[leps-talk] RE: Fwd: Monarch saviors. Say what?

Robert Kriegel kriegelr at msu.edu
Wed Mar 10 10:59:53 EST 2004

> The problem is how many people can collect butterflies before making all 
> species endangered or extinct ? And How many people can have access 
> to the forest before making it like a ctity park on cutted grass with
> of trails everywhere etc...

Hang on there partner.  There aren't enough butterfly collectors around to
make that much of anything extinct, even if we were all the evil life
sucking kidnapper types we have often been portrayed as.  As many people on
this list have said before, its not the collectors its the habitat, you
silly rabbit. And I agree, let's limit people's access to the forest.  I
think the best thing to do for the long term safety and national security
of our natural resources is to strictly limit access to all federal and
state lands to oil companies, loggers and mining operators.  Oh yeah, and
anyone on an ORV or snowmobile who is traveling with a loaded firearm and
whiskey.  So long as we make them buy vehicle passes and use the concession
stands we'll make plenty of money to keep the toilets serviced, the roads
paved and the picnic tables clean.  And as for overpopulation, is the
problem America's fecundity rate, its immigration rate, our God given right
to live in the suburbs, or greed-based public policies that lead to the
mini-mall-ificiation of America?  Don't get me going!

But realistically folks, the percentage of our national park and national
forest lands that are experiencing the kind of tourist pressure that
Yosemite is are very small.  Extreme cases do call for extreme measures.
And, as for the butterfly collecting is illegal signs, were those posted on
national forest land or national park property?  National parks have been
off limits to collecting without a research permit for many years.  And,
since you can't keep reference specimens from national parks even with a
research permit, I choose to conduct my studies elsewhere.  I choose not to
see this as my problem, but rather as their loss.  Non-commercial insect
collecting on MOST national forest land is NOT a problem.  And as for the
throngs of collectors, heck I spent more than 3 weeks sampling on national
forest lands last season in the Great Lakes region and the only collectors
I ever saw were the 1 or 2 lepidopterists who occasionally accompanied me.  

Although a couple of years ago one of my buddies did run into a group of 4
British bird watchers who were lost in a very large bog complex in a
Michigan national forest.  They had headed into the bush a couple of hours
earlier without water, map or compass in search of an elusive migrating
spring warbler.  During their meanderings they had seen a coyote that they
convinced themselves was a wolf, so they ad about had it when my friend
happened upon them.  The best part is they were less than 200 yards from
the 2-track the entire time.

I should mention that a substantial portion of that time last season was
spent on NF lands because forest service personnel asked me to come there
and sample.  No survey work had ever been done there and they had no idea
what species they had on their lands.  Yes I did keep reference material.
Yes, I am depositing vouchers in a public institution.  And yes, they will
now have to take a couple of sensitive species into consideration in their
management plans.



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