What is a Conservancy About, Anyway?

· Working with Clients,Learn by Doing,UX Strategy

It’s important to humans to keep the right balance in an ecosystem. If invasive species, or invasive ideas, were to take over, there could be uncool repercussions.

There are strong feelings about how we should all behave relative to the land. I’m still trying to get my head around what a nature conservancy is and why it exists. What is the driver for engagement? Who engages? How? Business model? I’ll be digging into it over the next month with a land trust to develop member engagement strategies.

Cowboy Ranger, Billy, has been orienting the team to the land. He’s both sciencey and mountain man. I find that I want to tag him as either liberal or conservative. Not sure that dichotomy is going to work here. There are pronounced us and them dynamics. Feels like old guard v. gentrifier. In this case gentrification as happens in a city is not happening. People aren’t getting displaced due to property values skyrocketing. What feels similar to gentrification is that a new mindset about the right way to use the space is introduced by new folks. The folks who were here are guarded.

Billy gets animated as he talks about maneuvering cattle to eat exactly the grasses he wants trimmed. The Conservancy uses grazing as an ecological check / balance mechanism to promote biodiversity. They steward cattle owners’ land so that the animals get to eat the grass and the land gets to be maintained with the proper nibbling-and-trampling rate. This promotes the right grass growth at the right time. To Billy, this is preferable to mowing or chemicals.

What are the right balance, the right decision trees, and the right trees? Who are the deciders? This is a hotspot of activation. If invasive species were to take over, there could be uncool repercussions.

How do we experience the introduction of new species? Are feelings part of an ecosystem? How come sometimes alliance and sometimes strife? Are some conditions better for cooperation? Does everyone agree on the species we should support?

What is the point of a nature conservancy? Is it in service of Earth’s goals? Is it because we are enchanted by biodiversity? Does biodiversity predict profit? Social dominance? Longevity? Gratification now? Get us to Heaven?

More will be revealed.