Monday, August 28, 2006

Small Farms and Hunting, Pt 2

Following what I wrote a short while ago about the need to preserve small farms and the role that hunting can play in that effort, I see in the September 06 American Hunter an article that helps make my point: Will the Average American Hunter be Fenced Out?

At the rate we're going, it looks like YES.

The author makes the point that as land values rise, small holdings are bought up by developers or rich urbanites, neither one of whom is hunter-friendly. A self-compounding problem is created: green space is destroyed, game loses habitat, hunting is further marginalized. The rich are free to hunt their larger holdings, if they choose, but many do not. Game loses again because there is no hunting.

I wonder how we stop it.

I want to raise my son in that traditional lifestyle but we don't own land. The Va Dept of Game and Inland Fisheries has provided some good public hunting lands nearby, but those don't fill the demand fully. What I want is a small place to hunt close by, where we form a friendship and a partnership with a landowner, where we are welcomed as stewards of the land and the game, and where he and I both take an active role in preserving natural land and older ways in an increasingly urban setting.

3 Comments:

Blogger Countertop said...

whenever we finally get together, we should discuss this. Its an issue I raised last week at a Farm Bill meeting and while not precisely on point with what I should be spending my time on (ie: not what they pay me to do) is nonetheless one of the areas I am going to try to raise during the farm bill debate in the coming year.

11:52 PM  
Blogger phil said...

"The author makes the point that as land values rise, small holdings are bought up by developers or rich urbanites, neither one of whom is hunter-friendly. A self-compounding problem is created: green space is destroyed, game loses habitat, hunting is further marginalized."

This may be true in areas surrounding massive population centers like the DC area (where I am from) which see a lot of population growth. There are places where I grew up in Gaithersburg and Rockville that once were farms and now are developed, and that was just 20 years ago. But America is a big place with a lot of open space. Think about it, all these people moving to the DC area are coming from somewhere, they are leaving behind a lot of population-depleted rural areas. I live in a very rural county in PA about 2 hours from the DC area and we've got a lot of farmland and forest here. Businesses close down here when deer season begins, it's a local holiday. A few years ago I drove across the country and I remember passing a sign on I-70 in Utah that said "No Services Next 100 Miles". It's true that some areas are being saturated with people, but there is far more land empty of human presence.

8:19 PM  
Blogger vmijpp said...

Phil:

Roger your last on plenty of open space in the rest of America, but I'm concerned with preserving some open space here in Northern Virginia, land that isn't tied up as parks but is part of productive daily life.

vmijpp

8:42 AM  

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