Collecting anything and future nature interest

Michael Gochfeld gochfeld at
Thu Jun 24 07:29:55 EDT 1999

We worry a lot (Joanna and I) about the issue that Chris Raper raised 
regarding whether kids take a real interest in nature and become avid 
naturalists (whether they end up as systematists dealing with micros or 
thrips or tropical beetles or conservationists).  In New Jersey, a child 
cannot legally pick up a toad or frog much less take it home as a "pet". 

If kids' only reality is virtual reality, it doesn't hold out much hope 
for developing an excitement about natural history of any kind. 

At a trial where a scientist with an outdated permit was being 
persecuted (sorry, that's prosecuted), the judge asked "do you mean that 
if I pick up a turtle that I find in my yard, I would be violating the 
law".  "That's right, judge" said the CO. 

I bet you can guess the outcome of that case. 

Mike Gochfeld

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