The example of conservation is the creation of extractive reserves of rainforests. Under the conditions of an extractive reserve, the locals are still allowed to pass into the reserves and extract resources as needed (Text, 231). This includes the harvest of rubber, fruits, nuts, and oils (Text, 231). The harvest of rubber can be done with minimal damage to the tree, without any risk of killing it (Assies, 23). Extractive reserves are an example of conservation because people are still allowed to enter and utilize the land , yet the system is designed to be indefinitely self-sustaining.
One attempt at preservation is the Wilderness Act of 1964, which seeks to assign specific areas which cannot be tampered with by humanity (Text, 242). Unfortunately, the act does not guarantee complete preservation, as both grazing and mining are still allowed so long as they were approved prior to the Wilderness Act being made into law (Text, 242). These areas would fall under the definition of preservation if human tampering was not allowed at all.
By limiting the type of resource usage allowed in particular rainforest areas, extractive reserves succeed in conservation. There areas are safe from deforestation, both through clear-cutting and the indirect loss of forest life (Assies, 101).
It is ambiguous to what degree the wilderness areas have succeeded in preservation, as they are still affected by weather patterns, meaning they are not entirely cut off from human influence. However, these areas are conserved, providing a space for lush wildlife.
The success of the conservation of extractive reserves is measured within the reading as in contrast with the surrounding deforested areas. In this contrast, the deforested land is only useful to humans for seven years after the rainforest has been taken down, due to the poor quality of the soil (Text, 231). In contrast, the textbook betrays no reason to believe that the forest quality will decrease, but gives no indication as to why this is certain (Text, 231). The extractive reserves are likely sustainable, but there is no data provided in order to guarantee it.
The success of the Wilderness Act can be seen by how the wilderness areas have regrown after the act was approved. Prior to 1964, many of the assigned wilderness areas had been clear-cut, but these areas have now regrown, and look gorgeous (Kolbert, 2014). At the same time, however, these environments are warping due to change in climate, meaning that they may still be affected by human influence (Kolbert, 2014).
Conservation success can be counted by counting the population of an indicator species over time. If the population of the indicator species falls, the reserve must not be sustainable. Conservation success can also be measured through the total extraction of resources, in the case of extractive reserves. If the number of resources extracted decreases, the reserve must not be sustainable.
- Assies, W. (1997). Going nuts for the rainforest: Non-timber forest products, forest conservation and sustainability in Amazonia. Lafayette, IN: Purdue University Press.
- Kolbert, E. (2014, September). 50 years of wilderness. National Geographic. Retrieved from http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2014/09/wilderness-act/kolbert-text
- Wright, R. T. (2004). Environmental science (9th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.