nations, ranchers, and farmers to protect lands will benefit us long-term. It helps our water supplies.   The Great Outdoors Act passed in August 2000 added $9.5 billion over 5 years to address the backlog of maintenance in our national parks.  That is a huge start – thank you Congress.  But more is needed.


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