Like the Stars. As New West meets Old West, conflict is the norm. It doesn’t have to be.

The 1990 classic “Dances with Wolves” features a scene in which the main character, Lieutenant John Dunbar, played by Kevin Costner, shares a campfire with Lakota Sioux medicine man Kicking Bird, played by Graham Greene. As the wind blows through a grove of cottonwood trees, the two ponder the impending wave of emigrants. READ MORE

The Future for Hunting

The best chance to secure social acceptance for hunting lies primarily in the transparent implementation of and compliance with scientifically grounded sustainability rules, secondly in the full recognition of the role of local rural people in wildlife management, and thirdly in the behavior of hunters in the field and how they present themselves to the public. These three tenets, important as they are individually and in combination, should be adaptable and sensitive to varying local cultural, political and social contexts, and integrate local knowledge and cultural practices.READ MORE

Cheetah on the hunt. Photo Credit: Conny Damm

Protecting Hunting from the Hunters

Remember the days when it seemed that everyone smoked, everywhere, all the time? In planes, in pubs, at the game, in restaurants, at the office – I mean everyone, doing it everywhere, morning noon and night. Then somewhere, sometime, someone got a bee in their bonnet about the practice and started protesting. Low key at first, then increasingly vociferously as the medical evidence mounted and despite the best PR and lobbying efforts of some of the biggest, most cash flush companies in the world, the ripple became a swell, which became a tsunami of negative opinion and voila, the anti-smoking lobby carried the day.READ MORE

Photo Credit: Conny Damm

Politicizing Conservation: The Zimbabwe Elephant Conundrum

When the United States imposed a unilateral moratorium on elephant trophy imports from Zimbabwe in 2014, conservationists were taken by surprise. The moratorium’s sudden announcement in the Federal Register, the daily digest of all proposals and rule makings emanating from the United States executive branch, made it clear the ban was being imposed without the benefit of consultation with either Zimbabwe’s conservation agencies or the US public, as required by law.  The timing of the decision, coming during a period of both strained relations between Washington and Harare, and heightened international concern over widespread elephant poaching, stained it with suspicion of political motivations. READ MORE

In the New Machine Age, hunting helps us accept mortality as truth

Does hunting make us human? In the New Machine Age, we are all cyborgs — hybrids of flesh and technology, glowing with artificial enlightenment. So perhaps the better question is this: Does hunting keep us human?

In this country, hunting is both admired and despised. Anachronistic, it is a protest against the civilizing process, a process that combines neurotic desires with economic excess. The goal of civilization? Utopia. Soon, the civilizing narrative affirms, technology will surmount the pathos of the human condition and overcome the horror that is reality. Already, every trivial experience — vacationing at Disneyworld, snorkeling in the Seychelles — gets documented and flung into cyberspace, to be admired by virtual friends who don’t realize that these ersatz novelties were scripted by someone else.READ MORE

Hollowing Out Sustainable Use From The Inside

After the self-professed anti-hunting Born Free Foundation (BFF) gained membership to IUCN, it now enters into partnership agreements to subvert multinational agreements which have sustainable use as part of their rationale.

The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals CMS and Born Free Foundation BFF signed a partnership agreement in May 2018. According to information on the CMS website, CMS and BFF cooperated already in the past outside formal partnership agreements.READ MORE