“Market-based Conservation” = $$$ For Wolf Hunting
Posted by Richard Conniff on December 2, 2012
A few weeks ago I wrote about the perils of the market-based “ecosystem services” approach to conservation. Now the New York Times reports a case in point. The State of Utah has begun allowing private landowners to sell permits for private hunts on their property for thousands of dollars. The idea, seemingly a sensible one, is to give ranchers a cash incentive to tolerate–and even cultivate–wildlife. But listen to how it has worked out:
Critics of the auction and the convention drawing, like Tye Boulter, the president of the United Wildlife Cooperative, said that too much of the money made by the Mule Deer Foundation and Sportsmen for Wildlife went to promoting the groups and lobbying for their political causes.
But Mr. Moretti said, “We believe we’ve fulfilled our obligation” to bring in convention dollars and support wildlife projects.
An audit of the $1 million from the convention drawing was made public in August, prompted by Mr. Boulter’s complaints. It showed that about $250,000 went toward lobbying for increased hunting of wolves, which at the time were still listed as endangered in the Northern Rockies. “They are catering to the industry — guides, outfitters, landowners, things like that,” Mr. Boulter argued, saying groups that support wolf hunts are not necessarily conservationists.
Check out the whole article here.