Land Use and Wildlife: The Fourth Perspective of a Bioregional Lifestyle

This post is the fourth in a series exploring ten principles of bioregional living and spotlighting a fellow Cascadian who embodies each principle.

Land use and wildlife In Cascadia

“Protecting and restoring biodiversity and creating new natural habitats through good land use and integration into the built environment.”

From One Living Planet

What is it?

The land is our home. It provides us with the materials we use to sustain life, and thrive as a species. On that note, the other wildlife species that call the land of Cascadia our home each have their own role in maintaining harmony within the ecosystem.

Land use involves the management and modification of natural environment or wilderness into built environment such as settlements and semi-natural habitats such as arable fields, pastures, and managed woods.

Wildlife conservation is the practice of protecting wild plant and animal species and their habitats. The goal of wildlife conservation is to ensure that nature will be around for future generations to enjoy and also to recognize the importance of wildlife and wilderness for humans and other species alike.

    Why is This Important for Bioregionalism?

  • It Saves The Planet:

As far as we can tell, Earth is the only suitable planet for human beings, so we best protect it.

Even in the PNW alone, environmentalists at the University of Washington are observing severe consequences of ocean acidification due to harmful human practices.

  • It Improves Lives:

The earth and wildlife provide us with the materials we utilize provide goods and services for sustainable business. It also gives us the air we breath, the water we drink, and the food we eat that comes from the land.

  • Protection of Species:

When species become endangered or extinct, the environment loses its precious balance, and a domino effect can take place, jeopardizing all aspects of the habitat.

  • Inspiration:

Working together towards the conservation of Cascadia inspires group cohesion, and a sense of community. Land use and wildlife conservation inspires people to come together.

 A group of young cascadian bird watchers
A group of young cascadian bird watchers

What does this look like? A Cascadian example from Hilary Richrod of the Small Wild Bird Clinic, Aberdeen, Washington, Cascadia

We had the chance to chat with Hilary Richrod, owner of the Small Bird Wildlife Clinic. For over 30 years Hilary has been a State & Federally licensed wild bird rehabilitator, caring for many species of birds. She works with mostly passerine species, which are perching birds. Although she has not done extensive work with raptors, she was excited to share that she does rescue owls as well. 

The Small Bird Wildlife Clinic is 100% non-profit, and is proud of this. Hilary said, “Unlike nearly every wildlife rehabilitation facility – everywhere — I did not seek or request donations for operation, I was self-funded (in other words, I worked for a living like everyone else). This area is not too prosperous, plenty of people bringing me birds had to ask me for the gas money to get home again.”

Hilary and her organization are dedicated to preserving and protecting bird wildlife within the Cascadia bioregion. “Every bird had a chance here. Many rehab facilities turn away unfeathered birds, unprotected species (there are very few of those not covered by the International Migratory Bird Treaty), or simply things they don’t want to take the time to take care of. I am now the “grandmother” bird lady to a new rehabilitation facility here on Grays Harbor,” Hilary told us.

Hilary Richrod from Small Wild Bird Clinic of Aberdeen is an excellent example of what it can look like to protect wildlife in Cascadia.

 Male Townsend's Warbler from  Small Wild Bird Clinic
Male Townsend’s Warbler from Small Wild Bird Clinic

Stay tuned for the fifth principle of bioregional living: Sustainable Water by Mariah Edwards-Heflin.

Mariah is studying Communications at Seattle University. Her passion is helping others understand how to live a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. She also competes in bodybuilding and powerlifting. She also enjoys reading and meditation on rainy days, and hiking and gardening when the weather permits. Mariah looks forward to learning more about Cascadia and teaching others along the way.

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