Wildlife Affecting Livelihood


If an ethical neighbor
decides to let grass and weeds grow out tall enough to create a nice habitat for wildlife that may cross over and eat my crops or my poultry, affecting
the yield of my system and my family’s livelihood,
in an ethical bioregion, is the onus on me to
provide defensive solutions if the neighbor refuses to manage it, or should I resort to
passing laws to enforce it? What kind of ethical
dispute resolution system is ideal in a permaculture bioregion? Well, I think we have to go back to our patent lecture here, and look at the scale of order of size in application to such an event. So let’s paint the scenario
because this question definitely starts with, it depends. Let’s say that you’re in the suburbs and your garden next door, which might be a thousand square meters,
quarter of an acre, probably is a large
garden, becomes wilderness. That’s really not enough
area to have anything but a small amount of predators, a small amount of problem. You’re not going to have
large predators movin’ in that are going to come and
eat your poultry, possibly. Also you have a lot of domestic predators. You’re pruning your garden down low so you’re close to people. It’s a small influence. So if it’s just a neighbor in a suburb, not a problem. Now, if we go out larger, it
becomes actual wilderness. Now, if you move up next to wilderness, here I’m sittin’ on a camping
trailer at say, Tuna Farm. We’ve got food forest
right here in evolution. And next to it is a wilderness gully. It’s definitely a zone five. Now, we’ve moved up to zone five. We have a zone five next
to us, a wilderness. And you can have issues at times with wildlife coming over you. Here you can have wallaby,
which is like a small kangaroo, or Australian hares come
and nip the top off trees. People action will keep it back. Dog action will keep it back. We’ll plan for it because we’ve set a system up next to a zone five gully. So you have to compromise
with moving up close to large wilderness. Now, if somebody has a large
property next to your property and that becomes wilderness,
enough to stimulate an ecology that involves large predation or wildlife that actually
is going to move into your crop area, I think at this point in history someone is prepared to let
their property go to wilderness and we’re talkin’ about
a large enough property, you’ve got to work out, like should I protest about someone allowing wilderness to become the ecology next door? Should we lock up areas
only into agriculture, when at the present point
in time, agriculture is just about the most destructive
activity on the planet? Can we define agriculture? These are things we have
to work out, I suppose. But really when we’re
lookin’ at the order of size, the order and scale of
size in relationship, we don’t have a lot of time to do this because there are definitely
major issues comin’ up. The suburbs, the urban
agriculture is definitely going to be the most
productive and diverse systems that we can install. So you’ve got your small
gardens in the suburbs, and a small area of wilderness there is not going to have enough integrity to really be that much of a problem where it’s dense population. So even urban agriculture,
surrounding that, you have a perimeter urban
agricultural potential, very close to the major populations. And around that you have rangeland on
the shallowest slopes, farm forestry on the steepest slopes, and you may have gullies or
areas or difficult landscape that becomes wilderness intersecting that. And in some cases, the
wilderness is going to intersect right through urbanizational
or dense populations. So that means together. We have to work together as a community. As a cooperative nation of people who
all think the same way. In majority. I say in majority ’cause I
know there’s other questions comin’ up about this and how
we regulate these things. But we as the majority have
to cooperate as a community of how we achieve these situations. How we deal with these situations. How we come up with
solutions for wilderness that comes in close to dense populations. How some people allow an
area to go into wilderness. And you’ve got to say,
that’s mostly a good thing. But if that affects your family’s livelihood, are you close to urban areas? Are you in a perimeter urban area? Or are you yourself at a distance so far away from where your product
is concerned that it maybe is never going to have a
really good energy audit and it probably either
should be wilderness itself, rangeland, or forestry
being that far away. Now, rangeland is usually not affected by wilderness that much. Large predators, maybe. And then forestry in establishment phase can be a problem once forests are up, as in farm forestry, product
forestry, diverse forestry, still, but productive. It’s less of a problem once we’ve got establishment. So these are design challenges. I don’t think we have to go into battle with our neighbors. We have to go into cooperation as a community of understanding, and the understanding comes from ethical design science application.

19 thoughts on “Wildlife Affecting Livelihood

  1. Gun or live traps here in the US. Telling people what they can or cannot have on their property is socialist garbage. We have HMOs here where there’s agreements when buying a place. Which is understandable in communities where houses are very close. But even then they have a bunch of busybodies freaking out over food being grown that’s not grass or some poisonous ornamentals. Not very understanding of people wanting to be more food independent. Socialist only see through their own colored glasses. It’s bad enough someone can own my mineral rights. Grrr

  2. If you live near wildlife, a fence to protect your crops or livestock should be an expense you should assume is necessary and one for which you are responsible.

