Vale atque Ave – Earth Sanctuaries is no more!

Harry Clarke draws our attention to the demise of Earth Sanctuaries Limited (ESL).   It has been in bad trouble for a long time.   It’s a very sad day.   ESL was a marvellous experiment in private conservation hounded out of existence by jealous bureaucrats and the ideologues of the conservation movement.

Founded, I think in the Adelaide Hills on what was an unorthodox theory at the time by the unorthodox John Walmsley, Earth Sanctuaries created habitat for Australia’s native mammals by simply fencing out feral cats and other introduced species. This got Walmsley into all sorts of trouble with the local authorities who, as you will understand had all sorts of rules about what fences should look like and where it was OK for them to go.

After huge amounts of effort quite a few parks were established.   Of course they generated far more value – conservation value – than they were able to capture privately from gate takings.   But, from the little reading I did about the venture, just allowing them to sell the animals that they bred would have made the venture a nice little earner.   We couldn’t even manage to let them do that.

Another small triumph for bureaucracy and ideology and a sad day in all other respects.

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Sam Stainsby
15 years ago

I was a science student when Dr Wamsley when he was lecturing mathematics at Flinder University. He did a superb job of making a fairly dry subject (to me anyway) interesting, not only by solving matrix equations with chalk both hands at the same time, but by bringing in things like baby wombats to the lectures to show to us. Of course, eventually some idiot complained that he shouldn’t be doing anything but mathematics, and he had to stop. I think he resigned shortly after that to put all of his efforts into his environmental projects.

I’ve followed his progress since then through the media. It sad to hear this news about Earth Sanctuaries, but I’m sure Dr Wamsley will keep up his relentless environmental campaigns. As a person who spends some time doing volunteer and paid work for various green groups, I know what it is like (albeit on a much smaller scale) to become visible by actually doing something instead of just talking about how bad things are, only to be attacked by those same people that sit on the posteriors all day saying how bad things are.

derrida derider
derrida derider
15 years ago

The original Catullus has better rhythm (“Atque in perpetuum, frater, ave atque vale”).

Margaret Archibald
Margaret Archibald
15 years ago

I heard about this project while researching protective fences. I’m based in London, UK and I’m trying to find out who could install such a thing in this area? Any ideas?

margaret.archibald@hotmail.co.uk