Thursday, April 22 2010 @ 02:17 PM EDT
Contributed by: richardpitt
Every day around Hancock Wildlife Foundation is Earth Day. Our whole reason for existing is to learn from, follow and carry on the work of our founder, David Hancock, and his ideas and ideals surrounding conservation and our planet's wildlife.
I first saw a lecture from David back when I was in high school here in Vancouver. It started with one of his films and continued with him on stage with his pet cougar. As a "boy from the city" I saw some of the beauty of our planet and was introduced to the concepts of conservation - even back then.
I again met David and did some work for him and his publishing business over 20 years ago, and have grown to know him and his passion for conservation. We've had many talks about his work with re-introduction of birds to areas where they were exterminated; grouse, ptarmigan, falcons and more recently sandhill cranes. I've browsed through his library in the top floor of the book warehouse and dug into some of the history there, finding all manner of things such as old films and posters, mementos of his talks and work.
By 2006, when we unleashed the Hornby and Sidney nest cameras on the world via the internet, the planet had gotten more crowded and a lot of the species that inhabit it along with we humans had suffered hugely from pollution, human predation; hunting, overfishing, poor harvesting practices, ignorant and even criminal lack of oversight by governments, etc. What we as a species have done to the planet during out short history is all but overwhelming - but I see a change happening and it makes me realize that, while David has been working at conservation for over 50 years, the rest of us are finally getting somewhere - hopefully not too late.