Facing Reality and Overcoming Adversity
Jerry L. Rasmussen
Many of us pursue a career in natural resource management thinking we are going to escape to a life in the outdoors far from the hectic mainstream battles and confrontations of everyday life. But, it is not long before we realize that the natural resources we had hoped to escape to are being lost. If we wish to protect these resources, we have to face reality and return to the mainstream where we find ourselves facing people, organizations, and agencies that seem to care little about the things we cherish the most. Our mission then becomes one of confronting them in order to eliminate, reduce, or mitigate the impacts of their projects.
Our university degrees have given us the tools we need to understand basic biology and ecology but have usually given us little training and experience with regard to human nature, negotiations, and politics. Our employers sometimes provide us with limited training in these areas, but most of what we need has to come from within our spirit, from our own gradually acquired experience, and through collaboration with our peers.