Given that “nature” has already caused (significant) damage, at what point is the need for conservation mitigated in favour of exploration/scientific research/recording of information etc?
Never. But conservation needs will shift from one resource to another. As I said earlier, science, digging, exploration, and documentation can all be practiced with care.
Too many people mistakenly equate conservation with preservation (which it may include), or with avoiding impact. This is perhaps why many of my posts have been so wildly misunderstood.
For instance; you use the word “resource” when referring to caves. In the UK we would more generally use the word as meaning something that has a purposeful use or value. You appear to be using in a different context. (no one at fault in my opinion).
Importantly, you appear to be saying that it is perfectly ok to enter cave where (and I am taking your words above) science, digging, exploration, and documentation can all be practiced with care.Does my understanding accord with yours correctly so far ?
Conservation? My dictionary says "protection against loss or depletion". Note that this definition does not say protection against impact or change or use.
Have I interpreted your missives correctly?
But I think that caves are too singular and irreparable to be used as mere gyms.
It's in the massive posts, with examples and justifications and possible questions and answers. I haven't been able to cook the entire concept down to a few tidy lines.
I will admit that I'm not one to go through massive posts with a fine-tooth comb, hence asking for clarification in a more concise form.
In the release article for Unterstein we wrote that we assumed the competent vertical caver who would visit Unterstein would also be conservation minded.
We cannot conserve what we cannot preserve. We cannot preserve what we cannot protect. We cannot protect what we do not know exists.
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