After attending a talk by Alan Rabinowitz on how the Hukawng Valley Tiger Reserve, the largest tiger reserve in the world, was set up, one thing he said sticks in my mind. Conservation is a 'dynamic disequilibrium', and the work of tending to it will never come to an end.
Too many people in conservation or interested in the environment think that there will be a stage when we can finish the job and take our hands off and see everything run smoothly, but 'if we don't think the same way about crime and police, why do we think this way about conservation?'
Perhaps conservationists are predisposed to think this way because the idea of conservation is to restore environments and landscapes to a supposed original or pristine state. Whether or not there ever was an original state that would have lasted forever if undisturbed is debatable.
But whatever the case, this does highlight how much work is needed to manage landscapes and the people who have to live in them. The old model of simply setting land aside to lock animals in and peoples out is fundamentally flawed.