Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.
Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.
OCR for page 29
~ Wildlife Values in a <= Changing World The question of how to use wildlife resources has many biological and economic facets, and ways of considering it are heavily influenced by tradition. Assumptions about the benefits of public management pro- grams vary widely. At one extreme we have dollar-oriented standards that can become exploitive and shortsighted. At the opposite extreme are socially important esthetic values not easily measured or expressed. Some uses of wildlife are intensive and must be subject to control. Others are casual, nonconsumptive, and productive of mass benefits. Management in the public interest must be based on an understand- ing of our long~term predispositions, changing social and environmental conditions, and the best possible appraisal of expectations for the fu- ture. This chapter reviews wildlife values as a means of defining realistic objectives for handling wildlife resources in the modern world. HUMAN SUBSISTENCE BY GATHERING AND HUNTING Wild plants and animals were the primordial food supply of mankind. Although omnivorous feeding permitted man to adapt to a wide range of habitats, the exploitation of indigenous foods by primitive methods must have required favorable conditions and relative abundance. Thus, some environments were habitable only seasonally and some not at all. Sauer (1947) stated: 29
OCR for page 30
30 Land Use and Wildlife Resources As far as we know, men always preferred to form communities and were sedentary as their food supply permitted. We may judge that when skills were minimal the community usually was small. Except for rich collecting grounds on bays and estu- aries, half a dozen or at most a dozen families could make full use of the food supply within convenient foraging distance. Vicissitudes of the food-gathering life are evident in the account of Alvar Nunez, survivor of the Narvaez expedition, which met disaster on the coast of east Texas in 1528. Nunez spent 4 years among Indians of the coastal region and told of their expedients in living off the land (Hallenbeck, 1940~. Some tribes moved to river mouths and fed on oysters 2 to 3 months in early spring. For about a month, blackberries were the principal dependence. Fish, occasional game animals, and various roots were eaten. At times, spiders, worms, lizards, salaman- ders, snakes, "even earth and wood" were the means of survival. Fruits of every kind were taken as they appeared, and in late summer there was a general movement to the prickly-pear (tuna) thickets. All tribes fed on the plentiful fruit and pads of this cactus until pecans ripened in the bottoms in fall. Beginning with groves near the sea, the nut har- vest was taken progressively upstream during winter months. In some areas the beans of mesquite were an important staple. In marginal habitats, primitive men have been characteristically few and frequently have lived a hand-t~mouth existence. Among early ex- plorers of the Great Basin the low estate of the so-called Digger Indians (several tribes) was well known. They utilized a wide variety of roots, seeds, and small animals, including grasshoppers" Wissler ( 1940) re- marked that "they deserve our respect, because they solved the prow lem of existence in such a forbidding environment, were too busy feeding themselves to engage in continual war and to conduct long, involved ceremonies." When European adventurers came to North America in the 1 500's, they soon learned that subsisting on the native fauna and flora could involve primitive skills of a high order. The newcomers were largely without the implements of their own civilization, and their pioneering arts were minimal. Too often the supplies from home did not arrive, and the beneficence of the Indians was uncertain-frequently with good reason (Loran", 19651. In extensive wanderings through south- eastern forests, plentifully supplied with game and other indigenous foods, DeSoto's numerous company drove before it a herd of hogs to furnish a part of its livelihood. Graham (1947) noted that the English and Dutch colonists were
OCR for page 31
Wildlife Values in a Changing World 31 commoners who knew little of hunting and fishing and could not take advantage of food supplies in the woodlands, streams, and coastal waters surrounding them. Living off the land was more foreign to them than it is to most urban dwellers of America today. The time of the pioneer was yet to be, and living in the wilderness was something Americans had not accomplished.... With the help and example of the Indians and through perseverance and experience, the settlers did learn in time to adapt themselves to the new conditions.... In testimony to the white man's capacity for learning, the hardy fur trappers of the early nineteenth century were more than a match for the Indian on his own ground. No more resourceful or capable men ever subsisted in the wilderness than the "mountain men" who ex- plored the West for beadier and incidentally opened it for settlement. MAN I N TH E FOOD CHAI N The most strategic situations for early man undoubtedly were those where he could live primarily as a carnivore. An abundant game supply appears almost invariably to have produced the cultural skills required for its exploitation. The highly developed hunting cultures that were dependent on the Pleistocene megafauna about 10,000 years ago were mentioned in Chapter 1. That stone-age men dealt effectively with every kind of big game, including mammoths and mastodons, is evi- dent. Martin (1967) attributes the extinction of more than 100 species of large mammals during about l,OOO years to the predatory activities of late Paleolithic hunters. In places and times of abundance, the carnivorous habit supports a high standard of living. The ability of plains Indians to exploit the practically unlimited buffalo resource after obtaining horses in the 1700's is an outstanding example in North America (Ewers, 1955; Roe, 19551. However, the plant-animal biomass necessary to support a car- nivore at the end of a relatively long food chain is necessarily much greater than the plant biomass from which a well-adapted herbivore can live. Sauer ( 1947: 25) commented on the change in diet at the primitive cultural level in these terms: As in modern agriculture, so in early collecting, a shift from animal to plant food yielded more calories per unit of surface. As man became more vegetarian in habit, he could support larger numbers of his kind. Every increase in his skill of reducing
OCR for page 32
32 Land Use and Wildlife Resources forest area, of harvesting seed, of digging roots, of cooking, of storage, raised the ceiling of population for him and, in most instances, exerted selective pressure in favor of the plants most useful to himself. It probably is a realistic view that men as hunters and food gatherers were skimming a thin cream off the more productive areas of the earth's surface. Within the limits of primitive capabilities, they adapted to certain environments that they were unable to change beneficially. In the course of a long period in post-Pleistocene times, the harvest of certain wild food plants by the Indians became controlled hus- bandry and eventually developed into a specialized and highly success- ful agriculture (Carrier, 1923: 1091. As mentioned previously, at the time of white settlement on the east coast, it was the adoption of both native methods and native plant resources that made existence possible for Europeans in the New World. The hill culture of corn and other crops was peculiar to this continent and became the foundation for many American agronomic practices. The extent of our modern depen- dence on this aboriginal foundation was described by Edwards (1940: 1 741: . . . the economic plants domesticated by the American Indian and taken over by the white man constitute, according to a reliable estimate, approximately four- sevenths of the present total agricultural production of the United States, mea- sured in farm values.... the most important are maize or corn, cotton (the New World species, Gossypium barbadense Linn.), peanuts, pumpkins, squashes, beans, potatoes, sweetpotatoes, tobacco, and tomatoes. In the not-too-distant past, all mankind was dependent on the wild fauna and flora. The relationship was elemental and total. By convert- ing wild species into forms specialized to artificial conditions that only man can maintain, we have mass-produced and stabilized the food sup- ply, thus broadening the resource base upon which human populations can expand. More particularly, it is evident that men can be most abundant if they are willing to restrict their diet and live primarily on such grains as wheat or rice. When people feed plant products to livestock and eat the animals, they go back to a longer food chain and thus cannot pro- vide for maximum numbers. The possibility of supporting an over- population of human beings on a diet compounded directly of algae- the primary green-cell producers on which much of the earth's life depends-has long been of interest to theoreticians, but the idea has few practical implications.
