Greetings! From Larry and Carolyn Eppler

We are happy to have you join us in our exploration of Arizona

Carolyn 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 time to

Larry and Carolyn Eppler


promote understanding of land management issues and working towards balancing a response to differing opinions about the natural environment.

Between 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.

A word from Carolyn and Larry:

We 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.

Our 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.

By 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.


Prescribed 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 plants.

For 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.

These 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.

In 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.

Natural 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.

If 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 granted.

Most 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 area.
It 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 us. The 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.

Successful contribution comes from being well informed. Our goal is to offer you some of our discoveries and information to help you meet this objective.

We 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.

Our 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.

Consider that all living things – not just humans - are consumers in some way.

Also, 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. This because you must be responsible, as so many are not, nor are they held accountable.

As 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 new solutions.

Carolyn and Larry Eppler
Proverbs 2:1-6

Natural Environment Society Southwest

Action Analysis Partners
PO Box 3464
Payson, Arizona 85541

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Serving the Southwest
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