Neil Hewitt posted the following comment after my post of 19th May titled Just Released on Parks and Weeds:
“My suggestion … is that public administration of protected area estate be removed of its exclusionary influences to fair trade, by requiring that conservation management is completely self-funded from the natural and cultural resources of the reserve without subsidy or budgetary allocation.
Afterall, many were viable working properties before acquisition under the pretence of conservation and if Australia is serious about conserving its natural and cultural wealth across all tenures, a conservation economy will need to be cultivated.”
There is also an argument that sustainable harvesting programs focused on native species can enhance conservation.
Bob Beale and Mike Archer argued in the Australian Financial Review (23-28th December 2004) that mallee fowl and giant bustard would not be “facing oblivion if we served them up for Christmas dinner instead of Asian chicken and North American turkey”. Crocodile populations in northern Australia have increased from less than 5,000 in the early 1970s to over 70,000 today. This increase coincided with the development of croc farms for meat and skin export as well as a ban on shooting.
What has happened to the concept of growing the trade in Kangaroo meat? A SW Queensland grazier has suggested that without the kangaroos on his property he could probably lift his stocking rate by a quarter. Is he exaggerating? He has also suggested I write something about the value of harvesting native animals.
And I received an email from NSW landholder Kathryn Varrica asking for information about “non regulatory (as in “lock ’em up)” solutions for nature conservation.