Wednesday, February 21, 2007
In a nation committed both to suburban living and to wildlife protection, clashes are inevitable. From Texas comes a story about a sharp increase in suburbanites’ encounters with wild animals such as coyotes, deer, and even feral pigs.
One land use solution that is often favored by suburbanites is to have government try to remove the “problem,” such as by capturing pesky coyotes and trapping the razorbacks. Under this attitude, the suburbs are viewed as sanctuaries both from the bustle of the city and from the dangers of the natural world.
On the other side, ecologists argue that the world belongs to wild animals as well as people. Healthy ecosystems can’t depend solely on a handful of reserved areas such as parks and government-protected forests. Humans outside of cities should learn how to live with animals, just as any good Texan knew how to do in the 19th century.
What can suburbanites do? They can act in a way that is mindful of the natural world around them. Domestic dogs can be kept on a leash; if the house cat is let outside, one simply accepts the risk that it might become a coyote’s (or bobcat’s) dinner. Children can be told to avoid approaching raccoons. Wire and netting can be used to try to keep deer out of flower beds; if this doesn’t work, the flower beds may simply have to be given up. Bending one’s life to live side by side with nature is a prescription for a modern, more nuanced attitude towards life in the suburbs.
Is this just an environmentalist’s dewy-eyed vision of the world? Not necessarily, especially if one adds a potentially sensible step of having a locked shotgun at the ready, if a citizen has special concerns about dangers to small children. This is Texas, after all, and this is a world of wide open spaces and diversity of life.
This blog is an Amazon affiliate. Help support Land Use Prof Blog by making purchases through Amazon links on this site at no cost to you.
- Stephen R. Miller on Why are building inspectors so often on the take?
- Josh Hightree on What makes people leave rural areas, and what makes them stay
- Jessica Shoemaker on What makes people leave rural areas, and what makes them stay
- Jamie Baker Roskie on Why are building inspectors so often on the take?
- Stephen R. Miller on What makes people leave rural areas, and what makes them stay
- Land Use Law-Related Articles Posted on SSRN in February
- March 4-6: Stanford 2015 Rural West Conference: Preservation and Transformation: The Future of the Rural West
- March 3 - J.B. Ruhl to deliver Boehl Distinguished Lecture in Land Use Policy at U Louisville Law
- Is this blog post "advertising"? California's bar proposes bright-line rule for regulating attorney blogs
- Two upcoming RMMLF events: 61st Annual Institute (July 16-18 in Anchorage) and 17th Institute for Natural Resources Law Teachers (May 27-29 at Utah Law)