OCR for page 33
Wildlife Values in a Changing World COMMERCE AND ATTITUDES 33 In Chapter 1 we noted that commercial incentives provided by the fur trade were the immediate lure that took men into the American hinter- lands. By adopting Indian gathering and hunting methods, the fron- tiersman was able to extract some of his livelihood from the primitive environment. Then, through a new system of agriculture, he gained the first effective control over his New World resources. As the original scenery disappeared and cropping took over large areas, there were cor- responding economic, social, and political gains. Thus, in large measure, "progress" was bought through the toilsome erasure of aboriginal conditions-a process that came to be looked upon as the natural course of events. Deeply ingrained in the American character is an attitude that all resources should be developed for their highest production of consumer goods. Areas not so treated are re- garded as "idle," their existence being in some degree a reflection on the industry of potential entrepreneurs. Inherent wilderness values and even the most patent beauties of nature have been held in slight regard by the settlers and developers of land. Edwards (1940: 172) character- ized the outlook of the colonial farmer, observing that: His was a struggle to procure the basic necessities. To be sure, he usually did gain some comforts over and above a rudimentary existence, but he lacked the time or the stimulus to develop an interest in the aesthetic or the philosophical. There is no indication of his having an appreciation even of the glorious settings which nature had provided as the scene of his activities. It is understandable if few people (other than an occasional Thoreau) felt regrets over the disappearance of tall grass, large trees, and certain animal life. That these commodities did disappear was mere evidence that theft had been "used"-in the context of the biblical injunction that man should multiply and subdue the earth. Complacency over this situation was abetted by the undeniable fact that, often enough, nothing at all could be done about it. Originally the commercialization of any product of the land was taken for granted as routine business. The regulation of wildlife uses has become effective gradually since colonial times. As human numbers expanded to alter the environment and as competition for wild land resources built up, the social implications of individual freedom in such matters became evident. Hardin ( 1968) has likened the situation of our natural resources to that of a commons used as a community pasture. The individual owner
OCR for page 34
34 Land Use and Wildlife Resources of livestock can show a clear and measurable profit each time he adds an animal to his herd and takes a greater share of the common re- source. When grazing pressure gets too high and degrades the pasturage, it affects him immediately only to a limited extent, because the cost of shortage is shared by all the owners. Thus, there is no future in the free use of a commons. Ways to Extinction Almost without exception in modern times, wherever wildlife was readily available for uncontrolled use, the growth of human population and exploitation of wildlife for profit created an unsupportable de- mand. The history of many extinctions and jeopardized species in re- cent centuries attests to this fact, although two other conditions were likely to be involved, either singly or in combination. Such species were sometimes specialized in ways that made them vulnerable, or they were adapted to primitive habitats that were fated for destruction. The passenger pigeon (Chapter l ~ provides a classic example of all three factors at work, the clue to its original success being its extreme gregariousness (Griscom, 19469. Schorger (1955) concluded that a pair normally reared but one young per year, yet the survival rate permitted a prehistoric buildup to inconceivable abundance. Evidently the great flocks shifted about so far and so often that natural enemies could not increase effectively. In addition, frequent movements to fresh ranges may have been beneficial in terms of disease epidemiology. The huge flights made it necessary to find each year, somewhere in the East, extensive forests bearing thousands of tons of mast, as well as abundant berry crops for late-summer feeding in the North. When nesting concentrations came under ever-increasing human exploitation for the market, and eastern woodlands were broken up for farming, the annual regime of the pigeons was destroyed. The bird was behaviorally dependent on overflowing numbers. It throve under social conditions that few, if any, other species could have tolerated. Passenger pigeons were not able to live and breed a pair at a time, like the mourning dove. With the disappearance of the great flocks in the 1880's, this species steadily declined to extinction. The wiping out of the plains bison in the 1 870's and 1 880's has been abundantly documented(Branch, 1929;Roe, l951;Allen, 1962~. The buffalo bands required an extensive range over which they could move freely, taking forage that would be renewed by adequate inter- vals of rest. The need for space was critical, and after the white man came, there never was any question of the ultimate fate of the buffalo.
