Posts Tagged ‘conservation’

My public comment in support of preserving America’s national monuments

July 12, 2017

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
July 12, 2017

On Monday, I happened across this essay by Brent Rose about more than two dozen national monuments that could lose their protected status. This spring, after President Donald Trump ordered Ryan Zinke, the Secretary of the Interior, to conduct a review process that may lead to the revocation of some of their status as national monuments, Rose resolved to travel to the 22 monuments located in the continental United States.

I was so moved by Rose’s essay that I decided to leave a public comment on the process at regulations.gov. (The period for commenting closed at midnight on Monday.)

The following text is a slightly edited version of the comment that I made:

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I’m writing to urge Secretary Zinke to uphold designations of National Monuments and Marine National Monuments unless there is overwhelming evidence that such designations were improperly made and/or that such designations directly harm the public interest.

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The impressive, impressionistic and incomplete ‘Tiger Tiger’ showcases the largely unknown habitat of one of the world’s best-known predators

April 10, 2015

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
April 10, 2015

George Butler’s new documentary about large wildcat conservation in India and Bangladesh, Tiger Tiger, is a beautifully shot film about a little-known ecosystem and the predator that rules it. Unfortunately, I think the film will likely leave the viewer with a number of questions.

Some of those queries run along sadly familiar lines: With only about 3,000 tigers remaining in the wild, will the species survive into the 22nd century? What kind of steps can nonprofit organizations and government agencies take to deter often poor and hungry villagers in tiger habitats from poaching the animal, given that tiger skin and bones are worth a literal fortune on the black market?

One can’t hold it against producer-director Butler for not answering these questions; after all, they’re ones that some of the finest minds in wildlife conservation have struggled to answer for decades.

But I did find myself somewhat baffled by a few smaller issues that could easily have been clarified with a handful of on-screen titles. At one point, conservationist Alan Rabinowitz visits a sick “sub-adult” female tiger that was caught after wandering into an Indian village. Was this the same animal that we later see being tranquilized and captured by a crowd of people in a frightening montage? And was that the same animal that we subsequently see being released from a government patrol boat?

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