We asked the Spring Creek community to suggest some things we can all do to help stem the loss of wild species and their habitats, and we received many thoughtful, creative ideas. Some are hands-in-the-dirt pragmatic. Others are more idealistic or theoretical. Since we’ll need to change our minds, our hearts, and our habits to create a culture that celebrates and supports wild nature, all these suggestions can help.
Here are our top three favorites (which earned their authors a free copy of Elizabeth Kolbert’s The Sixth Extinction) and a selection of other great entries. Thanks to all who participated, and thanks for working on behalf of wild nature.
1. Create wildlife underpasses along Oregon roads wherever possible when highway construction (and reconstruction) eliminates existing wildlife travel routes. (Carla Perry)
2. Work to connect children to wild places so they can know them, appreciate them, and love them. (Lisa Zerkle)
3. Know your nature / The world around, and inside / As one, both survive. (Pepper Trail)
More good ideas:
4. Learn to love again the wildness within; then fight anew for the wildness without.
5. Give inherent rights to natural communities to exist, persist, and regenerate their natural cycles in law.
6. Possibly the best way to reduce extinctions is to grow plants and vegetables organically. Pesticides, especially neonicotinoids, kill honey bees. Organic agriculture also diminishes the impacts of GMOs.
7. Redirect money we spend on domestic pets toward guaranteeing wild animals in wild spaces.
8. Abandon tepid incremental approaches and dedicate ourselves to a radical revisioning and restructuring of our political economic system.
9. Abolish the penny and nickel, useless currencies, so we can stop mining for both.
10. Support land trusts and conservancies that preserve, protect, and rehabilitate ‘at-risk’ habitats.
11. Plant more native plants in your backyard to help maintain ecosystems that support local wildlife!
12. Wake up to our fundamental connection to the nonhuman communities and their habitats; their fate is our fate.
13. Talk to your family members who don’t believe in climate change about it, no matter how un-fun the conversation.
14. Reduce your meat consumption and support farmers working to reconnect food systems with ecosystems. Every bite counts!
15. Vote. Elections have consequences. Enforcement of, and support and funding for, the Endangered Species Act are among those consequences.
16. Walk or take the bus. Twice a week instead of driving. It’s almost a 30% reduction in gasoline use. Install solar panels. Cheaper than ever.
17. Be present: be aware; claim personal power; speak up for processes that sustain all life; join others; practice democracy.
18. Let everyone you know into the “secret” that you spend a heck of a lot of time outdoors. Teach by example, by touch and feel and breath, that outdoors and indoors must flow into one another.
19. Establish wilderness areas that allow no access whatsoever for any reason to human beings and rethink urban development to reduce spread.
20. Reinstate environmental policies that are being eroded little by little for profits. Work hard for cleaner air and water and direct all monies collected from polluters into conservation projects.
21. Slow down, scale down, group up!