OCR for page 35
Wildlife Values in a Changing World Yet it was the guns of the hide hunters that cleared the grassland be- fore it was converted to farms and ranches. In this case, failure of the government to control the killing was well-considered policy. The self-supporting traffic in skins and other products provided the means of removing both the bison and the In- dian who depended on it from land being allocated to other uses. In little more than a decade a population of wild buffalo numbering in the millions was eliminated. The simple fact of availability evidently attracted a continuous increase in hunters and guaranteed the result. In the face of a specialized enemy, factors of density dependence did not operate to save a few buffalo, as they might have in the case of a smaller animal in a more protective habitat. 35 Only in the far north of Canada, in Wood Buffalo National Park, do major numbers of buffalo survive today in the presence of their natural predator, the wolf (Fuller, 19621. Even there, conditions are altered by a heavy incidence of introduced disease. Both of these points have rele- vance to all our efforts to preserve endangered wildlife. It is inevitably true that no wild species can be preserved effectively outside a biotic community in which it can occupy its natural niche and perform its biological functions. Thus, the buffalo in fenced pastures, immune to the selectivity of natural mortality, will inevitably undergo an artifi- cially redirected speciation. The animal of the future will not be what it was under primitive conditions. One might paraphrase by saying that if the bison is to remain a bison, it must live with the wolf. Both habitat conditions and unregulated shooting have been im- portant in deciding the status of our grassland grouse (see U.S. Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife, 1 966a). The various prairie chickens illustrate the trends. The heath hen was a species whose demise probe ably can be ascribed primarily to the gun, and especially to market hunting. This bird was dependent for survival on frequently burned barrens along the Atlantic coast from Maine to Virginia (Gross, 19281. The sandy soils of its habitat were of little value for agriculture, although the area occupied may well have been attenuated by settlements. Despite this, it is likely that enough of the mainland habitat re- mained well into this century, and possibly to the present, to support small populations if the birds had not been wiped out to supply the game markets of a century ago. It is true that the species was fully pro- tected from shooting on the island of Martha's Vineyard, and its final disappearance from that area probably can be ascribed to successional changes in vegetation too effectively protected from fire. In Texas the Attwater prairie chicken, although now protected from
OCR for page 36
36 Land Use and Wildlife Resources hunting, has been reduced in numbers to the danger point by the pro- gressive conversion of its grassland habitat to cropland. The greater and lesser prairie chickens are being similarly affected by the disappearance of native vegetation. On the central prairies and plains, grassland birds were heavily hunted in the late 1800's, but they withstood the toll because of the vastness of their range. In spring, the slaughter featured eskimo curlews that migrated in leisurely fashion northward from the Texas coast, where they arrived after a flight from Argentina (Forbush, 1912; Swenk, 19161. This species was especially vulnerable to shooting, and large numbers were taken on the prairies for both sport and the market. The arctic nesting ground of the eskimo curlew was largely undis- turbed, and in late summer there was a general movement of old and young southeastward to the Maritime Provinces, where great flocks fed on the abundant berry crops of coastal muskegs. There the birds fat- tened and provided seemingly unlimited hunting to gunners from all over the world. The fall migration was over water to the coast of Brazil, thence to the pampas of Argentina, where the wintering popu- lation was harried by more hunting. Three shooting seasons a year steadily reduced this species from a population numbered in millions to its present status of extreme rarity, or possible extinction-this in spite of an isolated and relatively secure nesting range. The fact that protection would have required an inter- national effort may have helped to discourage any attempt to salvage the bird. It was a lethal trait of the curlews that they would circle and hover over birds that had been shot, thus exposing the survivors to another volley. Similar tactics contributed to the decimation of flocks of the Carolina parakeet. This North American parrot nested in deep swamps, but it was attracted to dooryards by domestic fruits, which it damaged. Confirming the effects of shooting, the extinction of this bird in the early 1 900's largely antedated the cutting of extensive bottomland for- ests. In fact, another species found in such habitat, the ivory-billed woodpecker, has barely managed to escape total destruction. Both of these wilderness dwellers were obviously ill-adapted to survive the buildup of human populations (Greenway, 1958), although protection from direct killing and the reservation of some high-quality range probably could have preserved small populations. Of all North American birds, the California condor has the slowest rate of increase, maturing at about 6 years and producing only ogle
OCR for page 37
Wildlife Values in a Changing World 37 young in 2 years (Koford, 19531. Its numbers have declined to about 40, and with the growth of human population in the Los Angeles area, the outlook is not favorable. Losses from even occasional shooting are not readily replaced, and the extensive wild areas required by the spe- cies for breeding and feeding are undergoing progressive attrition. Con- dors seem especially vulnerable to human disturbance of any kind, and the necessary degree of protection has not been achieved (McMillan, 19681. This, the largest bird of flight on the continent, must be re- garded as a spectacular showpiece of the primitive that is likely to be swamped by the rising tide of human activity in the only region where it might be preserved. The trumpeter swan (Banko, 1960) and whooping crane (Allen, 1952) were large, conspicuous, and edible. The skins of the former were an early article of commerce. These birds were obvious targets for unbridled gunnery on the grasslands and northward. In the contiguous 48 states they disappeared wherever the land was settled, a result made permanent by the progressive drainage of large nesting marshes. Both species have survived by virtue of fairly effective recent protection against hunting and the existence of remote undisturbed units of nesting environment. The swan has been re-established in scattered breeding sites from Yellowstone Park and South Dakota to Alaska and is reasonably secure in its present status of 4,000 to 5,000 birds. The crane, numbering less than 50, is in greater danger, especially on mi- grations between the small Gulf Coast wintering area (Aransas National Wildlife Refuge) and the breeding marshes in the Northwest Territories. Like the condor, this impressive bird must be regarded as a rare show- piece for which a special dispensation in land and protection is neces . .