Thursday, January 22, 2009

Loss of Habitat

I hunt in small areas. It seems that most falconers in the east have limited access to large tracts of land. So every spot is precious. I have a limited number of areas that I frequent, and most of these lay on the fringes of populated areas. Sometimes I hunt in ecological preserves, sometimes parks, sometimes in overgrown vacant lots between strip malls. Every spot is precious, and every spot is subject to urban sprawl.

As I drove home from work, one of the places I want to hunt, but haven't had the opportunity, was meeting the bulldozer. They were taking down every tree, every bush. Sure, they would go in later and plant nonnative palm trees, and shrubs, but the natural spaces were gone. Will it be another bank, pharmacy, strip mall? There are dozens in a two mile radius.

I feel the loss of habitat as a physical blow. I drive by and I feel pressure in my chest and I wince. Green space is precious. I do not deny the need for expansion, but I desire a more controlled spread.

In a 2002 article NASA wrote:

"While space technology was undergoing its spectacular birth during the 1950s and '60s, and visionaries were predicting the spread of human colonies into space, another kind of human colony was spreading rapidly--right here on Earth!

It was the dawn of the modern suburb, a time of post-war prosperity when housing developments popped up across the landscape like mushrooms after a rain...

A half-century later, we now understand that many environmental problems accompany the outward spread of cities: fragmenting and destroying wildlife habitat, for example, and discharging polluted runoff water into streams and lakes."

I don't know how to stop it. We can't deny others space in which to live and thrive. My best suggestion is to do your best to buy up the land or support others that can.

Support smart environmental groups like
Ducks Unlimited -,
The Nature Conservancy -,
and others.

Join a hunt club.
Start your own.

No one protects the wild space like hunters do. Get involved.

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