Date of this Version
A recurring theme at animal damage conferences has been the lack of interest in, and recognition of, animal damage management or problem wildlife manage-ment as an important topic in the wildlife profession (Timm 1982; Berryman 1983, 1989; Jones 1983; Miller 1987; San Julian 1989; Schmidt 1989a). This concern has been raised by Animal Damage Control (ADC) workers in urban, suburban, agri-cultural and forested systems and, in fact, can be heard in nearly any landscape in which wildlife are in conflict with people's use of the land. While the scope of these issues involves the largest potential constitu-ency the wildlife profession could ever serve, few professionals save those from ADC, Wildlife Extension, or the Cooperative Wildlife Research Units are present at the meetings. Why? Do wildlife professionals see conflict resolution in wildlife management as a trivial pursuit, or one unworthy of our time and interest? Worse, are many agencies willing to relegate the wildlife concerns of a huge pool of voters to the best-guess advice rendered by biologists, cornered for a fleeting moment between other, more important management problems? What is the present level of emphasis on problem wildlife management or conflict resolution in undergraduate and graduate curricula or in professional improvement or in-service training programs? Are educators, academicians, and information specialists preparing students and training wildlifers to deal with the diversity of problems and publics that must be served today? Many who have considered the preceding questions have come away with feelings of alarm about the present state of benign neglect by the wildlife profession for the majority of the wildlife resources that we have the privi-lege and professional obligation to manage. How did we get to where we are today, where will we go from here, and how will we get there?