Conservation 101: Do you know the difference between conservation and preservation?


Do you know the difference between conservation and preservation?

Many people think conservation and preservation are the same thing when it comes to managing natural resources, but there are important differences between them:

  • Conservation means actively managing land for multiple, sustainable uses according to science.
  • Preservation is a hands-off approach—letting nature take its course, with no human input.

Both have a place in management, but conservation more often leads to healthy lands and waters, and the renewable natural resources used to shelter and feed our families.

Introduction to our new feature, Conservation 101

In May, a new item will debut in our monthly Frontline Dispatches: Conservation 101. There’s an example above. The title is a nod to the traditional American university course numbering system, where a “one-oh-one” class is a student’s introduction to a subject.

  • Many of our readers are scientists, researchers, educators or other conservation professionals. However, more and more are newcomers—city dwellers, students or people who are newly interested in understanding conservation.
  • Conservation 101 is a factual nugget for newcomers to the movement. What will help them understand conservation policies and practices? What will help them act with conservation in mind?
  • What aspects of conservation would you like to share with friends and family? What should they know about conservation? What would you like to know about conservation? We welcome suggestions from Conservation Frontlines readers for Conservation 101 topics.