A delegation of Mongolian Buddhist monks arrived in Bozeman last week, and will be in town until the 20th as part of the Tributary Fund’s work on encouraging environmental leadership within religious communities. I will be talking with the monks in a small group session about the potential for monasteries to participate in environmental monitoring (including monitoring of wolverines, pikas, and other climate sensitive wildlife), and on the 17th TTF will host a public discussion at the Bozeman library to talk about citizen science in a broader sense. I hope that we will have a chance to talk with more specificity about wolverine citizen science and about the differences between citizen science in the US and citizen science in Mongolia. Please join us if you are in town; the library discussion session is a brown bag lunch, and runs from 11:45 to 1:00. As a bonus, my friend and colleague Marissa Smith, environmental anthropologist extraordinaire, who has accompanied me (with great patience and endurance) on several Mongolian wolverine expeditions, will also be there to contribute to the discussion.
In other news, environmental advocacy groups have apparently launched another lawsuit against the state of Montana, as part of an on-going attempt to shut down the trapping season. I’ve already written extensively about this issue, and I have several draft posts about the broader issue of the strategies that the environmental advocacy community employs around endangered species protection, but they are not ready for posting. Instead, I defer to friend and colleague Arthur Middleton, who explores this issue in a recent column about wolf conservation in the Wall Street Journal (you can get free access by searching for the title of the piece and clicking on the search result). Wolves and wolverines are different creatures with different sets of biological and social challenges, and we are very fortunate that wolverines create none of the problems for people that wolves and bears do. But the point about the destructiveness of endless litigation remains the same.