Here’s a post/photo that we published on our Facebook page, and I thought I’d replicate it here:
Scientists are warning us that we are causing the Earth’s 6th mass extinction event. A 2017 report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences describes a “biological annihilation,” amounting to a “frightening assault on the foundations of human civilization”.
Pope Francis likewise cautions us in Laudato si’ (2015) that “Each year sees the disappearance of thousands of plant and animal species which we will never know, which our children will never see, because they have been lost for ever. The great majority become extinct for reasons related to human activity. Because of us, thousands of species will no longer give glory to God by their very existence, nor convey their message to us. We have no such right.” (para. 33)
This is a pivotal time for us as a species. The urgent task before us as stewards is to make it through the 21st century with as much biodiversity as we can. The genetic diversity of our biosphere (biodiversity) is the source of our earthly sustenance.
This means more than just saving a few large and distant national parks. There is now increasing evidence that smaller plots of forests, remnant prairies, and small lakes and ponds are much more important to biodiversity than previously thought by Western scientists.
We need to build a culture of education and stewardship to empower small landowners throughout the rural Midwest.
Pictured is a two-acre oak woodland adjacent our alfalfa and crop fields. As a part of our management, we recently conducted a prescribed burn in this woods to encourage the growth of native oaks, hickories, and wildflowers. This also increases this ability of this small woodland community to withstand the hot, dry, and fire-prone conditions that climate change is bringing to Indiana.
What are some ways that we can encourage and support land stewardship by small landowners throughout the Midwest?
For further reading, see:
Opinion: Why we should save the last tiny scraps of nature