Unbossed has started a series on the economic value of wildlife.
It's not an issue some people like to think about, because they would prefer that wildlife and wild places be considered outside of the marketplace. I can sympathize, but when you're up in front of something like that Roadless Areas task force, you have to be thinking this way:
That is the kind of connection that I seek. The dominate culture in this nation came from other places. It has no spiritual connection to this land. Its not going away, so we need to create a spiritual connection to the land. This is what I call Becoming Indigenous. Lets fact it, most people in this country are not going to run out and start kissing trees. Nor should they, other than the Ponderosa Pine, bark tastes bad. But to achieve indigenousness, we must first demonstrate clear economic need for conservation. Our economic future, particularly in the West, is dependant on conservation of wildlife and wildlands.