Three Ravens Ranch

The economic downturn. Is environmental resource conservation still possible?

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Courtesy of Three Ravens Ranch

The recent world wide economic crisis has drastically refocused our priorities.  Many of us have seen our retirement portfolios dwindle and real estate values plummet, while federal, state and local governments are scrambling for funding as budgets disappear. Even obtaining financing for all but the essentials has become more difficult. Advisors caution U.S. President-elect Barak Obama that reversing the economic crisis should be the top priority, perhaps leaving environmental issues to languish until better economic times.

A natural response to the recent drop in real estate market value might be to reduce or withdraw funding and financial support for environmental planning and management. Current real estate market prices for land take into account prospective buyer’s willingness and ability to purchase, however they reflect only a portion of the value associated with the resource attributes of the land. In addition to traditional natural resources such as minerals, timber products, and forage we now acknowledge embedded values associated with ecosystem sustainability and function.

Though most of us have little control over the social and economic factors that drive the flow of financial support into conservation projects we can have an understanding of the connection between environmental system components in order to streamline and target conservation activities to get the best return on our efforts to protect our inherent landscape values

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