The Kauffeld Conundrum

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VanAR
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Re: The Kauffeld Conundrum

Post by VanAR » September 14th, 2010, 3:22 pm

Touche', Daryl, touche'

chad ks
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Re: The Kauffeld Conundrum

Post by chad ks » September 14th, 2010, 3:50 pm

VanAR wrote:Touche', Daryl, touche'
:crazyeyes: :lol:

bobassetto
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Re: The Kauffeld Conundrum

Post by bobassetto » September 14th, 2010, 4:40 pm

YO....terry....carl kaufield was also quite a fan of the ladies..... :beer: .......as many of us.... ;)

Terry Vandeventer
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Re: The Kauffeld Conundrum

Post by Terry Vandeventer » September 14th, 2010, 5:03 pm

I know, Bob. He liked them somewhat, how would you say it politely....Rotund? ;)

Cheers,

TV

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reptilist
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Re: The Kauffeld Conundrum

Post by reptilist » September 14th, 2010, 5:16 pm

I guess it's just too damned bad Carl ain't around to be here with us in the cyber age! He'd be fun on a forum!

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Mike VanValen
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Re: The Kauffeld Conundrum

Post by Mike VanValen » September 14th, 2010, 6:39 pm

My only question is why do so many of you still insist on spelling the mans name as "Kaufield"? :lol:

I am one of those who should be ashamed for not yet reading his material.

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Daryl Eby
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Re: The Kauffeld Conundrum

Post by Daryl Eby » September 14th, 2010, 7:23 pm

Mike VanValen wrote:My only question is why do so many of you still insist on spelling the mans name as "Kaufield"? :lol:
He was a "field" herper, not a "ffeld" herper. Just modifying his name in honor of his accomplishments in the field.

bobassetto
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Re: The Kauffeld Conundrum

Post by bobassetto » September 15th, 2010, 4:42 am

yo.....terry....."HEALTHY".... is a better description.... :beer:

Paul White
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Re: The Kauffeld Conundrum

Post by Paul White » September 18th, 2010, 12:44 am

Hell, if we want actual conservationism, we have to get past the Lockean notions of property ownership that dictate you must "improve" and work property for it to be yours. We haven't seemed to really get there yet, but I guess we're working on it. Still, part of the political philosophy that underpins our countries foundation and early growth...we can't just turn that part of our history off.

As far as philosophical issues, I guess I'm an unabashed pragmatist; I figure out what I want, and then work on the best way to approach it. I try to take time to see if my goals are internally consistent, but I don't sit down and debate things in depth with myself. If I see an approach as utterly unworkable (see: the purely conservation oriented approach as mentioned by chad KS, also called the preservationist approach) then I abandon it simply because it won't work in practice. If you want to wall off the natural world (a term I hate) and divorce people from it, they won't feel the need to practice conservation (at least most). They'd not get the feeling you get when you go for a hike in winter and watch elk forage in snow, or feel the surge of energy you get when you find a herp (or bird or mammal) that you've been looking for in the wild. They'd have no investment in it.




On a more down to earth note: There are few ways to piss someone who lives and deals with wild animals daily than to preach preservationist ethics and condemn, wholesale, the use or control of animals. I grew up in the Rockies, right? I had bear, cougar, deer, elk in my yard. A kid was *eaten* at my high school by a cougar, (before my time, Scott Lancaster was his name). I got woke up at all hours by elk bugling during the rut...I had an elk eat the produce I was unloading from the van after a trip to the grocery store...I had 'coons and skunks get into the garage for stuff...
So guess what? I'm 100% fine, as was everyone I knew growing up, with killing some of these animals--for food, for safety, or simply because they're a giant PITA. Raccoons aren't endangered, and I'm not going to let some preservationist or AR freak yell at me for shooting one that kept getting into our garage and tearing stuff up. It's like hearing some one who has never lived outside of a city talk about how grateful I should be for the elk and deer...and I am, but damn, they're annoying when they're blocking my driveway for the 5th time that week, and they sure do taste good on a plate...but someone who hasn't lived with them probably won't know that.

