Re: Man and Biosphere

Of course, there are a lot of us out here who know about the Man in the
Biosphere program.  It is a perfectly innocuous program which, simply
because it has a relationship to a UN effort, has been the subject of all
kinds of mis-interpretation and, unfortunately, fear-mongering.  There is
a relatively successful MAB program in the Southern Appalachians.  As I
understand it, it is simply an effort to create a mechanism for dialogue
about the current status and future of an identified bio-region.  To
qualify as such a bio-region, there must be some "protected" land which
is, in all cases in the United States, land already in the public domain
and, hence, already "protected."  The MAB has absolutely no regulatory
authority.  The MAB has no authority for land acquistion.  It, of course,
it neither has any intention or authority to "move" people.

Unfortunately, the MAB that was being planned in the Ozarks region was on
the burner for a long time, was badly managed, partly because of some
retirements in participating agencies, and never really got beyond
periodic conversations among the public agencies which had started the
effort.  Apparently partly because of this ambiguous situation, when
concerns were first raised by people who were concerned, no one responded
at all.  The newspapers in the area simply published the charges that were
being made, without doing any research.

The unfortunate situation now is that the public has accepted the idea
that MAB is something evil, and everyone is hurrying to distance
themselves from it.  Since there wasn't much going on anyway, there isn't
much lost, I guess.

In Arkansas, I understand that the Arkansas Heritage Commission is at
least taking questions about MAB.  They can be reached at 501-324-9619.
The U. S. office in D. C. for MAB is at 703-235-2945.  I haven't tried the
latter, so don't know who you get.  Better yet, why not do a web search?

++       Donald E. Voth, Professor of Rural Sociology           ++
++  Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology    ++
++               University of Arkansas, A227                   ++
++                 Fayetteville, AR  72701                      ++
++Tel. 501-575-2409  FAX 501-575-5306 e-mail dvoth@comp.uark.edu++

On Mon, 24 Feb 1997, Margaret Merrill wrote:

> >We would welcome your thoughts and comments about the UN Biosphere Reserve
> >program, the United States Man and Biosphere program and related subjects.
> >
> >Some recent articles and discussions have made people in our neck of the
> >woods (Ozarks Bioregion) really jumpy, and we would appreciate your input.
> >
> >Thanks
> >
> >Paula Speraneo
> >S&S Aqua Farm
> >8386 County Road 8820
> >West Plains, MO 65775
> >e-mail snsaquasys@townsqr.com  Web page  www.townsqr.com/snsaqua
> What have you learned about this subject so far??  I have been hearing some
> odd things myself as well and I too would like to know what is going on.
> The most substantive thing I have heard so far is that it is a UNESCO thing
> and includes both historic sites as well as bioregions.  The thing which
> has people around here jumpy (to borrow your word) is the rumor that the
> people currently living in the targeted bioregions are going to be moved
> out of those regions whether they choose to move or not.  Don't know the
> facts and no one seems to be too willing to talk.
> What has anyone out in SANET-land heard??
> Cheers all
> Margaret