"Real knowledge is knowing that you don’t know anything”
What is the goal of wildlife management, As a biologist this question is something that constantly floods my mind and causes me to question my decision making. I don’t have an answer to this question and i doubt any one individual does. The problem with wildlife management is that of subjective values and steakholder disagreement. the public want something different then the land owner, the conservationist wants something different then industry, the biologist wants something different then the forester.
Its important to understand that we have no defined direction, our goals for wildlife have no real defined end goal, the term conservation means what? Does it mean conserve what we have, or does it mean increase areas for conservation.
I believe that wildlife is a resource that remains entirely subjective, each individual, organization, government has a different view and opinion. As a biologist i can not define what the value of a Deer is or what the value of a black capped chickadee is?
If we ask someone from Vancouver, New York, Toronto if he values wildlife what will is answer be? will he be able to name a single species of native wildlife. This is the dilemma, how can decisions be made when there will never be a consensus.
My view and my perceived value of wildlife comes from direct experience, if I had not had these experiences my views would likely be entirely different. It is unfair to blame people who do not value wildlife, for they have different experiences, different views, and different expectations, so why should they care. This makes disagreeing about wildlife with someone a null point, there can be no winner because there is no objective value, much like that of religion.
As we move further into the 21st century new questions need to be asked, As i have said i don’t have the right answer, all i can hope to do is ask the right questions, for questions can shape our future.
The quality of ones life and ones views is based on the question one asks themselves, the ability to kill your biases and inaccurate beliefs is at the core of learning and understanding?
These question likely do not have an easily defined answer, that's why they are worth asking.
I want to encourage anyone reading this to try and answer these questions or at least think critically about them, what suggestions do you have.