Academic journal article Forum for Applied Research and Public Policy

Hand Me Down

Academic journal article Forum for Applied Research and Public Policy

Hand Me Down

Article excerpt

Maureen Kuwano Hinkle's article "In Our Hands" (FORUM, Fall 1999) is of seminal importance. This is not surprising since Hinkle led many of the efforts to restore and protect the nation's prairies and wetlands, which have suffered from destruction, conversion to farmland, and flawed agricultural policies.

Hinkle, in her capacity as Director of Agricultural Policy for the National Audubon Society, was the chief architect of the conservation components of virtually all legislation affecting agricultural policy over most of the past two decades. She often prevailed against overwhelming odds, as her efforts were opposed by special interest groups representing real estate developers, oil and gas interests, agribusiness, property rights groups and others with financial stakes in resisting, relaxing, or eroding legislation that would conserve and restore our prairies and wetlands.

Hinkle is also right on target as she highlights "the very real problem of contamination" of wetlands by pesticides:

The common perception about pesticides has been that the persistent chemicals used in the 1960s and 70s were banned and, therefore, the problem would diminish in time. This conventional assumption was unfounded.

As usual, Hinkle was way ahead of the curve; it is only recently that conservation organizations such as the American Bird Conservancy and the National Audubon Society have begun to put pesticides and their adverse effects on birds and other wildlife high on their agenda. …

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