Spawning for Dollars
Alexander, Bryan.Keepers of the Game.International Wildlife, SeptemberOctober.Butterfly Conservation 1994 Annual Review.British Butterfly Conservation Society Ltd.Drug Company Looks to Witch Doctors to Conjure Products.Wildlife Ranching in South Africa.Sea Frontiers, NovemberDecember.Healing Forest Conservancy.Healing Forest Conservancy.Iceland’s Harvest of Plenty.International Wildlife, MayJune.Butterfly Reserves Report.In Butterfly Conservation 1994 Annual Review.British Butterfly Conservation Society Ltd.Hunting for Solutions.Conservation That Pays Its Way.Africa Sells Wildlife in Name of Conservation.Introducing Butterfly Conservation.British Butterfly Conservation Society Ltd.Field & Stream, March.Grouse for Better or Worse.The Shaman and the Scientist.San Francisco Focus, August.Greenland Salmon Fishery Ends.Andrews, New Brunswick, Canada.These entrepreneurs set their sights on raising revenues from the sale of paddlefish caviar for community projects.Spurred by entrepreneurial profits, community spirit for amenities is occurring elsewhere.If rural communities can manage and profit from wildlife on their communal lands, they will have a vested interest in sustaining wildlife populations.Trophy Elk, Tribal ProfitsNight is falling.A pickup truck hauls hunters and guide toward the base camp.A full day of hiking has left the hunters tired but happy.The guide confirms everyone’s hopes the next morning when he announces that the latest bull has scored a whopping 404 points.Indeed, no one would blame them for a little boasting.Given today’s crowded hunting conditions, it is hard to imagine that such an experience actually took place in the United States.At 1.6 million acres, this area is as vast as it is wild.The habitat is diverse, from oak chaparral at lower elevations to mixed conifer forests up higher.Most important, it contains what is arguably the highest quality elk herd in North America.Results over the last twenty years suggest the quality of elk hunting on the reservation.As of 1996, the nontypical high scoring bull ranks second worldwide.Since 1980, nontribal hunters have enjoyed a 90 to 95 percent success rate on guided trophy elk hunts.1 Elk hunting on the reservation has not always been this good.At that time, the Arizona Game and Fish Department managed elk hunting on the reservation, and like most state game agencies, this one emphasized maximizing the number of hunter days rather than the quality of hunting.The numbers reflected the state’s approach.Each season, the state would issue 700 nontribal hunting licenses at $150 each.Entrepreneurship by the White Mountain Apache Tribe changed the quality of elk hunting dramatically.Under tribal management, the emphasis has been on greatly reducing hunting pressure on immature bulls so they will have a chance to grow to trophy size.2As with many entrepreneurial efforts, the tribe had to overcome a significant legal hurdle before it could fully realize its goal of managing for trophy elk.So in 1977, Phillip Stago, director of Fort Apache recreation programs, informed the state that the tribe was assuming complete control of hunting on the reservation.The state responded by removing state game wardens from the reservation during the 1977 hunting season.The tribe saw this as an infringement on what it believed was its jurisdiction over reservation fish and wildlife resources.In 1981, the court ruled in favor of the Mescalero Apache Tribe in New Mexico in a similar suit, thereby setting a precedent for all tribes.As a result, the White Mountain Apache now have clear legal jurisdiction over reservation fish and wildlife and activities related to them.3While the lawsuit was pending, the tribe began to work on its trophy elk program.With that one move, the tribe had dramatically reduced elk hunting pressure.4 The $12,000 price tag is obviously high, but as tribal leaders correctly perceived, a growing number of hunters are willing to pay a premium to enjoy the elk hunting experience available on Fort Apache.To protect its investment in trophy elk, the tribe made concessions in the operation of its other enterprises on the reservation.For example, tribal attorney Robert Brauchli points out that livestock grazing has been drastically reduced to provide more forage for elk.Even the tribe’s lucrative timber program has changed.Tribal biologists review every timber sale to minimize impact on elk.As a general rule, notes Joseph Jojola, no logging is allowed in high country areas, riparian zones, and mountain meadows.In areas where logging is allowed, it is timed to avoid critical elk calving periods, and roads are closed after logging is finished to minimize disruption of elk habitat.The reservation also offers less expensive hunting opportunities.Hunters’ success rate is 80 percent.Other hunting opportunities include a $150 permit to hunt bear, a $75 permit to hunt javelina, and a $75 permit to hunt wild turkey.For $50 per season or $5 per day hunters can hunt quail, tree squirrels, and cottontail rabbits.In addition to hunting, the Fort Apache Reservation offers many other recreational opportunities that the tribe regulates and charges for.The reservation also offers camping, boating, and river rafting.In the future the tribe hopes to initiate photographic safaris.In 1995, the tribe’s game and fish department reported that recreation generated nearly $2 million in revenues.Bevan Munyali, a village game scout, appointed by his community who live in this region of Namibia, helps light the fires.Together with the other men, they will spend the night in this farmer’s corn field, trying to protect their food crops from the elephants.Usually it is the lone bulls that come, as they have each night this week, trampling the crops and eating hundreds of pounds of corn as they pass through the area.He must balance the farmer’s concerns regarding the elephant with his own task, which is to help his community to conserve their natural resources and the wildlife in the area.Bevan and the farmer doze beside the glowing embers.But then the crack of dry branches wakes them, indicating that something big is moving in their direction.Two fully grown bull elephants crash into the field.The farmer shouts to wake the others, and in unison they start banging steel pots together.The elephants turn to face the noise, their sensitive ears flapping in aggravation.Three tons of muscle standing eighteen feet high at the shoulder, the bulls rush forward, sending the farmer and his family running for safety.Realizing the danger, Bevan fires two blasts from his shotgun into the air, in the hope that the elephants retreat.Instead, one of the bulls wheels around and heads straight towards him.Defenseless, Bevan retreats from the field.The elephants continue on their way, eating and trampling the ripe corn underfoot.No doubt, the farmer and his family will be short of food for the remainder of the year.She and her colleagues in the conservation movement in southern Africa realize that idyllic scenes of wild animals freely roaming vast savannahs are rapidly vanishing from the landscape because those animals too often compete with the humans struggling for survival on the same turf.Although southern African nations have set aside 18 percent of the land as national parks and wildlife preserves, human population pressure is reducing wildlife habitat and poaching is reducing wildlife herds.These people generally resent the fact that land is being set aside for animals rather than for people.Moreover, out of the parks and reserves come lions, leopards, elephants, and hippopotamuses that range onto communal lands where they destroy crops and livestock and occasionally people.Entrepreneurs who understand the problems of wildlife management in southern Africa are working with local communities and national governments to change the incentives faced by indigenous people on their communal lands.Between 60 and 80 percent of Africa’s people live in rural areas, and the overwhelming majority of them barely scrape by with subsistence farming and ranching.The lands they use are communally owned, and the soils are often poor for growing crops or forage for cattle.These same lands that are marginal for agriculture, however, can provide excellent wildlife habitat.The problem is that sustainable wildlife populations have not meant sustainable human populations.Of that amount, the community of Chikwarakwara received 87 percent of the total, because it was the top wildlife producer.Two other neighboring communities received much smaller amounts because of lower animal numbers.Free to determine how to use their proceeds, the people of Chikwarakwara decided to pay each of the 149 households in the community $80 as a wildlife dividend.

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