BEN # 41

Adolf Ceska aceska at CUE.BC.CA
Sun Sep 27 08:57:00 EST 1992

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No. 41                            September 27, 1992

Address: aceska at         Victoria, B.C.

From: Evelyn Hamilton <ehamilton at>

I went to a conference titled "Biodiversity in the Managed
Landscape: theory an practice" on July 13-17 1992 in Sacramento
California, and offer these conclusions and highlights.
The conference was sponsored by a number of agencies
including the US Forest Service. The proceedings will be
published as a book.

My address is

Evelyn Hamilton
British Columbia Ministry of Forests
1450 Government Street
Victoria, B.C. Canada V8W 3E7
Phone: (604) 387-3650
Fax:   (604) 387-0046
ehamilton at

and I am coordinating the B.C. Ministry of Forests biodiversity
research program. 

                      GENERAL CONCLUSIONS

 1. Rare  and  endangered  species  are  the focus of most of the
    ongoing research in the US. They anticipate  the  listing  of
    many  more  species.  There  is  an  effort to move from this
    species based approach, which is entrenched  in  legislation,
    to  more  of  a  "bioregional  approach"  which would involve
    habitat rather than species protection.

 2. In Canada we seem  to  have  more  opportunities  to  develop
    appropriate management regimes for conservation of our native
    biodiversity  than  is  the case in many other jurisdictions.
    Many other areas of the US have already experienced extensive
    losses to native ecosystems (e.g. native grasslands) and  are
    focussing on very costly restoration activities.

 3. There are some fundamental issues questions relating to moral
    values  and  philosophies  that  have  to be discussed before
    societies' goals for management can be determined.

 4. The need for fundamental social and institutional change  was
    raised repeatedly.

 5. There are relatively few studies of landscape dynamics under-
    way in adjacent areas. Most other landscape research projects
    are focused on characterizing spatial patterning and fragmen-
    tation  and looking at wildlife response to landscape pattern
    at different spatial scales.

                       I. OPENING ADDRESS

Developing an environmental vision
Douglas Wheeler, Secretary for Resources, State of California

California  anticipates  steady  population  growth  and  serious
pressure  on it's biodiversity. They are looking at moving from a
species approach to a bioregional  one  -  i.e.  conservation  of
different  ecosystems  and  therefore  habitats  in the different
bioregions. There is a need for greater  public  involvement  and

                       II. KEYNOTE ADDRESS

Importance of conserving biodiversity
Thomas Lovejoy, Smithsonian Institute, Wash. D.C.

There   are  utilitarian,  ethical,  aesthetic,  theological  and
philosophical reasons for conserving  biodiversity.  The  speaker
emphasized  the  value  of  biodiversity in maintaining ecosystem
functioning and as an indicator of ecosystem stress. He made  the
following points:

 1. Some  species  may  play a more important role in keeping the
    ecosystems functioning, but it may be difficult to  determine
    the  importance of a species a priori. An example is the rare
    aquatic yeasts that are tolerant  of  and  clean  up  mercury
    contaminated  water  returning  it to a condition where other
    organisms can survive.

 2. An important way that  biodiversity  will  be  contribute  to
    human  welfare  is  through  biotechnology. For example, heat
    resistant enzymes that were needed for biotechnology applica-
    tions were found in rare hot springs bacteria. There  can  be
    great  economic  returns  from this type of activity (e.g. 10
    billion dollars a year in the US).

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