Episode 51: Kim Vacariu On Changing Our Message To Win Way More Conservation Battles
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Kim Vacariu is the former Western Director for Wildlands Network (1998-2017) where he organized and led the 25 conservation organizations making up the Western Wildway Network in its efforts to connect wildlife habitat corridors from Alaska to Mexico.
Kim has been instrumental in elevating the recognition of habitat connectivity threats posed by the walling off of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands, including organization of the first Border Ecological Symposiums in Arizona. He also convened the first private lands conservation workshops in Arizona, and was a co-recipient of the Federal Highway Administration’s 2007 Environmental Excellence Award for his work on Arizona’s statewide Wildlife Linkage Assessment.
Kim was co-author in 2000 of the ground-breaking Sky Islands Wildlands Network Design – the first effort to publish specific science-based maps and implementation steps required for protection of regional habitat networks.
- The need for a conservation media coalition and professional messaging campaigns with commercial reach.
- How to reach people who don’t think about conservation daily, or much at all, and get them on board.
- Meeting people where they are, rather than wagging fingers and moralizing.
- The need for a focused, global, ongoing campaign for conservation put together by a professional ad agency.
Read Kim’s article: To Win, Conservationists Must Change Their Message
Director of Digital Outreach (D.O.D.O.) for The Rewilding Institute
Host and Producer of the Rewilding Earth Podcast
Jack started Rewilding work as Executive Director of Sky Island Alliance in the mid-1990’s, organizing the Sky Island Wildlands Network design, ripping up illegal roads on forest service lands, installing wolf acclimatization pens on Ted Turner’s Ladder Ranch & conducting howling surveys to help make way for the final stage of the Lobo reintroduction program in the Southwest.
Through the years, Jack has worked with Dave Foreman and the Rewilding Gang to further Rewilding initiatives and education.
Dr. Matti Wilks (moral psychologist) will tell you that only about 15% of humans will react empathically for entirely moral reasons. But 85% of people will react only if the change in behavior (say, limiting intake of meat) benefits them. So your jaguar story, Jack, may affect the voting behavior of 15% right away. But most humans, while temporarily sympathizing, will need to see some benefit to themselves.
Great conversation with Kim Vacariu,