From Larry and Carolyn Eppler
are happy to have you join us in our exploration of Arizona
and Larry Eppler have hiked, rode horseback, or flown
across much of the southwest. Both have worked in the
federal government, state government, and private business
management. In 2004, Carolyn had a horse rear-up and
fall over backwards on top of her. Since that time,
their travels continue, but at a different pace and
different mode. With her disabilities from the accident,
Larry has played a primary role in organizing volunteers
to assist them in their work of examining the interactions
of society and the natural environment, volunteering
and Carolyn Eppler
understanding of land management issues and working towards
balancing a response to differing opinions about the natural
them they have over six decades of experience in natural resource
management. They recognize the value and knowledge of individuals
and families who live and work intimately with the land. This
website is the beginning of sharing some of their field notes,
perspectives, and observations.
word from Carolyn and Larry:
are from a rural community of the southwestern United States,
born and raised in Arizona. Family and friends from multiple
cultures have created an appetite for diverse knowledge and
opened the door to vivid expression encouraging open discussion.
Our family experiences and our connections to the natural environment
began our search to understand how Arizona became what it is
today; supporting millions of people and an amazing variety
of living things. This, in spite of historical climate shifts,
human manipulations, and constantly evolving opinions and politics.
desire is to contribute in some way to the betterment of society.
One way to do this is to examine the interactions of Society
and the Natural Environment – our habitat – and
share our findings with you.
observation and research, we know that given time many environments
have shown themselves to be responsive to change. Some natural
environments or organisms improve with change, some become degraded
and others extinct.
burning on a narrow strip of land can prevent wildfire
from reaching nearby homes. This creates a safe zone near
residential areas frequented by children. Burning dead
plants also can stimulate new growth of desirable native
example, libraries have hundreds of articles where scientists
recognize the benefits of managed burning or wildfire
that stimulates new plant growth, while also accepting
that some individual organisms will be destroyed. Yet,
some scientists consider human interactions (management)
in the natural environment create primarily undesirable
changes, regardless of intent or design.
contrasting opinions occur even though the resilience
and persistence of various natural systems is known
by many whose research interests or livelihood depends
on natural resources.
very particular instances, focused study can be useful for straightforward
designs, instructions, or site/factor-specific evaluation. However,
in examining dynamic natural systems "the water runs out
when there are too many holes in the bucket." We prefer
to investigate from a broad perspective capturing enough detail
to avoid misinterpretation and misunderstanding.
systems are very complex – for that reason most people’s
knowledge about the natural environment is limited. Yet, over
time people have learned enough about nature to create successful
societies. Alas, in modern times for many people much of what
we learned in the past becomes lost or forgotten. This can be
easily observed in many urban youth of today with technology
replacing self-sustaining practices.
our country lost our current farming and ranching infrastructure
who would supply our grocery stores and what would the majority
of the population eat? Additionally, the plants and animals
raised on farms and ranches provide other products such as clothing
and medical supplies - most people also take these things for
of the snakes, rodents, and other desert creatures that
once roamed this area have been removed or migrated to
surrounding uninhabited areas. However, scorpions, spiders,
lizards, rabbits, rodents, and various birds still thrive
throughout the area. The school track field is a great
place to support and encourage our children. The land
here evolved from desert landscape to farm fields to urban
seems for some, the drive for control, money, and fulfilling
agendas is stronger than the desire to contribute to
community evolution and growth. Particularly during
the past 50 years, several people with unreasonable
ideas have devised new ways to manage how human life
is ‘supposed’ to fit into the world around
problem is those few tend to ‘control’ the
rest of us – our lives. Some say there is a ‘revolution’,
a ‘new age’, ‘environmentally sound’
or ‘best management practices’ that are
better for all. These groups also say it is the ‘politically
correct way’ and say their advice to manage nature
is what’s acceptable by a particular group, culture,
or belief. This often further removes the masses away
from self-sustenance through our natural environment.
contribution comes from being well informed. Our goal is to
offer you some of our discoveries and information to help
you meet this objective.
thank each of you whose interests and quest for greater knowledge
and understanding has lead you to review the perspectives
within our site. Our hope is to open another door to the many
avenues that could be followed to repair broken links between
the natural environment and society.
hope is you will find value in taking another look at
the importance of human beings, cultures and communities
(historic and current). Also, ensure law, regulation
and policy are appropriately implemented to encourage
positive interaction between mankind and the environment
– rather than causing people to be fearful of
cooperating with resource managers.
that all living things – not just humans - are
consumers in some way.
reflect on the importance of continually re-evaluating motives
and attempts to control or change natural systems. Rethink
hardened descriptions that are written to mislead the reader
to a misunderstanding about the dynamics of nature such as
a plants ability to respond to change or the natural fate
of a wild animal, insect, or plant. We invite you to walk
along a path that has the potential to provide new insight.
because you must be responsible, as so many are not, nor are
they held accountable.
we learned from so many individuals before us who had a desire
to know more about the Natural Environment; let us realize
we have yet to understand everything, no matter the number
of books read or research performed. We must remember, some
focus on process while others focus on outcomes. Forgive any
offense from varied opinions, then plant the new information
allowing new knowledge to germinate. Continue to be brilliant
about presenting different ideas and work in concert to create
Carolyn and Larry Eppler
Environment Society Southwest
Action Analysis Partners
PO Box 3464
Payson, Arizona 85541
© Statement: This site is protected under the U.S.
Copyright Act of 1976 and subsequent revisions . You
are encouraged to link to the site, but copying and
reproduction of the site elsewhere on the Web is discouraged.
That is primarily because this is a "live"
document constantly under revision. Copies are static,
and unfortunately, incomplete versions of the site may
come up in Web searches. Thus, these copyright claims
are also made under the Berne Convention as part of
the author's moral rights.