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Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 33-40

Privileging Consumptive Use: A Critique of Ideology, Power, and Discourse in the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation

1 State University of New York - Environmental Science and Forestry, New York, USA
2 Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources, Texas, USA

Correspondence Address:
Israel D Parker
Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources, Texas
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-4923.201395

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The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation (NAMWC) defines the unique style of conservation in the North American continent which is comprised of equal and ethical public access to natural resources that are ostensibly held in trust for them by the state. Since the NAMWC was first articulated as a concept, many wildlife specialists and curriculum developers in North America have adopted the seven tenets of the model as a representation of conservation history and an important component of future management strategies. In an ideological critique of the model, we argue that its narrow stakeholder focus and ideological representation limits both a broader spectrum of citizen involvement in wildlife management decisions and the future applicability of the model due to changing values toward nature. We draw on discourse and hegemony theory to critique written descriptions of the tenets from Geist et al. (2001) and other academic and popular literature addressing the model. We found that the NAMWC focuses its rhetoric on hunters and wildlife management practitioners, but excludes or marginalises non-consumptive users, policy-makers and other conservation practitioners. We argue for a broadening of the philosophical model to accommodate a variety of ideologies and diffuse powerful interests that have built up around the model.

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