Debate within the conservation community is to be expected. Students in conservation programs are introduced to the foundations of conservation through the lens of an early debate, Muir’s preservation vs. Pinchot’s wise-use. Today, our National Parks surrounded by National Forests attest to these two contrasting value systems working together, right? The current debate framed as ecocentric motivations vs. anthropocentric motivations is still animating a divide. Our values and motivations underpin what we do and don’t do in our conservation spaces; should we unite behind a single philosophy? As a stewardship professional, how would you respond to the suggestion that the word “stewardship” signals that the conservation movement is off track? Maybe you would point to Aldo Leopold’s seeming capacity to balance contradictions. This talk, told from a “how I see it” view of a local land conservancy manager, will examine definitions, philosophical underpinnings, and practical implications.
Defining Stewardship and a Look at Our Role in Nature
Little Traverse Conservancy