Below are the words of Chris Kubik who authored the Hunting is Conservation department in the May-June 2017 issue of Bugle magazine.
Biodiversity is a five dollar word that just means (ideally) a healthy mix of plants and animals in an area.
Near where I live, a state park that historically has been closed to hunting recently began allowing it. The reason? I’ll give it to you straight from the park managers. Hunting was introduced “to address the loss of forest biodiversity and the lack of tree regeneration due to an overabundant deer population.”
Signs with this language are posted at the entrances to the park. In effect, these signs help educate thousands of non-hunting visitors about the importance of hunting in sustaining a healthy mix of plants and animals. The notice doesn’t say a word about added recreational opportunities for hunters or the economic impact of local hunting. Instead, the notice focuses attention on the health of the park—something that concerns all visitors.
Any threat to biodiversity is a threat that more people today understand and are concerned about.
(Aldo) Leopold’s vision and perspective was prescient as it relates to biodiversity. He wrote over a half-century ago that “I now suspect that just as a deer herd lives in mortal fear of its wolves, so does a mountain live in mortal fear of its deer.”
Chris Kubik grew up in rural Nebraska and spent three decades in the Army.