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In brief, WeConservePA uses the word conservation to mean the act of caring for and wisely using land to ensure that the land’s natural resources can continue to benefit people and wildlife over time, and, where the land is degraded, restoring its capacity to deliver these benefits.
Conservation is defined by Meriam Webster as “a careful preservation and protection of something, especially planned management of a natural resource to prevent exploitation, destruction, or neglect.”
Wikipedia defines it as “the preservation or efficient use of resources…”
Wiktionary’s first definition is: “The act of preserving, guarding, or protecting; the keeping (of a thing) in a safe or entire state; preservation.” Its second definition is: “Wise use of natural resources.”
National Geographic’s encyclopedic entry defines it as “the act of protecting Earth’s natural resources for current and future generations.”
The entry continues:
Earth’s natural resources include air, minerals, plants, soil, water, and wildlife. Conservation is the care and protection of these resources so that they can persist for future generations. It includes maintaining diversity of species, genes, and ecosystems, as well as functions of the environment, such as nutrient cycling.
Conservation is similar to preservation, but while both relate to the protection of nature, they strive to accomplish this task in different ways. Conservation seeks the sustainable use of nature by humans, for activities such as hunting, logging, or mining, while preservation means protecting nature from human use.
WeConservePA uses conservation to mean taking action to ensure for present and future generations some or all of the following outcomes:
WeConservePA also looks at conservation as encompassing the active stewardship of land (for example, fencing forest to prevent deer overbrowse or redesigning trails to prevent stormwater runoff) and the active restoration of natural functions to degraded lands and waters (for example, reforesting riparian areas or establishing meadow on strip mined land). Even more broadly, conservation describes actions to live sustainably to ensure that future generations may enjoy nature, undiminished.
Nothing contained in this or any other document available at ConservationTools.org is intended to be relied upon as legal advice or to create an attorney-client relationship. The material presented is generally provided in the context of Pennsylvania law and, depending on the subject, may have more or less applicability elsewhere. There is no guarantee that it is up to date or error free.