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gbin
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Re: The Kauffeld Conundrum

Post by gbin » September 18th, 2010, 8:39 am

I'll say it again: I really don't like to see conservation equated with preservation. They actually mean different things, even with qualifiers such as "pure" added to the former, and using them as synonyms/near synonyms has a lot of potential for confusing folks about them. Some folks even decide that they're anti-conservation based on said confusion. It's like equating animal welfare and animal rights, which also really bugs me.

Otherwise I agree with pretty much everything you said, Paul - except that I grew up as an inner city kid, and continue to believe you had it better listening to elk bugling rather than to trains, car traffic, police sirens and even occasional gunfire (we lived in a particularly rough place and time when I was small) at all hours as I did. I'm one of those who learned to love wildlife and wild lands first as something imagined, and only later as something real.

Gerry

Paul White
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Re: The Kauffeld Conundrum

Post by Paul White » September 18th, 2010, 9:17 am

I've learned to screen out city sounds (barring gunfire, which I haven't heard much of here) better than I ever did the damn elk and foxes. I don't know what it was about them but jeez, they could wake me up from a dead sleep.
And again it's not the I don't like them--I miss them--but it's just that it isn't an ideal garden of eden.

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BChambers
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Re: The Kauffeld Conundrum

Post by BChambers » September 18th, 2010, 2:54 pm

Great post, Terry-pretty much sums up much of my own thoughts while wading through this multi-page morass. One observation of my own: Most of the strict preservationist types I've met have been "city kids" (you, of course, excepted, Gerry) who grew up with little or no actual contact with nature, beyond Disney films etc. One of the many negative effects of our now mostly urban populace.

To me, our increasing isolation from nature is just one aspect of the overall "dumbing down" of our culture-our children are taught less and less about biology, science in general, mathematics, natural philosophy etc. An ignorant populace is, apparently, an easily led-and misled-one.

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gbin
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Re: The Kauffeld Conundrum

Post by gbin » September 18th, 2010, 3:08 pm

BChambers wrote:... Most of the strict preservationist types I've met have been "city kids" (you, of course, excepted, Gerry) who grew up with little or no actual contact with nature, beyond Disney films etc. One of the many negative effects of our now mostly urban populace.
That's been my experience, too, and I also agree with you on its probable cause.

As with animal rights advocates, I love the preservationists' passion but lament their focus. Just think what good they could do with that same passion coupled with a more pragmatic worldview! :(

Gerry

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VanAR
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Re: The Kauffeld Conundrum

Post by VanAR » September 18th, 2010, 5:38 pm

I agree 100% with the urban (I might suggest suburban) vs. rural assessment. Most of the people, even academics, I know from suburban backgrounds tend to be generally less flexible and more idealistic in their worldviews, even beyond conservation/animal rights issues. I almost hate to support Frank's rants about books vs. experience, but there is definitely some truth to that assessment. Suburbanites generally lack experience in nature and with demographic groups different from their own. Most of them have never been out of the suburb, and many of their views on both nature and different demographies are highly theoretical/idealistic, and not in the least practical. Just last night a buddy of mine and I were discussing illegal immigration and he made mention of how he didn't believe in national borders- great in theory, but not likely to happen any time soon.

They're always very well-meaning, but generally just as naive. Makes them difficult to argue with because you can't necessarily disagree with their position, but they cannot understand why their position is impossibly idealistic.

Van

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gbin
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Re: The Kauffeld Conundrum

Post by gbin » September 18th, 2010, 6:02 pm

VanAR wrote:... Most of the people, even academics, I know from suburban backgrounds tend to be generally less flexible and more idealistic in their worldviews, even beyond conservation/animal rights issues. I almost hate to support Frank's rants about books vs. experience, but there is definitely some truth to that assessment...
I don't know about all that. The "misplaced passion" issues (preservation, animal rights) I've observed seem simply to be a result of little exposure to the natural world, yes, but even among the sub/urban folks I've known I wouldn't say such issues have been at all common. It's been my experience that most people, wherever they come from, do a much better job of prioritizing - except that so many these days, again wherever they come from, tend to make short-term self-interest their highest priority of all. :(

And most of the wildlife biologists I've known have done quite well both with the books and in the field. Pecos Frank wouldn't know truth if it bit him.

