It is hard not to be discouraged as we read about destruction of great forests, waterways, large predators, and multiple small species. Fraser’s book offers a litany of tragedies, which are functions of greed, ethnic warfare, and political irresponsibility. But she does not leave it there. The bulk of her book discusses attempts at “rewilding” — efforts such as peace parks, conservation projects, ecological restoration, and thoughtful ecotourism.
From the unlikely Korean Demilitarized Zone to the amazing success story of sustainable conservation in Costa Rica, Fraser shows that there are grounds for cautious optimism. Her concluding point is a telling one: Conservation is not about managing wildlife, but about managing ourselves. I recommend Fraser’s book. It is careful, detailed, and full of enough footnotes to satisfy the most scholarly among us.