The Future of the Wild: Radical Conservation for a Crowded World

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9780807085370: The Future of the Wild: Radical Conservation for a Crowded World
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With appropriate urgency and a thorough understanding of history and the issues, Jonathan Adams offers a sound conservation strategy in The Future of the Wild, using the latest in conservation science as well as the desires of local communities to protect the places where people live and work. With modern examples, Adams shows how each small success moves conservationists closer to creating protected landscapes large enough to support animals like bison and wolves. Only with freedom to roam through and between these huge lands, using wilderness corridors, can such large animals flourish.

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About the Author:

Jonathan S. Adams is a conservation biologist, writer, and program director with the Nature Conservancy. He is the coauthor of The Myth of Wild Africa: Conservation Without Illusion and the coeditor of Precious Heritage: The Status of Biodiversity in the United States. He lives with his wife and two children in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C.

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When it comes to protecting the wilderness, national parks, no matter how large, are just not effective: that's the core argument advanced by Adams, a conservation biologist (The Myth of Wild Africa). Instead of policies that focus scarce economic resources, shrinking political clout and waning emotional energy on scattered wildlife parks and preserves that isolate and often degrade the fauna and flora they're meant to sustain, the author favors a system of "landscape connectivity"—wilderness corridors through which animals as large as bears or as small as field mice (and even seeds and pollen) might migrate between patches of sustainable habitat. Crafting such corridors requires community support, and Adams cites several success stories: across a vast swath of southern Arizona, for example, where cooperative ranchers met with concerned environmentalists about using land more wisely; in California's crowded Orange County, where one maverick scientist is creating safe passageways for pumas; and in the Florida Everglades, where in 1991 the state government and a coalition of environmental organizations bought 60,000 acres of company-owned land, linking two existing preserves to create an expanse of wetlands. Fertile with fresh thinking, this book is an uncommonly eloquent call for urgent but thoughtful action. (Jan.)
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