Gerry

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VanAR
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Re: The Kauffeld Conundrum

Post by VanAR » September 18th, 2010, 6:28 pm

I don't know about all that. The "misplaced passion" issues (preservation, animal rights) I've observed seem simply to be a result of little exposure to the natural world, yes, but even among the sub/urban folks I've known I wouldn't say such issues have been at all common. It's been my experience that most people, wherever they come from, do a much better job of prioritizing - except that so many these days, again wherever they come from, tend to make short-term self-interest their highest priority of all. :(
I'm not referring to "passions" specifically, just "worldviews". The people I refer to are not generally active in protesting, policy-making, etc. They just seem to have a theoretical, naive world-view like the guy I quoted, if you get into a heavy discussion with them.
And most of the wildlife biologists I've known have done quite well both with the books and in the field. Pecos Frank wouldn't know truth if it bit him.
I think you're reading my statement far more specifically than I had intended. The idea that inexperience with a subject leads one to rely on theory to develop their worldview is hardly an original idea of Frank's. My point is that people from suburban backgrounds seem to be naive about ecological and social/demographic issues with which they are only acquainted via the classroom. That isn't to say that their ideas aren't often more ideal/correct than those of others, only that the implementation of those ideas is far more difficult/complicated than they think (for example: eliminating national borders as a means to deal with illegal immigration).

Van

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gbin
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Re: The Kauffeld Conundrum

Post by gbin » September 18th, 2010, 6:49 pm

VanAR wrote:I'm not referring to "passions" specifically, just "worldviews". The people I refer to are not generally active in protesting, policy-making, etc. They just seem to have a theoretical, naive world-view like the guy I quoted, if you get into a heavy discussion with them.
Yeah, I think I understand you, Van, but based on my own experience (and reasoning) I don't agree. I've observed and it makes sense to me that people raised in a more urban/less natural environment often have a more theoretical rather than applied view of the natural world, at least until they acquire some more experience with the natural world, but I haven't observed and it doesn't make sense to me that such naïveté applies to other, unrelated areas (such as global politics). And you also mentioned that you found people from suburban backgrounds to be generally less flexible, which I haven't seen at all.
VanAR wrote:I think you're reading my statement far more specifically than I had intended. The idea that inexperience with a subject leads one to rely on theory to develop their worldview is hardly an original idea of Frank's...
Ok, but you're making it sound as if folks' worldviews are immutable in the face of increasing, and generally increasingly diverse, experience. That's true of some people, to be sure, but most? I don't think so. Or at least I hope not!

Gerry

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Biker Dave
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Re: The Kauffeld Conundrum

Post by Biker Dave » September 21st, 2010, 6:22 pm

I would agree with the urban/suburban argument. The farther one lives from nature (or interacts with it) the more likely they are to develop ridiculous ideas of preserving it.

The residents of the State of California are a great example. Most of the population lives in urban or suburban areas with little or no contact with nature. And California is a state with some of the most restrictive game laws.

And, going farther, restrictive logging laws, which, for the most part, have driven forestry industries out of the state. As a result, due to poor forest management because they cant cut any trees, the forest get sick allowing in bark beetles which kill the trees. This sets up perfect conditions for horrific forest fires which in turn destroy more of the forest than would have been lost to sustainable logging.

I will agree, I am not an expert (in biological sciences or forestry), just someone who can sit back and see what is going on and put 2 + 2 together.

Now getting back to my original post regarding Kauffeld .... I finally finished the book Snakes and Snake Hunting. I read the finally chapter where he stated that he now felt bad for giving up so much information, etc. So in a way Carl answered my question himself.

