There is a distinct difference between environmental conservation and preservation. Preservation is simply leaving an area of land untouched by humans. Environmental conservation takes into consideration that anthropogenic forces (human activities) are not separate from our surrounding environment. Environmental conservation is the scientific management of recourses (land) by experts in the field. This could mean anything from thinning trees in a forest in such a manner that the forest can flourish or hunting an over populated species of deer in order to reduce competition for resources. Teddy Roosevelt was a leader amongst the first conservation movements.
Humans have a very significant impact on their surrounding environment. Activities such as over-hunting and pollution can damage the natural ecosystem. Conservation is limiting the damaging activities of humans and attempting to restore the ecosystem to health and balance. For example, in Missouri, river otters were hunted extensively for their fur. They were nearly extinct, and conservation efforts allowed their numbers to grow to the point that trapping is allowed again in order to keep the population in check.
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