Mi Casita Writer-in-ResidenceBy Tovar Cerulli, 2015
As conservationists, we take it for granted that diversity is good. Biological diversity, at least.
We know that diverse, intact ecosystems are adaptable and resilient,
benefiting not only us but all members of what Leopold called “the land
community.” We take it on faith that all community members should be
respected and that they have, as he put it, an inherent “right to
When I walk down to the beaver pond near home and look out at the
water and surrounding land, I know that each plant, fungus, insect,
amphibian, reptile, fish, bird, and mammal—even each unseen microbe in
the soil—is part of that community, part of a larger, dynamic, evolving
organism. As such, each deserves my respect: pine and alder, mayfly and
jewelwing, salamander and turtle, minnow and trout, heron and mallard,
mouse and coyote.
Concerning ideological and cultural diversity, we are ambivalent at best.