The Personal Side of Natural Resource Issues Randy R. Weigel, Ph.D. Professor & Extension Specialist Department of Family & Consumer Sciences University of Wyoming “Geo-conflicts” Conflicts over the natural resources and geography of the West. “The struggle to secure ample high-quality water has fostered mistrust, misunderstanding and has created disharmony. Water conflicts have driven wedges between: neighbors, states, nations, cultures.” Ingram, H. (1998). Place humanists at the head gates Reopening the American West “I told the Elko County commissioners, ‘The days are gone when you’ll come in here and pound on the district ranger’s table and he’ll piss in his pants and you’ll get your way.’” Jim Nelson, supervisor Toiyabe & Humboldt National Forests, Nevada “We are outraged and demand accountability of the actions taken by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service surrounding the incident,” (FWS worker with wolves on private property) Park County Commissioners Park County (Cody), Wyoming Life at the Edge “The lives of urban and rural dwellers are becoming increasingly intertwined, and often tangled. This entanglement can be found at the urban wildland interface.” Huntsinger & Hopkins (1996). Viewpoint: Sustaining rangeland landscapes: A social and ecological process. Journal of Range Management “Kent Knudson picked up a rifle and opened fire, defending his 40 acres in Arizona, and got handcuffed and hauled to jail.” High Country News March 1, 2004 vol. 36, no. 4 Ranch Preservationism A term that describes an attitude that being a rancher leads to a higher well-being than other methods of making a living. “What’s it going to take – me sitting on my front porch shooting the next son of a bitch that tells me when I can and can’t move my cows?” New Mexico Rancher High Country News retrieved, 2/4/2004 from: http://www.hcn.org/ Ethno-ecology of Ranchland Ethno-ecology is a field of Anthropology that refers to the study of how people interact with all aspects of the natural environment including plants and wildlife, land forms, vegetation and soils (among other things). Source: PowderRiverBasin.org Three concepts of the human-land relationship human as generator of impact human as receiver of “information” human as participant in the landscape Zube, E. H. (1987) Perceived land use patterns and landscape values Landscape Ecology, vol. 1, no. 1 Photo: PowderRiverBasin.org * We have a world-class supply of gas in the Powder River Basin Billings Gazette 01/07/04 * …The methane play is about short-term profits, not longterm security. A deal gets done, and soon you no longer recognize the country you live in. New York Times ed. 12/01/03 * Some ranchers are trying to keep track of new roads, water discharge, pipelines…and other items associated with coalbed methane on their land. They also worry about what the land will look like once the coalbed methane drive is over. Billings Gazette 01/08/04 Photo: PowderRiverBasin.org Loss of “Country-Dominance” Superiority of rural life… Country life is more productive, more cherished, more respected, more powerful than city life. Urban Viewpoint Increasingly, urban people ask why they should bail out farmers suffering misfortune when other businesses in the same situation are not. After all, farmers choose a rural life and participation in an industry subject to the whims of nature. ABC Western Queensland, AU 19 November 2002 Sense of loss is manifested in: * Disenfranchised grief * Ambiguous loss “You see farmers along the countryside standing in piles of their livelihood, in piles of dead animals and the stress is just immense.” David Hambley, a farmer from South Wales ABC News.com (March 19, 2001) Dynamics of Change: Transition Curve External event denial commitment Past state Future state resistance exploration Internal/self Characteristics of Change: Pressure for Status Quo Impatience Conflict Forward & Backward Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes Wm. Bridges • Ending Fall Winter • Neutral Zone • Beginning Spring Strengths of Survivors Perseverance Recovering from Natural Disasters B-1103 Men and Depression B-1104 Agriculture and Skin Cancer: What You Should Know B-1105 Lenders and Angry Customers B-1113 Surviving Tragedy B-1117 Men Seeking Help B-1134 http://www.uwyo.edu/ces/LIFE/Personal_Nature_Main. html Agricultural Producers and Stress Series The Importance of a Healthy Attitude When Do You Need a Counselor? Eating and Activity for Health and Pleasure Identifying Stress on the Ranch and Farm Learning to Relax Finding Your Team of Experts http://www.uwyo.edu/ces/LIFE/Personal_Nature_Main. html Anyone can give up… But only the strong will continue to battle!