Conservation must be part of any plan to live sustainably. It's not the solution, but it's part of the solution.
I heard a discussion on NPR about whether or not the forest service should close off part of the park system in eastern San Diego County becuase an endangered bird nests there, but human activities, mostly off-roading, are disrupting the nest sites. I think this it is a good choice to close off certain areas of national and state parks to human traffic, at least for a while.
The park service (and other governtmental agencies, heck any organization whatsoever governtmental or not) does not always make the best decisions. Some of them are misinformed, some rushed, some pressured by outsiders (like, hmmmm.... lobbyists?), and others postponed. But this one makes sense to protect the endagered birds.
If we didn't have so much sprawl, we'd have more open space, and we wouldn't miss a section devoted to the species. But because we have such abyssmal urban planning in this country, our cities become suburbanous, and the beautiful edgges just keep disappearing. Everyone wants to live with a view of a canyon... Let's support urbanization so that we all can enjoy a view of a canyon, and not of sprawling cookie cutter homes, mc mansions or not.
Conservation is essential to preserving that view. Everytime we sprawl, we lose more view. What I don't understand is when consersatives stopped being...conservative. The so-called "conservatives" in our country think it's patriotic to spend money, go into debt, sprawl without end, and generally consumption over conservation.
I am not against growth and development. In fact, I support growth AND development. And I mean that in terms of economics, land use, industry, and everything else. But it has to be done the right. Smart growth includes conservation.
But it can be boiled down to a bumper sticker I saw once:
Conservation is more patriotic than Consumption.