We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I didn't watch the video but I read the gist of it at Reason.
1) Where is their money coming from?
2) Saying ranchers don't want wildlife on their property is a goddamned lie.
3) My impression is that this a a Nature Conservancy strategem to get more land out of the private sector. We'll see.
If they are playing by the same rules as the rest of us they are free to try but buying 3.5 million acres is going to take some serious money. I really don't see how this will work out for shareholders.
Sounds like a stealth way to create Buffalo Commons to me.
1- The money will come from donations and selling beef (and probably other products) from farmed animals (and I guess culling overcrowded wildlife)
2- Farmers don't want wildlife. Heck, they don't want wild plants either. Wildlife competes with their farm animals for food, hunts and kills them, causes injury (a cow stepping into a prairie dog burrow can easily break a leg for example). Wild plants often have less yield per acre than the varieties the farmers plant, also reducing income.
I've grown up around farms, lived in a farming town for 20 years. That's the reality. Only exception tends to be farmers who get massive subsidies that more than compensate for those potential losses.
3- Might be. But seems to me they want to take some of the current federal land and work with farmers on lands bordering that. Have the farmers open up their land for wildlife to roam past the park's borders.
I give to the Nature Conservancy. As 'green' groups go - they are the best. They purchase the land, they maintain the land primarily through donations. I'm all for their market-based approach to land management.
As for private reserves - why not? Makes sense. Why can't I buy 20,000 acres and use it however I see fit, such as to offer hunting or fishing? Public reserves are, in my view, mismanaged and are simply tools politicians use to pay back, or make money from, their buddies.
If it's private, it's going to be managed in a much more sustainable and reasonable way.
If you've ever read Reason's justification of privatizing the ivory market, you'd be hard pressed to argue against it.
They have sold some land to the government, but the vast majority of their purchases have been held, and if their selling to government garners money which enables them to purchase more land than they gave up (presumably the case), I consider that a win.
It does not stand to reason, if they sell to the government, that they consider the government better stewards, or they'd sell ALL the land. So there is obviously a flaw in that reasoning.
As for the animals, they could without man altogether. But I hardly think that's a meaningful for worthwhile proposition. In the event of giving money to the government, Greenpeace, or the Nature Conservancy, I'll choose the Nature Conservancy every time. Or, if I'm wealthy enough, buy it myself.
Couple of things. I live in Nebraska and there is a significant downside to this plan. First of all Ted Turner is the single largest landowner in Nebraska and South Dakota. He buys very large ranches (20,000 acres or more) and he raises buffalo on that land. This is well and good since Turner is a good steward of the land, cattle, and wildlife. Now with the Nature Conservancy you have a very large downside and that is that whatever the Conservancy buys it is taken off of the tax rolls. You are dealing with a part of the country where driving 60 miles to get food or to attend school is common. The sole tax that funds these wide open plains is the property tax. Take land out of production and make it a museum and you probably cost the area a school teacher. You don't have this problem with Turner, he buys the land, pays the taxes (he is the states largest taxpayer (take that Warren Buffet) and keeps the land productive. As for this plan by the Conservancy, get in a car and drive out here in Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming, and see all of the buffalo that are already on the land.
Couple things. In the comments no one seems to distinguish between fed. and state government. My state has public hunting land/preserves that are managed fairly well, and on a shoestring budget. They're funded by fishing/hunting licenses and a very small ammo tax, nothing else.
Also, at least in my state, hunting laws apply on all land. It doesn't matter if you own the land, you still don't own the animals. I think wildlife management is a legitimate function of state government. I certainly don't want the feds involved.
There's nothing wrong with a privately held nature preserve, even with hunting. But private hunting grounds tend to be silly, fake ranching where you just go to slaughter and process in a field instead of a building.
In the run-up to establishing the U.S. Forest Service, Senator Wilson (Washington State) spoke bitterly of "...our eastern friends who are so extremely solicitous for our happiness and our prosperity, and on our growth and development, who control our incomings and outgoings with such a delightful liberality on their part...Why should we be everlastingly and eternally harassed and annoyed and bedeviled by these scientific gentlemen from Harvard college"
It has never changed in the 120 years since he made that statement. The designated wilderness in this country is as big as all of New England including New York, as big as all of California, as big as Japan. It's nearly all in the West and still the elite and idealistic clamor for more.
How about we declare the Grand Banks a nature preserve dedicated to whales where the Cod and lobsters can go about their lives unmolested. How about we share the wealth and make all the area from the Tug Hill in New York to the tip of Northern Main and include all of Vermont and New Hampshire an eastern wilderness and move off all roads, infrastructure, farms houses, ski areas, and marinas. Let the land flouriush and the animals repopulate it. Wouldn't that be glorious