  3. Like the man said, "It depends" mostly on zoning laws — are there any? Have they been broken? Beware the double edged sword of zoning laws, they can cut both ways.😏
    Is this situation a fire hazzard? What about fences making for good neighbors? Seems to me the onus is definitely on you if you don't like what an uncooperative neighbor is doing. It's up to you to protect your interests, but in a legal and reasonable way if the neighbor refuses to cooperate. Better document all your actions, just in case. Hopefully, if handled well, a feud won't start.😒

  4. People are allowed to apply poison to their land that washes down on to yours, I think we should focus on reducing and eliminating that before we worry about urban jungles. (If you’re in a rural situation, then welcome to the country. Neighbors will use land differently than you would like. Fact of life.)

  5. In suburban areas, coyotes, raccoons, and possums can take chickens, especially if you live in an area with a healthy park system. A less destructive but more persistent problem is that unless you can afford extensive infrastructure investment in your house and property, it is virtually impossible to keep rats away without industrial poisons. Cats are lazy, and they're too smart for traps.

  6. Excellent answer! I live in the Washington DC suburbs and maintain a sizable garden on my half acre near a hundred acre park. I used to control rabbits by leaving scraps for foxes. That strategy changed when coyotes showed up and chased the foxes away. Live and learn! Fences are a must here. My neighbors don’t want to see my compost projects but are happy for me to “harvest” their grass clippings and leaves and take some extra produce.

  7. Tell your neighbor or the person you see in the mirror: You only have control over the land you own, not the whole bloody neighborhood, town, city, county, state or province. The whole world does not revolve around you.

    Predators? Have you ever heard of electric fencing? It's quite clever, and it comes in a solar version, too.

  8. I live in an area where modern, monocultural agriculture is the norm. There is a serious lack of wildlife because it has been kept away from the moneymaker. We need to stop focussing on livelihood from a monetary perspective. I was collecting seed from the garden today and was reminded hoe generous everything that grows is, with enough seed on a few carrot flowers to see me through next year, enough parsley seed to feed the neighbourhood. We need to plant more than we do to allow for our needs and some visitors' needs too, it's our duty not to greedily hang on to it all. I'm reminded of an old woman who lived round here when I was a child. She took to the road as a young woman, when her true love was killed in the First World War and ended her days in a shepherds hut in a wood. Story has it that in order to keep her food safe from rodents, she would feed the rats regularly and they left her stores alone. If it's true, she must have been so close to nature to understand it properly and a generous soul, like trees and plants. She never settled in a house, swore at and cursed most people and must have been well into her 80s, maybe older when she died. Lessons to be learned there

  9. I have dealt with neighbours and their domestic pets, affecting my poultry and growing systems – as well as the usual native wildlife intrusion. I can ask (and expect) the neighbour to control their domestic pets, but not the native wildlife. It's not their jurisdiction. Part of our struggle, designing with natural patterns, is accepting the ebb and flow of natural intrusions. Because they are essentially, integral to the design. Now I plan for losses, by either growing more, creating more deterents for natural intrusions, and/or making connections with others who can grow, what I might lose.

  10. the problem is the solution. in my opinion making laws now will maybe be a short term fix for one person, but will be a long term obstacle for another. i mean, passing a law making the wilderness regrowth illegal? thats the same as declaring war on nature. if hes concerned about yields, maybe ask to develop the neighbors land and split the yield. the problem is the solution

  11. Definitely going to disagree with Geoff on this one, waffling on whether where this hypothetical is located. It simply doesn't matter for the answer. I will agree with using design and working with your neighbors as he took so long to say aren't the end. If the whole idea of permaculture is to use human resources to promote wildlife by doing wildlife things, one shouldn't be surprised when wildlife moves in. Everything you do is going to bring predators and prey. We, as humans, are the top predators on dry land. If you have issues on your land, then they are your prey. Stop being a nance and trying to use the government to enforce what YOU should be doing and just worry about your own property.

    Got rodents moving in? put in high, bare perches or trees to encourage raptors. Encourage coyotes or whatever wild canine is in your area to take care of small rodents and rabbits. Nature abhors a vacuum, if you have creatures moving in on your crops it's because you have little diversity and aren't encouraging other creatures that are their predators. Nature will take care of nature.

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