The title of this post is part of a quote from Theodore Roosevelt, which in its entirety says, “Leave it as it is. The ages have been working on it and man can only mar it.”
This is our new philosophy, not only for our own property, but also for all things natural.
We actually had professionals come out to consult with us on our pasture restoration. After two such consultations where the professionals advised us to do all sorts of cutting, plowing, and planting, we decided that leaving it alone was the better solution. We are also adding the pasture in the north west portion of our land to the process, giving us approximately 8 acres of natural land.
Unfortunately, a few months ago we had a Black Jack Oak die in our back pasture. When the tree company came and cut it down, the foreman of the crew asked if I wanted it cut up, mulched, and hauled off. I said no, just “leave it as it is.” So, with the exception of a few chunks cut off for possible woodturning projects, the whole tree is now the possible home to numerous insects and small animals. As it decomposes through the years, it will also offer organic substances to the ground.
Douglas W. Tallamy, professor of Entomology and Wildlife, has written two books which address this very concept. “Bringing Nature Home – How you can sustain wildlife with native plants” published in 2007 and “Nature’s Best Hope – A new approach to conservation that starts in your yard” published in 2019 are both worth reading. They are very helpful to the average homeowner who has limited acreage, but is interested in participating in conservation and preservation of natural resources. In his latest book, he refers to a concept he calls “Homegrown National Park.”
We also read an interesting article today, written by Olivia Boyd, and published in the Huffpost. The title of the article is “Here’s what happens to nature when humans get out of the way.” Here is a link, in case you want to read it.
In order to understand more about how to be better environmentalists, Regina and I are each pursuing training and certification in several areas. Regina has already completed training and is certified as a Texas Master Naturalist (Elm Fork Chapter), Water Specialist for Texas Parks and Wildlife, and Texas Stream Team Water Quality Monitor for the City of Denton. (She likes to play in the water).
I am slightly behind, but have been accepted in the 2020 classes for Cross Timbers Urban Citizen Forester and Elm Fork Chapter of Texas Master Naturalist. The forester training will begin in March, and the naturalist training will begin in August.
Since 60% of the land in the United States is privately owned, it is up to us as land/home owners to do everything we can to preserve the natural resources that are ours. There is no Planet B.