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

Ron Gatrelle gatrelle at tils-ttr.org
Wed Mar 10 15:13:14 EST 2004

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Robert Kriegel" <kriegelr at msu.edu>
Subject: Re: [leps-talk] RE: Fwd: Monarch saviors. Say what?

> Hang on there partner.  There aren't enough butterfly collectors around
> make that much of anything extinct, even if we were all the evil life
> sucking kidnapper types we have often been portrayed as.

First, I do know that most urbanites that trek into the woods ain't very
considerate of the natural world.   I am always starkly amazed when I have
wondered off trail for some distance trudging through vegetation (I try not
to hack it with my machete if I don't have to) and get to where I think no
man has gone before - only to find a couple beer bottles, some female
underwear - sure signs of human mating rituals.   And there are so many
cigarette butts one would think some novice person was leaving a trail to
find their way back.

Yes, I think regulations should be in place to insure that outdoor manners
are in place.  And that includes "load limits" on how many can get on the
tram into the swamp at one time.

But their is a escape-goat group - collectors.  And there is a hypocrite
group - watchers.  Last I checked there were only about 1,500 Lep Soc
members world wide, with X % of those being non collectors.  So let's be
generous and say that 800 collectors "formally" exist in the US and CAN.
NABA claims to have over 4,000 members in US & CAN.  Just by numbers alone,
there is more risk to vegetation trampling and immature KILLING by 4,000
watchers filling life lists and trying for that close up photo of the
Two-spotted Skipper (Euphyes bimacula).   With the prissiest among them
needing to step on the clumps of sedge (home of the larvae) to keep their
tootsies from getting wet.  If we just want to get insulting and
stereotyping, I can dish it out as well as anyone.  If one reading the
above doesn't like it - then you know how we collectors get tired of

I've been in the field with watchers and I find ZERO difference in their
drive to get a trophy live specimen photo and a collector's trophy dead
specimen.   Watchers are not a more noble race - due to some higher
awareness of and stewardship of Nature. THAT implication is what we
collectors object to MOST.   I find zero difference between watchers and
collectors in their attitudes and actions.   There are good and bad
(selfish) in both groups.  Most of neither group are out to destroy
anything - but some are environmentally rude to others and nature itself.
MOST are not.

But, the pointing of the finger at collectors is, by sheer %, hypocrisy.
If just 5% of each group are bad apples, then we have 40 irresponsible
trampling collectors and 200 trampling watchers.  I have also noticed that
collectors (as predators do) tend to go out in ones and twos (cuts down on
the competition).   Watchers tend to go out in herds... and we all know
what herds do to that which is under foot.

Why don't we talk about something that is not a tempest in a tea pot - ROAD
KILLS.  How about the below.

>  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
> stands we'll make plenty of money to keep the toilets serviced, the roads
> paved and the picnic tables clean.

> Bob

Bob - Several years ago I visited Mich and Dan Oosting.  He took me to a
spot where the rare endangered Karner Blue flew.  It was not their flight
time and the reason he took me there was to see how that while collecting
was illegal there that the entire place was 1) being planted in Christmas
trees and 2) totally torn up by ORVs.   Watchers need to get off the backs
of collectors and start addressing the real problems of big industry, lousy
local land management (green space),  Military use of wetlands and desert
as bombing areas, and many more.

Ron Gatrelle


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