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TheDallyNews,Monday,31,1989OloseeDovis;sagroduotestudentotStephenF.AlJ5tinS'oteUnivefSityinNocogcJoches,Texos.PractiCesrtlatfIJtomanagementthatreoftentakeforgrantedhaveattuallycomeintoexistenceeweraperiodormanyIundredsofyears.Earlyon\\1JdIiremanagementpractices.or""hatmaybeanotictablelackofmanagementpractices.seemedto.havehadtheirbasisinthep(l:IOSClphicaJviews01thelocalpop.tlations.In1776.weagret'dthatgovernmentswereimtilutedamongmentosecurecertaininalienablerightsforallmen.thatamongthesewerelife,liberty,andthepursuitofhappiness.Butbyourstandardstoday,earlyAmerieawasaneconomicallydepressedarea,andfreedomislimitedwhenpeoplemustspendmostoftheirWGRingmomentsthenecessitiesoflire.Soitbecamepatriotic,consistentwiththenationalgoal,todeveloptheland.besuccessfulinbusiness.raiselargefamiJfes.andpopulatetllecounlry.Atfirstthegoalandmoralityofthecountrywasfreedom.andthedevelopmentofthelandwasameanstoaccomplishthatgoal.Butastimewent..onthemeansbecameasimportantasthegoal.EconomicgrO\\1hbecamethedrivingforceinAmericaasintheVirginIslandstoday.Thisofeoursegreatlyinfiuencedtheuseorabuseorallournaturalresources.Guesteditorial.RecordsofearlytJersinAmericameasuredthewild6feintermsas"inmdiblenumbers."WeeanbereasonablysurethatthoseearlyAmericansprobably,grtatIyovert$limatedthetruepictureintheeasternpartofthe.country.AndofCIOUI'Se.theyhadnowayofknowingaboutthe\astherdsofbuffalointheplaiDS.Theearlysetl1schosetolivealongthecoast,alMfoneofthereasonsforthiswasbecausethiswasthemajorhabitatofmostwildlifespecies.Asyoumightguess.itdidnoltakelongforbunlingpressuretocausearapiddepletionintheearlygamep0pulationsalongthecoast.IntheVirginIslandsofCOUTSt.coastalareasarenotbeinghuntingforv.ildJife.butrapiddevelopmentsthataredestroying\\ildlifehabitats.By1639.ondeerhuntinginAmerieawasimposedby.thetowncharterofewport.RhodeIsland.In1698twocolonies.ConnecticutandSassachuseusimposedlimitsondeerhunting.BythattimeIm'ever,thedeerherdswerealmOSlgone.SosomeregulatorygroupswerefinallyestablishedinAmerica.InlMi.theev.-yortSportingClub\\'a$formed.AfetAyearslaterthelewYorkStateGameProtecti\'eSocietywasestablished.In1865,Massachusettsformedthelirststaleadministeredgameandfashcommission.Eventually,other.statesin(beeountryestablishedlawstoregulatetheuseofVoildlife.Aslongashuntingwasdonemainlyforsubsistencetheftwerefewproblemsrelated tGthedestrudiQDofwiJdlifebybters.ItwasnotuntiloverseasmarietsopenedupthatIndians.companytrappers,andfreetrap:persfoundt&atwouldpaybettypricesforbeaverpelts.Supplyingfursforfell'hatsandfeathersfotladiesbatssoontookatoU00specificwildlifespeciesinAlMrica.Thus,passengerpigeonscouldbeeasilykilleddW'fngseason,andthisshortsightednessledtotheexline.tiOrtofthemin1914.ThevastherdofbuffalofeUandby1890,only500,000deerremainedinortbAmerica.IncontraslcoastalareasintheVirginIslandsarebeingdevelopedatanescalatedrate.especiallyonSt.Ctoix.Hew.'wiUittakethepeopleoftheVirginlslandstoseetheoverdevelopmentofourc:oastalareas.WeallagreethatsudIpracticeson\"JiJd)ifeinAmericawereshortsighted,andthis.ishysomespeciesofwildlifebecameextinct.Regardlessolhowmuchthiogschangeinthenameof'progress.somethiogswillalwaysremainthesame.Isthistruetoday?Inthe1900's.theLaceyActmadetheklterstatetransportationoigametakenagainstslaleta",..acrime.In1903,thefirslBirdSanctuary00PeIicofsIaftdwasestablisbed.In191t.theftntscalepradkepabIiegame.OIlpublk0IIledlandsbepniDthe6ona1Forest.Itwaspresideftl'Ibeodarc'Roosevelt'sphilosopbal.wbenhesaidthataUresourcesshouldbetreated..one.ThatconservaliGatbroIfCb-wiseuseisapublicresponsibilityandownersIipisIpublictr(ast.HealsosaidgameaDdr.ei1'managementisaquestion01bQy.'tobestmanageCIJfmourteI"ithoute\,ctingourseIYfS.OtherIaVo'SwereestabUsbedsochasactstocontrolsoilerosSen.toestablishawildlifesocietylidtoprotectendangeredspeciesaDdfIShandwildlife.WeintileVirginIslandsarf.makingthesamemistakethatearlyAmericansmade.Thislime,itisDOttMnilll,butdevelopersandlegislators'WhoarenotooncemedtheeorironmentalimpactWhoknows.1)'1heyear2000most'oraUbtacbfrontsintheIrginIslaomorcoastalareascculdbedeveloped.TheonlyaythaipeoplecitheVirginIslandscanprotectpreciousnaturalresoun-esisbyprotectingtilefuturerorfuturegenerations.


