We can send robots to Mars. But can we just get along?
During many of my interpretive sign projects I have traveled to project sites to research my topics and meet with my clients. Many of these places are located off the beaten path…close to nature reserves, parks and wilderness areas. It’s one of my favorite things about my business…I get to meet new people and visit spectacular places.
Most of my interpretive work focuses on nature itself—plants, animals, habitat, geology, or geography. But, sometimes there is a call to interpret people, too. The people who live closest to the land have a story that’s worth telling.
Many times environmentalists and ranchers or farmers have taken opposition to one another. It often shakes out into the classic American urban/rural divide. Today, with things like wolf recovery/management or gun control/rights making such prominent headlines, it seems the divide may be deepening…just when it looked like we might be making progress toward common ground.*
The fact is, we need each other. In order to make progress on big issues like climate change, sustainability, or biodiversity, we need everyone to be on board. We have much more in common than not…mostly the fact that nobody wants a future devoid of wild nature (or wild-ish, at least).
Call me a dreamer, but we’re all in this together…we should be able to find common ground. Like any interpersonal relationship, it starts with simple mutual respect.
It’s not rocket science.
What do you think? Leave a comment in the reply box with your thoughts!
*What common ground am I talking about?
Check out the Nature Conservancy: http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/urgentissues/peopleandconservation/index.htm
Conservation Northwest works with local communities including ranchers, foresters and farmers to advance sustainability and protect wild areas in the northwest: http://www.conservationnw.org/who-we-are/2012-gaining-ground
A group promoting protection of the endangered sage grouse: http://www.sagegrouseinitiative.com/
Okay, that’s only three…there are others. Do you know of any to add to the list?