If you build it they will come, and if you handle that relationship well, you'll be glad they did.
As encounters with wildlife increase, the lines that separate human from nature become blurrier. The rise in these encounters has also led to an increase of reported "conflicts" with wildlife. However, encounters with wildlife don't have to be negative for humans or animals. In fact, people can do a lot to make the encounters positive for all involved.
Russell Link, a biologist with the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, has written two books that encourage positive relationships with nature. Living with Wildlife in the Pacific Northwest gives tips for interacting wildlife, and Landscaping for Wildlife in the Pacific Northwest helps people provide good habitat. To hear Link talk about the latter book, click on this podcast from BirdNote. For more information about both books, click here.
We have an opportunity to build on our relationship with the environment. If we work to improve our interactions with wildlife, we'll be proud of how we took advantage of that opportunity.