~ . . . sary ~ it Is to survive. Some of the foregoing examples clearly indicate the role of public demand in the absence of harvest regulations. An available resource at- tracts exploitation to the point where competition for the harvest may eliminate the last of a population. It became evident in the first decade of this century that both the sea otter and the northern fur seal were in this position. An international agreement in 191 1 gave protection to both species and was the means of reversing the downward trend and restoring their populations to productivity. In the absence of such mea- sures, the southern fur seals disappeared from most of their former ranges. Studies of rare and vanishing wildlife now are going forward in the Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife with a view to salvaging the remnant populations of specialized wilderness creatures needing emer
OCR for page 38
38 Land Use and Wildlife Resources gency measures (U.S. Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife, 1 966a; Linduska, 19671. The Secretary of the Interior recognizes 78 species of endangered birds, mammals, reptiles, and fish, and many of them could disappear in the onrush of development and intensified use of land and water. In a measure, old trends are still with us. There seem to be no local economic incentives for the preservation of the Texas coastal prairie chicken and the Attwater prairie chicken. Continued poisoning of rodents on remaining grasslands could destroy the last remaining black-footed ferrets. Nominally protected alligators are supporting a vigorous poaching industry because there is a legal market for the hides of crocodilians. Despite many unfavorable trends, it may be said, how- ever, that for the first time in history there is systematic governmental attention and concern for vanishing species. A reasonable effort of this kind in the past could have avoided costly errors. Jeopardy of the M igrants The development of international conventions for protecting migratory birds was one of the major management successes in the history of wildlife on this continent. Waterfowl, in particular, were historically popular as game and in great demand on the markets. Canvasbacks and other prized ducks were long featured on the menus of resort hotels, and professional hunters enjoyed profitable fall and spring shooting on such famous grounds as Currituck Sound, Maryland's Eastern Shore, the Erie marshes, the St. Clair flats, and the Kankakee marsh. Waterfowl are particularly vulnerable because of their repeated re- concentration on water areas as they run the gauntlet of gunnery from Canada southward to wintering grounds in southern states or Latin America. Early in this century many devices were used to attract and slaughter birds during seasonal migrations. Live decoys and baiting were in common use, and professional market hunters in the United States and Mexico decimated whole flocks with punt guns and bat- teries (see Day, 1959~. So well established were these practices, and the ways of life that depended on them, that more than a quarter of a century after passage of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, fed- eral enforcement officers were still faced with flagrant lawlessness in certain famous shooting areas. There has been a growing recognition that waterfowl are endan- gered by the decline of wetland habitat, and large segments of the continental population are reduced drastically during periodic
OCR for page 39
Wildlife Values in a Changing World droughts. Hunting is the one mortality factor that can be managed in some degree on a year-to-year basis. The history of regulations has been one of steadily increasing restrictions and growing attention to the special needs of individual species. Management is complicated by the inability of hunters to identify birds either in the field or in the hand, and also by the fact that wetlands have diminished for hunters just as they have for ducks. 39 Many hazards attend today's waterfowl resource. Without strenuous efforts by both the states and the federal government to curb the ex- cesses of earlier times, many more species of wildfowl might well be destroyed or reduced to rarity. Wild Commodities Today With lessons of the past in mind, we have put restraints on commer- cialization of wild creatures. The free-and-easy attitudes of early times have given way to a rigorous control over taking and selling most spe- cies. We still have legal markets for a few wildlife products, including a highly discriminatory and regulated commercial fishery in which the aim of study and management is sustained yield. In fact, it is highly probable that productivity in this field can be expanded with further research on oceanic resources. Landings of fish and other aquatic life in 1965 were 4 8 billion pounds, with an initialvalue of $445.7 million (Lyres, 19653. At the federal level the industry is served by the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries, and state agencies control their own internal problems. Fish resources readily available to the general public are usually cropped for sport fishing purposes. Where a choice exists, the modern appraisal is likely to assume that a recreational fish harvest produces more benefits than a purely commercial enterprise. Dollar income to someone is involved in both (discussed later in this chapter in con- nection with the national survey of sport fishing and hunting). Wild fur represents another kind of wildlife crop that has been on the market since prehistoric times. In 1967, a year of low prices, the annual summary of the U.S. Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife ( 1968) indicated a minimum raw fur value of more than $12 million. The most important single species is muskrat, of which the annual catch is 4 to 5 million pelts. The fur industry is not large, and it evi- dently is in long-term decline in the face of continued development of competing synthetic products.
