Wildlife Vocalizations: Patience Knight

Wildlife Vocalizations is a collection of short personal perspectives from people in the field of wildlife sciences.

One of the most important and memorable statements one of my wildlife/range management professors made when I was an undergraduate student at Texas Tech was, “Take care of the land and the land will take care of your animals.”

Knight performs a prescribed burn on the property of former fire program chief, Daryl Lawson, in Jackson County, Alabama.
Courtesy of Rachel Stone

It was a simple but profound lesson in natural resource management. In that class, we were taught to sustainably maintain livestock on rangelands and how to utilize other natural resources efficiently by simultaneously managing for complimentary wildlife species.

Natural resource management is so often like solving a puzzle, trying to figure out how to make so many pieces fit into a larger picture. Adaptive and dynamic management for multiple land uses, while allowing for several ecosystem services and processes to run well, is a daring feat for wildlife managers to take on.

Knight being a little silly while out in the forest.
Courtesy of Helen Czech

But I think we’ll all agree that the reward of good stewardship and management of our resources for ourselves and future generations is worth it.  This holistic and ecological way of managing natural resources is one of the most profound lessons I’ve ever learned. Prescribed burning and fire ecology is definitely a close second, though.

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For questions, please contact Jamila Blake.

Header Image: Knight conducts riparian habitat surveys and measures water quality parameters in the William B. Bankhead National Forest, Alabama. Courtesy of Helen Czech