Saturday, May 28, 2011

Urban Wildlife Conference and the Leslie Street Spit

I spent most of this week at the International Urban Wildlife Management and Planning Conference here in Austin. http://urbanwildlife2011.tpwd.state.tx.us/

I gave a presentation on Marginal Nature which was put in the "nontraditional habitats" group along with golf courses and airports. The traditional habitats were green space, open space [vague terrain, no?], parks, preserves, greenways, etc.. Management talks focused on fostering traditional habitats to welcome nonhumans into the city and talks focused on managing the nonhumans when they misbehave. All talks focused on human control, design, and making "nature" satisfy our needs in the city. Disappointing over all.

One other presentation addressed marginal nature and wastelands. It was by Jenny Foster from York University in Toronto. She talked about the Leslie Street Spit, the peninsula of land jutting out into the lake from downtown Toronto created through dumping construction waste. Now colonized by nonhumans [it is an IBA] and defended by human nature lovers http://www.friendsofthespit.ca/ . The responses to the Spit are similar to some of the responses I see here at Hornsby Bend http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/water/cer2.htm but the mobilization of the Friends group is more institutionalized and formal.

Besides this Canadian, there were some Europeans attending who were also puzzled by the traditional/nontraditional division of the talks. More on that soon.

1 comment:

David Greene said...

I look forward to your interpretations of the Albany bulb:

http://www.albanybulb.com/

http://www.faroutflora.com/2011/03/11/the-albany-bulb/

http://baynature.org/articles/jul-sep-2002/claiming-the-rubble/