OCR for page 44
44 Land Use and Widlife Resources considerable overlap. There were only 10 percent as many hunters in the 9-1 1 age group as there were fishermen. The above figures and many more on the total fishing and hunting effort by the public are contributing to a greatly improved understand- ing of these outdoor activities. It is evident, for example, that major participation in both cases is by people in small cities and in rural areas, bespeaking the increasing isolation from the natural scene of the residents of large metropolitan districts. Since people tend to be un- concerned about things they do not understand, valid questions are raised about the degree of sophistication in outdoor affairs that can be expected of an increasingly urbanized society. There are substantial in- dications of the relative growth of nonconsumptive uses of wildlife. For example, in the 3 years following the 1965 survey, the sale of hunting licenses remained about the same, whereas membership in the National Audubon Society more than doubled. Figures obtained by the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation in connection with the 1965 census indicated that there are 8 million birdwatchers and 3 million wildlife photographers in the nation. In 1967, there were 140 million visitors to areas in the national park system-nearly a threefold increase since 1 950. Markets for Gear and Services The recent fishing and hunting surveys have shown clearly that these activities are supporting a substantial annual business turnover in goods and services. Expenditures in all categories for the 1965 census aggre- gated more than $4 billion for the 33 million "serious" anglers and hunters involved (U.S. Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife, 1966b). The mean expenditure-by sport fishermen per recreation-day was $5.60 and by hunters, $6.03. As a major part of the fiscal support of management programs, the states collected $138 million in fishing and hunting license fees in 1965. Sportsmen paid $28 million in federal excise taxes on equipment and supplies. These funds reached the state programs through the Fed- eral Aid to Fish and Wildlife Restoration Programs of the Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife. Before the collection of such information, it was not possible to estimate accurately how much fishing and hunting were contributing to the large business base of outdoor recreation and the "tourist" in- dustry. Since this is now measurable, it is frequently cited in justifica- tion for properly maintaining and managing the renewable wildlife resources involved. It should be pointed out, however, that overem
OCR for page 45
Wildlife Values in a Changing World 45 phasis on dollar values could lead to underestimating elusive but much greater social values. The problems of cities are in large degree pro- duced by the overconcentration of people. The role that outdoor re- laxation will play in countering undesirable density effects is not clear at present, but in the interest of erring on the "safe" side, it must be assumed to be large. How much value fish and game have to an individual landowner is likely to depend on the kind of land he has, whether the farm is also a family home, and the degree of sophistication of the proprietor as an outdoorsman. As a scenic amenity, wildlife in general can be important nearly anywhere, but fishing and hunting are marketable only where high quality in one form or another can be demonstrated. Artificially stocked fishponds and game preserves are increasingly popular near large cities, and various incidental services (e.g., guides and dogs) are usually provided along with fishing or hunting privileges. Frequently the "results" of this kind of fishing or hunting are guaran- teed in one way or another. I ncentives an d R ea I ities Dependence for sport on wild stocks of fish or game is a different matter. Some areas are productive enough to enable an owner to charge for access to his property and obtain an adequate return for his effort. But the yield of "average" fishing waters or game lands is not high in comparison with yields of other crops. Referring to this situation in the introduction to a government publication (Miller and Powell, 1942), W. L. McAtee made an evaluation that is as good today as it was when it was written: The aggregate of wildlife on agricultural lands of the United States is large and its estimated value is very impressive. Hence enthusiasts have suggested that returns from wildlife management may be an important source of revenue to farmers. Locally, worthwhile revenue may be obtained, but the country is vast, and the values, however large, when spread over the whole, become very thin. Hunters are so numerous that the game harvest of a State distributed among them could sup- ply each with only a fraction of a single specimen of some of the species most sought. If the return to the hunter is small, then that to the farmer cannot be great. Again, high-class agricultural land can hardly be devoted to such a distinctly low-income crop as wildlife. Only inferior lands can be used and their productivity of wildlife as of other crops is low. Miller and Powell (op. cit.) recognized the need for substantial land- owner incentives if wildlife is to be managed on private lands. They
OCR for page 46
46 Land Use and Wildlife Resources noted, however, that the effectiveness of available incentives is likely to depend greatly on the views of the individual. Administrative officials, the public, the farmers, and the sportsmen must be taught to realize that the recreational, social, and esthetic values of wildlife greatly exceed its economic value; and that wildlife is a natural resource that all have a right to enjoy. The rifts of individuals must be respected and protected even if this re- stricts public utilization of wildlife. The user must become willing to pay an in- creased amount and the farmer must be willing to accept a large part of the return for his efforts on behalf of wildlife in the form of such mtan~bles as recreational, esthetic, and social enjoyment. On this basis it is assumed that the appreciation and use of wildlife values will require an educational effort applied to both the public and the landowner, and that the returns in public benefits are worth the ef- fort. It may also be inferred that the demand for free public hunting will continue, at least in "low-pressure" areas, but as a minimum con- dition its perpetuation will require the effective protection of land- owner rights. If these conditions apply to a large part of our private wildlife- producing lands, another situation also needs to be recognized. Certain critically important and highly productive wildlife habitats exist on private land. Wetlands that produce waterfowl on the northern prairies are in this category. The preservation and improvement of such areas for ducks will require "incentives" of a special kind, including outright public acquisition. For the waterfowl hunter it is another fact of life that, because of growing competition, the price of high-quality shooting marshes is likely to continue to increase. This applies also to other choice game lands and (under some conditions) to fishing waters. It is evident that the economic situation changes greatly from areas where wildlife is a secondary product to those where it is the primary motive in owning a property. MEASURING ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL VALUES It is inherent in the relationship of man to his resource base that all environmental benefits (uses) represent positive "values" regardless of units of measurement or applicable modes of expression. Dollar values are common economic terminology for commodities and may be in- volved in any kind of experience, useful or otherwise. However, they
OCR for page 47
