Date of this Version
JOURNAL OF SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION 68:3 (MAY/JUNE 2013), pp. 63A-65A.
In societies, organizations, and institutions, we often look backwards to understand the way forward. While this can be important, it can also be detrimental if done too often or becomes an over-relied upon practice. At major international car shows, companies display the make and model for those cars that have done well in the past, but the biggest attraction is the cars of the future (figure 1). At the biggest agricultural trade shows in the country, the equipment that has the biggest audience is the newest or most futuristic (figure 2). When we want to develop new collaborations, do we go to classmates.com and look up old high school buddies? No, we look for new opportunities through occupations, societies, or programs. So, when it comes to conservation, shouldn’t we be doing the same thing—looking forward and not looking in the rearview mirror? Shouldn’t we be looking ahead, far ahead to be able to see new challenges and the potential for solutions to current problems? While I am not arguing against the use of sound practices and policies for conservation of agricultural and natural resources, I am advocating for a more in depth look at what might be on the horizon for conservation and what changes are occurring in many of the societies and organizations that focus on or are involved in conservation.