Dave

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gbin
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Re: The Kauffeld Conundrum

Post by gbin » September 22nd, 2010, 6:53 pm

Biker Dave wrote:... Most of the population [in California] lives in urban or suburban areas with little or no contact with nature...
What state isn't that true of?
Biker Dave wrote:... restrictive logging laws, which, for the most part, have driven forestry industries out of the state. As a result, due to poor forest management because they cant cut any trees, the forest get sick allowing in bark beetles which kill the trees. This sets up perfect conditions for horrific forest fires which in turn destroy more of the forest than would have been lost to sustainable logging.
That's one take on the situation, I suppose. Another - and the one supported by scientific evidence rather than apparent political ideology - is that past fire suppression, not a lack of logging, promoted the current bark beetle population explosion, and that drought and warmer temperatures, not the beetles, explain the more severe forest fires of recent years. But don't take my word for it; try looking up Scott Black's recent work on the subject, for starters.
Biker Dave wrote:Now getting back to my original post regarding Kauffeld .... I finally finished the book Snakes and Snake Hunting. I read the finally chapter where he stated that he now felt bad for giving up so much information, etc. So in a way Carl answered my question himself.
That looks like more revisionist history to me, Dave, and seems kind of foolish considering that anyone can look at how you started this thread. To save folks the trouble:
Biker Dave wrote:Greetings All -

Here I go .... stirring up a big kettle of trouble ..... (or I'm just not paying attention)...


This post is a "reaction" to/ "questioning of" some of the topics about telling locations/ vacuum collectors (poachers)/ herp gods and the like.

I have been reading Kauffeld's "Snakes and Snake Hunting" (original printing with dust jacket) and it hit me. It seems to me that Carl collected everything he came across. Everything. OK, it was 50 or more years ago and a lot of science wasnt known about the herps, I get that. And he was a curator for a zoo ... but still!

Now we as herpers, of late, have been going back and forth about sharing locales etc to keep people like Carl Kauffeld (vacuum collectors) from taking everything in sight.

But we look to Kauffeld as a sort of "herping god." And that is the conundrum. A guy who collected everything he could get his paws on is looked upon as a herping god.

What am I missing? Like I said, I get that it was a long time ago in a century far far away.

Thoughts

Dave Weber
So the only question you asked was "What am I missing?", as in, why do people look up to Carl Kauffeld given how much collection he did? You talked about him (as a "vacuum collector") as a possible example of why people shouldn't share locality information, not as an example of someone who shared too much locality information. (Though of course many people have criticized him for the latter, both then and now.) And even if he did ultimately regret sharing as much information as he did (it's been a long time since I last read Snakes and Snake Hunting, so I'd have to read it again to see what he really said), that doesn't answer your question of why people look up to him given how much collection he did.

Just keeping it honest...

Gerry

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BChambers
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Re: The Kauffeld Conundrum

Post by BChambers » September 22nd, 2010, 7:13 pm

I agree with Gerry, with the slight addition that fire suppression itself is known to lead to more devastating and widespread forest fires due to the gradual buildup of dry understory vegetation, which would normally be naturally burnt off periodically.

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gbin
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Re: The Kauffeld Conundrum

Post by gbin » September 22nd, 2010, 7:24 pm

Biker Dave wrote:Now getting back to my original post regarding Kauffeld .... I finally finished the book Snakes and Snake Hunting. I read the finally chapter where he stated that he now felt bad for giving up so much information, etc. So in a way Carl answered my question himself.
So I just found my copy of Snakes and Snake Hunting and read again the final chapter, "Chapter Twelve. A Plea for Snake Conservation." Nowhere in the chapter did Kauffeld say anything about feeling bad for giving up information, be it "so much" or otherwise. Unless maybe he wrote something different in your copy of the book than in mine, Dave?...

Gerry

Paul White
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Re: The Kauffeld Conundrum

Post by Paul White » September 22nd, 2010, 10:12 pm

I think he mentioned it in Keeper and the Kept but I can't find my freaking copy :/ I'll look more tomorrow.

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