Wildlife Values in a Changing World 47 are not a universally satisfactory common denominator. Environmental conditions have biological and social impacts that often cannot be re- liably described because of presently unmanageable complexities-they are widely variable, they tend to synergize, and, relative to human numbers, the effects are density dependent. Thus, the value of a recreational asset or experience might be high or low, depending on the extent to which it mitigates a social need that, in itself, may be an elusive condition to measure. These technical difficulties seem to defy generalization and lead to the expression of values in terms such as "esthetic" and "spiritual," which have a subjec- tive usefulness. The ecologist is accustomed to dealing in trends and in- fluences that, for the moment, must be accepted with a large probable error. However, it is inevitable that biological variables will be increas- ingly quantified, including resource values as they apply to man. An economist accepts the situation in these terms (Machlup, 19651: We shall have to distinguish between pecuniary and non-pecun~ary advantages and disadvantages, and between judgments that rest on statistical records and others that are purely subjective evaluations without any supporting numerical data. But the point to note is that economic evaluation is not confined to the items for which price data are available. It comprises all pros and cons of the plan or ac- tivity under examination. If these views are correct, it follows that a proper judgment of values or a choice among resource allocations must rest on a broader expertise than that of market economics. It must recognize the social and be- havioral needs of man-parameters not adequately represented, for ex- ample, in the gross national product. On public lands a major part of the recreation privilege is commonly furnished free, and Pearse (1968) observed that this social value accrues entirely to the user. Even those who do not participate have an opportunity to do so. On the other hand, the easily measured dollar income from recreation belongs to the purveyors of permits, goods, and services. The applicability of such logic may be seen in the results of a recent survey of big game hunting in British Columbia (Bowden and Pearse, 19681. In 1966, out of a total of 1 17,000 big game hunters in the prov- ince, 6,500 were nonresidents, principally from the United States. The nonresidents spent S3.7 million in British Columbia, of which the major items were $2.2 million for guide services, $348 thousand for licenses and fees, and $386 thousand for food, liquor, and lodging. These figures have obvious usefulness to the government, the tourist industry, and others concerned with serving the public. However, for
OCR for page 48
48 Land Use and Wildlife Resources truly evaluating the almost unique combination of big game species now available in British Columbia, a host of intangibles must be con- sidered. The big game resource paid a 1-year dividend of 115,000 animals, most of which were taken by residents interested in meat and the remainder primarily by nonresidents interested in trophies. Many other people both inside and outside Canada can hunt big game in British Columbia, and an even greater number can enjoy seeing the ani- mals in their native setting whenever they wish. There are few stan- dards against which the last two values can be appraised, but the values unquestionably are increasing as human numbers increase. Krutilla (1967) made a point that is almost universally applicable to unique natural features of our environment, including geologic forms, threatened biotypes, or rare ecosystems. For the indefinite future, it will be essential to keep open the scientific option of studying their natural processes or utilizing for unforeseen purposes the species thus preserved. Traditional Assumptions Our review of historic trends provided ample evidence that in North America we have not been much concerned with nonmarketable ame nities or with our environment as such. In the early period of occupa- tion and population buildup, there was a vast fund of natural wealth to be disposed of, and if the human habitat suffered, there were always fresh scenes to turn to. In truth, the attitudes born of our early condi- tions not only persist in the minds of people but also are effective in legal forms that continue to dominate important aspects of resource use. So much of our public management concerns water, and water is so universally tied into the wildlife interest, that one may turn to the complexity of water issues to illustrate many kinds of problems. The example cited in Chapter 1 relative to the totality of traditional economic thinking on drainage laws (Haik, 1957) illustrates this situa- tion. It is generally true that in the United States we have never stopped reclaiming the native environment for irrigation and drainage projects and for other purposes. In the large nationally subsidized un- dertakings of this kind, we most clearly threaten wildlife and scenic re- sources whose usefulness we have only begun to appraise in the modern context. On a grand scale we appear to be following old assumptions that open space is wasteland and that making such areas "productive" is inherently good, irrespective of developmental costs or the usefulness of what is being produced.
OCR for page 49
Wildlife Values in a Changing World 49 In this connection, Krutilla ( 1966, 1968) examined cost and benefit criteria and reviewed recent evaluations of various national water de- velopment and land reclamation projects (see Ulrich, 1953; Renshaw, 1957; Ekstein, 1958; Hufschmidt et al., 1961; White, 1961; Ruttan, 1965; Breathitt, 1967; National Advisory Commission on Food and Fiber, 1967; Udall, 1 967), including types concerned with hydroelec- tr~c power, common storage, and low-flow augmentation. He (1968) concluded that: Large water resource developments . . . have been justified spuriously by grossly overestimated benefits to accompany parallel understatement of costs; the real value of the actual output in many cases will fail to cover real costs by a wide margin (as in the case of the Bridge and Marble Canyon projects) and they should not be built in any event whether or not there would be damage to wildlife habitat or scenic values. The author noted, however, that "most of such developmental ac- tivities, as for example large multiple-purpose water resource projects, with finite useful lives, result in a permanent and irreversible injury to the natural environment." Elsewhere (1967) he mentioned that the cost of not changing rare natural environments may be relatively small, and that "with the continued advance in technology, more substitutes for conventional natural resources will be found." Quantity versus Quality Servicing the demand for continuous economic growth has been inte- gral to many public programs, and it undoubtedly abets the drive to expand agriculture and industry into new areas. It is a widely held view that any enterprise contributes to "prowess" and human well-being if it stimulates population growth and a greater volume of business. Such assumptions have critical longrange implications when applied to making decisions between alternative recreational uses. This is well il- lustrated by Krutilla's ( 1968) discussion of multipurpose reservoirs that may be constructed at the expense of choice scenic canyons, white- water streams, and the valley ranges of big game herds (see also Chap- ter 31. He mentioned the characteristic attitudes of sponsors and con- struction agencies and noted that . . . unlike the generous imputations of value from land and water resource devel- opment, the estimate of the value of preserving the natural environment tends to be systematically depressed. This is a result of the failure to reflect adequately the qualitatively different outdoor recreation experiences in evaluating comparative
OCR for page 50
