Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Biodiversity

A flurry of research, writing, and planning to know and conserve the biological diversity or biodiversity of New Hampshire occurred in the late 1990s. This activity culminated in several publications about New Hampshire's Living Legacy: The Biodiversity of the Granite State.



My role included defining biodiversity and urging public and private landowners to care enough to conserve biologically diverse places.

Surprisingly, or not, the forestry community dismissed the concerns and perceived the efforts as a threat to their livelihood. I saw it as a way to diversify the values and uses of forested lands. You see, the forest industry was dying in northern New England -- lands long-owned by paper companies were sold to investors or broken into smaller parcels. Paper and wood products could be made more cheaply overseas. The forestry community saw biodiversity advocates as a threat, not as an ally in a changing world.

Biodiversity can be defined in words. At its most basic it is all living things. New Hampshire's Living Legacy: The Biodiversity of the Granite State -- the book -- explains it in much more detail. You can read the brochure version here. I thought a visual interpretation might reach more people, so we made the video. In 1998, this meant a videocassette. Technology has long since moved on and no one has a VCR anymore (except my Dad!). Just this week I received the link to New Hampshire's Living Legacy: The Biodiversity of the Granite State - the DVD. Thanks to University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension for making the conversion. You too can view it here.

In the age of YouTube, the video at 22 minutes or so, now seems slow and dated. You'll need a cup of tea and some down time to view it to the end. You can pause, but not advance, the video. If anyone watches it, I would appreciate feedback. The moose are my favorite characters in biodiversity, the movie.

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