About the Study Guide

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In the early days of the fur trade, trapping was unregulated. No effort was made to conserve wildlife or protect habitat. In recent times, people have become more aware of the importance of managing our natural resources.

People have many different attitudes about how to manage wildlife and other natural resources:

  • Subsistence attitude. People with this attitude rely entirely on wildlife for their food, clothing, and tools.
  • Utilitarian attitude. People with this attitude see wildlife as a public resource. To them, wildlife is available to everyone to hunt for food, clothing, or profit, without any regulations.
  • Extermination attitude. People with this attitude see wildlife as a problem. They want all wildlife killed.
  • Preservation attitude. People with this attitude value wildlife. They oppose all use of wildlife, even regulated hunting and fishing.
  • Animal rights attitude. People with this attitude believe animals have the same rights as humans. They oppose any human use of animals. This includes hunting and fishing, as well as farming, rodeos, horse races, and other activities that make use of animals.
  • Apathetic attitude. People with this attitude don't spend much time thinking about wildlife.
  • Conservation attitude. People with this attitude do not rely on wildlife for survival. However, they enjoy hunting, fishing, and camping. They want to save habitats and regulate the use of wildlife resources so that these resources can be enjoyed for many years to come.

In the pioneer days, many people had subsistence, utilitarian, and/or extermination attitudes. For example, fur traders were utilitarian, while farmers tended to take extermination attitudes.

Today, wildlife management in North America takes a conservation attitude. Today's conservation programs are based upon sustainable use of renewable resources.

Checking a trap