I’ve been humbled to learn that conservative Republicans throughout the country are not only among the leaders in the recovery of rare standard breeds of domesticated turkeys, but are also essential to the recovery of wild turkey populations and the restoration of their habitats. It tells me two things.
First, that some conservationists dismiss the efforts of those interested in conserving domesticated seeds and breeds because they claim there is no carryover in concern for wild species, which is a false assumption.
Second, that the contributions of hunters and farmers and ranchers to the history of American conservation often go unnoticed in books by liberal Democratic scholars, because they can’t imagine that the Republican conservatives who are opposed to more environmental regulations even care about wild biodiversity. They do, but they tend to prefer bottom-up voluntary actions over top-down policies and regulations.
In short, rural conservatives are indeed effective conservationists, but others have not given them the recognition they deserve.
–Gary Paul Nabhan