♦Welcome to another edition of the Open Book Blog Hop!♦
If you had unlimited money to start and maintain
a business, what would it be?
Welcome back to another Open Book Blog Hop! The authors included in this ongoing series wish to thank you for your reads. We appreciate, even more so, when you share our writings with your friends. If you’re new to the series, welcome aboard. The authors engage and impress weekly. Prepare to become a regular reader.
Today’s question is one I’ve taken a long time to consider. Surprisingly, my answer doesn’t have much to do with my writing. Rather, it connects back to where I started in my educational journey. Biology/Zoology were my main focus at the outset–even starting in Field Biology and other such courses before college.
If I found myself with enough money to make my dream come true, that would be a North American Wildlife Refuge in my hometown of Saratoga Springs. I’d find a giant parcel of land and begin with an educational center and a few animal ambassadors, then build from there. Ultimately, the goal is to have a wildlife rehabilitation and public education facility. There really isn’t much in the way of that in my area on the scale I am thinking.
My main focus would be to network with facilities like NYWolf.org (Canids) and the Albany Pine Bush Preserve (Blue Karner Butterfly) and help with the improvement of native wildlife and canid populations in our state. Due to mismanagement and extensive miseducation on the latter species, they’re endangered and the numbers are not rising well-enough. Wolf culls along with illegal hunting (poaching) in other states are devastating the natural presence of these animals and thus creating havoc in the natural ecosphere.
Part of the education I would focus on is the farm versus natural predators issue. Farmers believe the big bad wolf myth, but they also need resources to help them not just unlearn this falsehood, but address their concerns. I grew up in the area and fox took our rabbits one year. I can understand where they are coming from. However, there are ways to keep livestock very safe. Moreover, the wildlife prefer to hunt their natural prey (squirrel, rabbit, and other small animals) over hitting up livestock. This occurs on such a limited basis and is extremely preventable. Usually, this happens when there is not enough natural prey due to human development or the animals are sick/weak.
Education would also include the laws that protect wildlife, such as illegal trapping and hunting. You can’t set shotgun traps, for instance, because those are dangerous for everyone beside being cruel. Foot traps fall under the same concerns. Canids released to the National Parks and refuges would prefer to remain there and not come into contact with humans. (Only domestic animals seek human interaction.) Going after wildlife or luring them goes against this natural balance. Not only does it show a dangerous behavior on the part of the humans who would engage in the activity (possibly psychopathy/sociopathy), it betrays the efforts of national programs that the government helps support–undermining protections, laws, and creating further expense.
The bottom line: Humans consistently encroached on wild areas until there remains limited space for the animals then forced into interaction just to survive. Humans have refused to innovate or do the job they purport to hold (such as being ranchers who just want to let their cattle roam without keeping much of an eye on them). Humans have a responsibility to this planet that they share with other life (something echoed in the Bible that many also purport to uphold). Canids are an integral part of the ecosystem. Removing a key species like them, for convenience and comfort, has deep ripples that ultimately make life much harder on humanity.
Providing a refuge for injured animals that can be rehabilitated and a home for those who cannot continue in the wild, is a long standing dream of mine. The facility would not be limited to canids, but they would be the major feature. I would include the north american cats and just about any animal in need, so long as the staff can handle their care. The refuge would require veterinary personnel and wildlife caretakers, so income and funding for salaries is imperative. It would not be a zoo. While we would be open to the public for educational talks and special events, I would prefer the animals get the care and peace they deserve: a true refuge.
Part of the focus would be restoring wildlife populations to sustainable levels, involving public, regional, and federal support. With enough money, we would be completely self-sustainable. The public would have less to rebuff while we work on the education that could garner their active support of such efforts. This would help the facility to keep up an active network with other such places across the country. Thus we could lend a hand, both scientifically and civically.
This work would take a lot of time, and my writing would still remain a side effort. I am completely okay with that as I’d be fulfilling one of my lifelong dreams to help animals. Getting close and personal with wildlife is simply magical. When done right, it can truly make a difference in this world.
Let’s hop on over to see what the other authors would do with their funds. Click on their links below to visit their pages…