January 31, 2012

"Can hunting endangered animals save the species?"

By "Can hunting endangered animals save the species?"

That is the title of an excellent 60 Minutes segment that aired on Sunday evening.  The story shows how the hunting of exotic game species in Texas has led to an increase of these species’ populations by incentivizing private landowners to ensure the viability and improvement of the game so that hunters will continue to patronize the hunting ranches.  Seems like a win-win, especially given that certain species would no longer exist on the planet but for these ranches.

Of course, animal rights activists miss the forest for the trees and abhor the notion that this type of private stewardship helps dwindling species.  And although the Endangered Species Act is not discussed at length, the story is a poignant reminder that this country’s most powerful conservation statute fails in comparison to programs that don’t punish those who actually do the conserving.

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