The Land Ethic Reclaimed: A UW-Madison MOOC
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The Land Ethic Reclaimed: A UW-Madison MOOC

[ Music ]>>In this MOOC we’re going
to travel across Wisconsin. We’re going to show you
examples, beautiful forests, like the one that
I’m sitting in now. We’re going to show you
prairies and wetlands. And many of those habitats have
been preserved by the activity of hunters and by the
money that hunters raise. And that’s one level
of sustainability.>>I grew up here on this
landscape and it’s a place where Aldo Leopold had
practiced game management and conservation techniques
some 40 years earlier.>>Aldo Leopold’s legacy
of the land ethic matters in the way we manage and
conserve our resources.>>We’re also going to talk a
little bit about the ethics, the population biology,
and the way that those two things
interact determine whether or not conservation can really
be achieved at a deeper level.>>Using the perfect
case study of Montana, where elk hunting is an
enormous, big trophy business, I’m going to show you the basic
conundrum that presents itself when you try to manage
wild things.>>We have to get
really creative about how we spread
conservation around. Looking for areas on farms
and in neighborhoods, and even cities,
where we can enhance and restore wildlife habitat.>>And I hope we
learn a little bit about what it means
to be perceptive. Perception is a term that comes
from Aldo Leopold’s writing and it has to do with an
expanded view of our role in the ecosystem and
how we participate in ecosystems as hunters.>>Because all wildlife,
except when they’re in zoos, tend to move around,
which means some of the time they’re
on public land. And some of the time
they’re on private land. Working with private land owners
means private property rights and the management of
resources for private good. The management of public
land falls to state and local authorities, who
have many competing demands on who gets access, what
the resources are for, and how they should be managed. Putting private land owners
and public land owners together to create an outcome that
everybody likes tends to be harder than you’d think. Who owns the right
to hunt an elk? [ Music ]>>As Leopold’s thinking
evolved, he, too, believed that conservation on
private lands was really key and he experimented with
providing conservation and hunting opportunities by
working with rural land owners. Today we have a number
of elaborate tools and conservation strategies
for looking at things like habitat connectivity and evaluating trade-offs
in land management. Here we’ll show you
how Leopold’s outreach with rural landowners can inform
our conservations options today.>>And whether or not
you’re an active hunter and may have a background
in hunting, or whether you’re
simply curious, I hope that we open
your eyes a little bit to the broader conservation
issues.>>If you’re a landowner,
if you’re a land manager, or you’re just somebody
who cares about wildlife, the policies that we assemble to manage those animals
will determine the future of the wild. [ Music ]

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