Conservation and Land Tenure
THE PRINCIPLE OF conservation is as ancient as life itself. Mother Nature has the ability to provide abundant supplies of plants and animals. If left to her own devices, the perpetuation of both is confidently assured. Trees, grasses, fish, and wild game are generously endowed with regenerative powers to perpetuate their kind. It is only with the advent of man that nature's balance has been tipped askew. Conservation practices and tenure status are closely bound together. This chapter explores the nature of this relationship and reviews the problems which have arisen and the policies which have been adopted in an effort to solve the problems.
Conservation has been variously defined, but all definitions incorporate one or more of the following concepts: (1) orderly and efficient resource use, (2) the elimination of waste, and (3) the maximization of social net returns.
Raleigh Barlowe suggests the following simple definition. Conservation is the " wise use of resources over time—or the when of resource use." 1
E. W. Zimmermann in his definition emphasizes the buildup of future stocks. He states, " Conservation is a reduction in the rate of disappearance or consumption and a corresponding increase in the unused surplus at the end of a given period." 2 E. 0. Heady and 0. J. Scoville suggest that conservation is not intended to increase future supplies, but as a farm practice it is the " prevention of diminu____________________