50 Land Use and Wildlife Resources benefits and costs. One practice has been to consider the number of individuals who would participate in outdoor recreation in an area with and without the prospective water impoundment. By the very nature of things, this biases the valu- ation of recreation benefits to the flat water (reservoir) activities as these tend to be more gregarious in character (picnicking, swimming, etc.~. However, the value of a day of swimming may be very much less than a day of quality trout or salmon fishing, or a day of hunting big game which may be dependent upon the prospec- tive reservoir bottom for wintering range, etc. This would follow because of the relative abundance of alternatives available for indulging the former, and thus the low value one would place on an additional opportunity if alternatives were readily available; and the relative scarcity and thus high value placed on preserving the latter because of the increasing rareness of opportunities available and the absence of close substitutes. Accordingly, proposed impoundments which rely for their justification on the provision of water-based recreation, in appreciable part, should be subjected to critical economic and ecological examination so that what may be rare and valuable is not traded for what is commonplace or in surplus, and of low or negligible value at the margin. In mediating among competing interests for resource use, public agencies often cater to the side most numerously represented, irrespec- tive of the intensity of feeling involved. Thus, small groups of sophis- ticated outdoorsmen could be overwhelmed by a superficial interest of the many who might, for example, like to see development money spent in a local area. If such cases come up for decision one at a time, all the small, spe- cialized, and rare recreational features are likely to be eliminated. Thus, diversity in the human habitat and the options of the future will be lost. The extent and quality of the service rendered by outdoor environ- ments and assets (fish, game) frequently depend on the way they are used. Seining fish obviously would be a less rewarding way to use the crop than hook-and-line angling; yet seining is useful for prescribed purposes. Hunting deer with the bow and arrow provides more man- hours of sport per deer than gun hunting; yet shooting with rifle or shotgun is the usual way to obtain mass public benefits from a game resource. The management agencies attempt to provide many options and spread activities as widely as possible. Doing things "the hard way" by methods requiring particular moti- vation, effort, and skill is widely regarded as one means of improving the quality of outdoor experiences. Thus, hiking or packing into wild country is likely to be more rewarding for many people than driving to the scenic destination in a car. Widespread highway development prob- ably assures the possibilities for mass movement of citizens into many
OCR for page 51
Wildlife Values in a Changing World 51 desirable areas. But in the interest of preserving diverse opportunities and a sampling of country with minimum disturbance, it may be as- sumed also that it is not desirable to build roads for public access into all parts of our remaining wild areas. In an evaluation of the wildlife resources of the Tennessee Valley, Emerson (1968) stated that the enjoyment of wildlife is inversely pro- portional to the artificiality of the situation. He expressed a viewpoint that probably has been neglected in many public programs but which will inevitably need to be a part of realistic planning: Quality experiences are those that increase man's perception of his environment and his relationship to it. At the same time they are satisfying, enjoyable, and non- destructive of the resources upon which they depend. To maintain quality, only limited numbers of people can be accommodated for observing wildlife in wilder- ness areas, waterfowl hunting, and other such uses. It is commonly assumed that outdoor areas used by many people must offer all conveniences and that travel must be highly mechanized. In some situations, however, this is not true, and more people may, in fact, be served by keeping things simple. This was aptly illustrated by Brooks (1961) in discussing the recent buildup of visitation in the national parks: The space available in the national parks is not big enough for all who want to use it. But the size of the park is directly related to the manner in which you see it. If ou are in a canoe traveling at three miles an hour, the lake on which you are pad- dling is ten times as long and ten times as broad as it is to the man in a speed boat going thirty. An hour's paddle will take you as far away as an hour in a speed boat-if there are no speed boats. In other words, more people can use the same space with the same results. Every road that replaces a foot path, every outboard that replaces a canoe paddle, shrinks the area of the park. ~ iving Standard and Environment The validity of the American expectation of continued population growth, unlimited resource development, and economic expansion in every part of the country is being seriously questioned. Persistence of such an expectation could have disastrous effects on the human en- vironment and on living standards. In the face of many pressures, it is essential that public agencies apply professional expertise in identi- fying the most vulnerable of our resources and in taking steps to pro- tect them. Wildlife is clearly one of these resources, since it is not immediately competitive in the context of traditional business enter
OCR for page 52
52 Land Use and Wildlife Resources prise, and there is no established socioeconomic mechanism that can assure its continued usefulness in our culture. Usefulness, in a highly discriminating sense, without degradation will need to be the objective in managing wildlife and other aspects of our out-of-doors for this and future generations. In the following chap ters, policies and methods are discussed that should be helpful in ac complishing this objective. REFERENCES Allen, D. L. 1962. Our wildlife legacy. Funk and Wagnalls Co., New York. 422 p. Allen, R. P. 1952. The whooping crane. Nat. Audubon Soc. Rep. 3. 220 p. Banko, W. E. 1960. Trumpeter swan, its history, habits, and population in United States. U.S. Burl Sport Fish. and Wildl., N. Amer. Fauna. 63. 214 p. Bowden, G., and P. H. Pearse. 1968. Non-resident big game hunting and the guiding industry in British Columbia: an economic survey. Brit. Columbia Dep. Recr. & Conserv. Fish and Wildl. Br., Study Rep. 2. 72 p. Branch, E. D. 1929. The hunting of the buffalo. D. Appleton ~ Co., New York. 240p. Breathitt, E. T. 1967. The people left behind. President's National Advisory Commission on Rural Poverty. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. Brooks, P. 1961. The pressure of numbers. Atlantic Monthly 207(2):54-56. Carrier, L. 1923. The beginnings of agriculture in America. McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York. 323 p. Day, A. M. 1959. North American waterfowl. Stackpole, Harrisburg, Pa. 363 p. Edwards, E. E. 1940. American agriculture-the first 300 years, p. 171-276. In Farmers in a changing world. The yearbook of agriculture 1940. U.S. Depart- ment of Agriculture. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. Ekstein, O. 1958. Water resource development. In The economics of project evaluation. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass. Emerson, F. B., Jr. 1968. Tennessee Valley wildlife: an outlook for the year 2000. Tennessee Valley Authority, Div. of Forest. Dev. 27 p. Ewers, J. C. 1955. The horse in Blackfoot Indian culture. Smithsonian Inst., Burl Amer. Ethnol. Bull. 159. 374 p. Forbush, E. H. 1912. Game birds, wild-fowl and shore birds. Massachusetts State Board of Agriculture. 622 p. Fuller, A. W. 1962. The biology and management of the bison of Wood Buffalo National Park. Can. Wildl. Serv. Manage. Bu11. 1~16):1-52. Graham, E. lI. 1947. The land and wildlife. Oxford University Press, New York. 232 p. Greenway, J. C., Jr. 1958. Extinct and vanishing birds of the world. Amer. Comm. Intern. Wildl. Protection Spec. Publ. 13. 518 p. Griscom, L. 1946. The passing of the passenger pigeon. Amer. Scholar 15:212-216.
