Terry Anderson: In Praise of ‘Enviropreneurs’

Texas ranchers are saving exotic wildlife. Anti-hunting groups want to put them out of business.

Terry Anderson writes in the Wall Street Journal:

Entrepreneurs are my heroes because of their optimism. Instead of seeing problems, they see opportunities. And “enviropreneurs” can give us cause to celebrate the future of our planet by finding ways to ameliorate or solve environmental problems.

But we’ll have to beware of environmental Luddites who can thwart even the best of positive steps. Like their 19th-century counterparts who opposed industrialization by destroying machines, they see solutions as problems.

Consider the recent story on CBS’s “60 Minutes” showing the proliferation of exotic and, in some cases, endangered African wildlife on Texas ranches. These ranches have switched from raising cattle to raising wildlife. As a result, Texas now has more than a quarter million exotic animals, mostly from Africa and Asia, of which three—the scimitar-horned oryx, the addax, and the Dama gazelle—have been brought back from the brink of extinction.

Some ranchers made the switch because they liked having exotic wildlife on their property, but if wildlife ranching was to be sustainable, ranchers had to find a way to make it pay. And it is paying because hunters are willing to fork over as much as $50,000 for a hunt. Moreover, these forays are not at all like “shooting fish in a barrel.” The bush is thick and the ranches large enough so that not every hunter goes home with a trophy…

Read the entire commentary.

2 thoughts on “Terry Anderson: In Praise of ‘Enviropreneurs’”

  1. This type of thinking needs to permeate the federal land /natural resource agencies. The devolution of responsibility for each state to manage all of its lands within its borders, including wildlife and other natural resources, would spawn a multitude of enviropreneur approaches that could bring decisionmaking to a more local level, provide employment opportunities, and, I believe, great tangible and intangible benefits. The formula we have been using for at least the last forty years has not worked. Let’s forge ahead and try some ‘out of the box’ ideas.

  2. “Some ranchers made the switch because they liked having exotic wildlife on their property.”

    I don’t believe this. I believe it was a business decision involving sport hunting
    from the gitgo. Which doesn’t make it bad. It just makes it look like Mr. Anderson
    is dusting the story with sugar.

    The antagonist shown on 60 Minutes seemed demonic. She has the NatGeo
    syndrome, that she’d rather see a species extinct than some human enjoy
    hunting them. One is left bewildered wondering how their minds work.

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