Wednesday, March 20, 2013

SB 78

Above, you can see my favorite part of SB 78 which aims to amend PA 451, the "Natural resources and environmental protection act." It's really interesting that, beyond removing conservation of biological diversity as an acceptable criteria for the DNR to use in managing state parks, the authors of the bill want to do away with the finding that human activities are the cause of most losses of biodiversity. Michigan Radio's Environment Report had a good segment on the bill a few weeks back. In it they have this great quote from SNRE professor Brad Cardinale:

Brad Cardinale is a professor of conservation biology at the University of Michigan.

“That is an extremely well justified scientific principle that humans are the direct cause of modern biodiversity loss. By striking it, it leads me to believe that Casperson is perhaps not aware of the vast scientific evidence for that,” he says.

Cardinale says areas with more biodiversity offer all kinds of benefits for people and wildlife... and he says this bill doesn’t consider those.

“And all of the language is essentially arguing that we need to give people higher priority to have access to the land, to be able to extract resources from the land.”

Oh snap, Brad totally burnt Sen. Casperson (R-Escanaba). Brad and I are currently part of a team working on an awesome paper about biodiversity and ecosystem services within agricultural landscapes. Keep you're eyes peeled for it.

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