OCR for page 53
Wildlife Values in a Changing World 53 Gross, A. O. 1928. The heath hen. Boston Soc. Natur. Hist. Memoirs 6~4):491- 588. Haik, R. A. 1957. Water, habitat, and wildlife. Conserv. Volunteer 20:1-5. Hallenbeck, C. 1940. Alvar Nunez, Cabeza de Vaca. The journey and route of the first European to cross the continent of North America, 153~1536. Arthur H. Clark Co., Glendale, Calif. 326 p. Har din, G. 1968. The tragedy of the commons. Science 162: 1243-1248. Hufschmidt, M. M., J. V. Krutilla, and J. Marglin. 1961. Standards and criteria for formulating and evaluating federal resource development. Report of the Panel of Consultants to the U.S. Bureau of the Budget. Koford, C. B. 1953. The California condor. Nat. Audubon Soc. Res. Rep. 4. 154 p. Krutilla, J. V. 1966. Is public intervention in water resources development con- ducive to economic efficiency? Reprint No.56, Jan. Natur. Resour. I. 6:60-75. Resources for the Future, Inc., Washington, D.C. Krutilla, J. V. 1967. Conservation reconsidered. Amer. Econ. Rev. 57(4~:777-786. Krutilla, J. V. 1968. Balancing extractive industries with wildlife habitat. 33rd N. Amer. Wildl. ~ Natur. Resour. Conf. Trans., p. 1 19-129. Linduska, J. P. 1967. Endangered species-the federal program. Western Ass. State Game & Fish Comm., 47th Annul Conf., p. 40-48. Lorant, S. (ed.~. 1965. The new world; the first pictures of America. Duell, Sloan & Pearce, New York. 292 p. Lyles, C. H. 1965. Fishery statistics of the United States. U.S. Fish and Wildl. Serv. Statist. Dig. 59. 756 p. Machlup, F.1965. Comments: economic and non-economic values, p. 1 55. In R. Dorfman (ed.), Measuring benefits of government investments. The Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C. Martin, P. S. 1967. Pleistocene overkill. Natur. Hist. 76~10):32-38. McMillan, I. 1968. Man and the California condor. E. P. Dutton & Co., New York. 191 p. Miller, J. P., and B. P. Powell. 1942. Game and wild-fur production and utilization on agricultural land. U.S. Dep. Agr. Circ. 636.58 p. National Advisory Commission on Food and Fiber. 1967. Food and fiber for the future. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C.361 p. Pearse, P. H.1968. A new approach to the evaluation of non-priced recreational resources. Land Econ. 44~1~: 87-99. Renshaw, E. F. 1957. Toward responsible government: an economic appraisal of federal investment in water resource programs. Idyia Press, Chicago. Rockefeller, L. S. et al. 1962. Outdoor recreation for America. Outdoor Recr. Rev. Comm. 246 p. Roe, F. G. 1951. The North American buffalo. University of Toronto Press, Ontario, Canada. 95 7 p. Roe, F. G. 1955. The Indian and the horse. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman. 434 p. Ruttan, V. 1965. The economic demand for irrigated acreage. Johns Hopkins Press, Baltimore. Sauer, C. O. 1947. Early relations of man to plants. Geogr. Rev. 37~1~: 1-25. Schorger, A. W. 1955. The passenger pigeon: its natural history and extinction. University of Wisconsin Press, Madison. 424 p.
OCR for page 54
54 Land Use and W ildlife Resources Swenk, M. H. 1916. The Eskimo curlew and its disappearance, p. 325-340. In Smithsonian Inst. Annul Rep. 1915. Udall, S. L. 1967. Policy recommendations of the Department of the Interior on reservoir storage and release for flow regulation for water quality control on federal and federally supported projects. U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C. Ulrich, R. 1953. Relative costs and benefits of land reclamation in the humid Southeast and the semi-arid West. J. Farm Econ. 35~1~:62-73. U.S. Bureau of Outdoor Recreation. 1967. A report on recreation land price es- calation. U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C. 33 p. U.S. Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife. 1 966a. Rare and endangered fish and wildlife of the United States. U.S. Dep. Interior Resource Publ. 34. U.S. Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife. 1 966b. National survey of fishing and hunting, 1965. U.S. Dep. Interior Resource Publ. 27. U.S. Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife. 1968. Fur catch in the United States, 1967. U.S. Dep. Interior Wildl. Leafl. 482. Wharton, W. P., et al. 1928. Recreation resources of federal lands. Joint Commit- tee on Recreational Survey of Federal Lands, American Forestry Association and National Parks Association. National Conference on Outdoor Recreation Washington, D.C. 141 p. White, G. F. (ed.~. 1961. Univ. Chicago, Dep. Geogr. Res. Paper 70. 228 p. Wissler, C. 1940. Indians of the United States: Four centuries of their culture. Doubleday & Company, Garden City, N.Y. 319 p.
Representative terms from entire chapter: