Protecting outdoor resources by knowledge or by secrecy?

When outdoors topics such as wild ginseng, and others, come up there are generally two camps about protecting (hoarding?) a resource. 

One camp embraces keeping most things secret, out of the news, and not sharing knowledge. 

The other group espouses education as the best means of protection.  The more we know, and share, the more we are able to make correct decisions about the resource’s future.

The two camps could be dubbed the privates verses the publics.  Before one joins the privs or the pubs, be reminded that the state’s, in fact the nation’s, wildlife are property of the public, even though they may not be equally accessible to all.

It takes some working through these discussions, with an open mind, before reaching a conclusion.  But the process is still helpful.  It is not easy.

Should the media, through the state agencies, even show the public what ginseng, for example, looks like?  The fewer who know the plant, the fewer who would be out harvesting it.  But if a farmer does not know the resource is there, on the land, the farmer could be ripped off.

There are times when agencies overstep, too, I believe.  Take the elk reintroductions, the last three in Clam Lake and Black River Falls areas.  I would have thought that the moment the elk crossed the Wisconsin-Illinois border, they were the people’s elk. 

If so, then why so secret?  Why not let at least the media in to see and report the transfer? 

One might take this issue all the way to the state’s and the media’s handling of seasons, registrations, license purchases and warden enforcement.

The more we do things with technology, the more we lessen the person-to-person contacts, which could mean the more secret these activities become. 

The more secret these transactions become, the less likely a youngster might know there even is a gun deer season.

It does not have to be an all-or-none type of sales and service.  A little of both would be sufficient and the public could choose.


Categories: Import

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