Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Is There Really Such a Thing As a Moderate Botanist?

In the current, deeply divided political climate it seems that people can easily be assigned to one of two major camps just because of what they do for a living.  Botanists, archaeologists, and wildlife biologists tend to get thrown into the wacko-liberal-terrorist-camp (a.k.a. blockers), while other natural resource professionals such as foresters, range cons, geologists, loggers, miners and others who make their livings from resource extraction are the sane, level-headed stewards of the land.  However, after a career in natural resource management I can attest that there are plenty of moderate botanists, archaeologists, and wildlife biologists in the world.  I am one of them. 

Having spent more of my career administering grazing permits than counting posies has made me a staunch advocate for wise and sustainable uses of the land.  In other words, we have to use the resources to exist as a species, so we can't take the hands-off protective approach that true environmentalists demand.  However, we also can't continue to take everything that the land is generous enough to offer and continue to give nothing back.  Through the years I've witnessed that both approaches are detrimental for both the real estate  the human condition. 

Instead of wasting anymore time with the "blame game" and pointing fingers at those who view things through a different lens, why don't the extremists at both ends of the spectrum figure out a compromise that they can live with?  They won't have to give up  all, or perhaps any, of their values in the process.  Also, don't forget that the other 99% and future generations are going to have to live with it too.  The problem is just too complex for any simple solution.  Nothing black and white about it, just gray.

So here is my message to all the screaming liberals and confirmed conservatives: You're not only controlling the lives of moderates, but boring us stiff too!  Get your acts together before it's too late!


  1. Helen, great that you have started this blog. I appreciate your perspective, experience, & straightforward approach. You are absolutely on target about "just gray!"


    1. Joanne,
      Thanks so much. Stick with me in the future as I dabble in gray...