Conservation Run Amok

There is something terribly wrong when our conservationists get to the point of killing off one species of animal to save another. If left alone, of course, the species would work out their own balance, but recent conservationists with their aggressive and destructive policies seem to have forgotten this. What I am referring to specifically is the plan to shoot all Barred Owls in an area near Muir Wood, north of San Francisco, so that Spotted Owls may thrive. Read about it on the National Public Radio website. The audio was aired on KQED on June 12, 2011: “Killing One Owl Species to Save Another”  by Lauren Sommer [http://www.npr.org/2011/06/12/137090033/killing-one-owl-species-to-save-another?]
Memories of the Vietnam War US Army general who famously declared that it was necessary to, “destroy the village in order to save it”…

It is known that natural systems are changing forever due to climate change, urbanization and other factors. Ecosystems are emerging that never existed before which include both “natives” and “non-natives. It is impractical to try to restore ecosystems to some ‘rightful’ historical state by eradicating the newcomers or drastically reducing their abundance. Mark Davis and 18 other prominent ecologists are joining together to fight “native plant” programs which are proving to be ecologically unsound and lacking in data to support their beliefs. To read more about the current academic thinking on this issue, please read this recent “manifesto” which appeared in Nature Magazine: “Don’t judge species on their origins” Nature, June 9, 2011. The Institute for Contemporary Evolution has posted the full article on their site:  http://www.icevolution.org/_dbase_upl/NatureInvasives2011.pdf