Olasee Davis articles
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Full Text
The Daly News, Monday, August 31, 1989


American shortsightedness


can teach us a few lessons


Olosee Davis is a graduate
student at Stephen F. Austin
Staoe University in
Nocogdoches. Texas.

Pactides relate to wildlife
management that we often take
for granted have actually come in-
to existence oer a period many
hundrdsof years
Early on Ddlife management
practices, or what may be a
noticeable lack of management
practices, seemed to have had
their basis in the philosophical
views of the local populations. In
1776. we agreed that governments
were instituted among men to
secure certain inalienable rights
for all men. that among these
were life liberty, and the pursuit
ohappinemss.
But by our standards today, ear-
ly America was an economically
depressed area. and freedom is
limited when people must spend
most of their working moments
procuring the necessities of life.
So it became patriotic, consistent
with the national goal, to develop
the land be successful in business
raise large families, and populate
thecountry.
At first the goal and morality of
the country was freedom, and the
development of the land was a
means to accomplish that goal.
But as time went on the means
became as important as the goal.
Economic gowth became the
driving force in America as in the
Virgin Islands today. This of
course greatly influenced the use
or abuse of all our natural re-
sources


n Guest
editorial



OlaseeDavis

Records of early tlers in
Ameria measured the wildlife in
terms as "incredible numes."
We can be reasonably sure that
those early Americans probably
greatly overestimated the true
pictlpt tu e tern part d he
country. And d come, they had
no way of knowing about the vast
herdsolbuffalointleplaiLs.
The early settlers hose to live
along the coast, and one of the
reasons for this was because this
was the major habitat of most
wildlife species. As you might
guess it did not take long for hun-
ing pressure to cause a rapid
depletion i he early game popu-
lations along the coast. In the
Virgin Islands of course, coastal
areas are not being bunin for
wildlife, but rapid developments
that are destroying wildlife
habitats.
By 1639. regulations on deer
hunting in America was imposed
by the town charter of Newport
Rhode Island. In 1896 two colonies.
Connecticut and Massachusetts
imposed limits on deer hunting.
By that tim however, the deer
berdswerealmostgone.
So some regulatory group were
finally established in America. In
184. the New York Sporting Club
was formed. A few years later the


New York State Game Protective
Society was established. In 1665
Massachusets formed the first
state administered game and fish
commission. Eventually, other.
states in the country taished
laws to regulate e use of
wildlife.
As long as hunting was done
mainly for subsistence the were
few problems related to the
destruction of wildfebylhunters.
t was not uil overseas
markets opened up that Indians.
company trpper, and free trap
pers found t Europeas would
pay efty prices for beaver pelts
Supplying furs for felt hats aad
feathers for ladies hats soon took a
great. tol on specific wildlife
species in America. Thu passen-
rpigeons could be easily killed
during inesig sason and this
shotigtdess led to the extne
tion of them n 1914. The vast herd
of buffalo fell and by 180, only
S0,000 deer remained in North
America.
In contrast coastal area in the
Virgin Islands are being devel-
oped at an escalated rate, espe
cially o S. Ctoix. How long wil it
take the people of the Virgin Is-
lands to see the over development
ofourcoastalareas.
We an agree that such practices
on wildlife in America were short-
sighd, and thi is why some
species of wildlife beca extinct
Regardless of how much things
change in the name of press
some things will always remain
thesame.
Isthistruetoday?
In the 190s. the Lacey Act
made the interstate transportation
of game taken against state law a

federal crime. In 1903. the first


Bird Sanctuary on Peica Isla
was established. ln191P e fo t
large scale practice of pahl
game management o public
ed lands began he lNaSOll
Forest.
It was presn Tedo
Roosevet's philosophal vie
when be said that all theoutWdo
resources should be treated a
one. That consevaiom thrlb
wise ume is a pubac respnsiblity
and privte ownership is a pubia
tr*. He also said game and Mi
ery management is a qOstin of
iow to best manage or resources
withoutevktigousd es.
Other laws were established
sch as acts tocontrol soil ero
to establish a wildlife society, ad
to protect endangered species ad
ishandwildlife.
We in the Virgin Islands are
-making the same mistake that
earlyAmericans made.
This time, it is net kitingn but
developers ad legistors who e
not concerned about the maI
ronmentalimpact
Who know by the ear S0
most or all beach fronts in the
Virgin Islands or coastal areas
could be developed. The ony way
that people of the Virgn Islands
an prect precious natural re
sources is by protecting he future
forfuturegenerations.