Thanks to my sister Michelle McIlroy for designing the logo!


Ever since I was a child, I have been very interested in nature and the environment. I have a B.S. degree in wildlife biology, and have worked as a zookeeper, wildlife biologist, and ecologist. I am conducting a brief survey of world leaders, government officials, religious leaders, corporate CEOs, environmental groups, wildlife experts, and others regarding nature and the environment. I am also very interested in religious views, customs, and beliefs from around the world, and the interactions between religion, culture, society, and the environment. This is something I am doing out of personal interest, and is not connected to any group or organization. I have been working on this project since the summer of 2006, and hope to eventually turn it into a book and/or documentary. I am hoping to make this into a global project, with responses from all segments of society. Feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions or comments. If you have not already done so, I hope that you will consider taking part in my project, and please spread the word to anyone you think might be interested! Thanks for stopping by!


July 28, 2006

Todd Fearer

Graduate student, Dept. of Fisheries and Wildlife, Virginia Tech

Today’s Date: 7/27/06

1. What interaction with an animal and/or nature in your life has had the biggest impact on you?

Hard to pinpoint one, but being an avid hunter would probably rank first. Through hunting with my father and grandfathers and continuing as an adult, I've gained a love and respect for nature, and a connection to the natural world that I don't think I would have developed otherwise. As a hunter, I'm maintaining an active role in the interactions of the natural world, and it certainly helps me remember how connected we are to nature and how much we still rely on it. I've had several 'close encounters' with deer, raccoons, grouse, weasels, a couple of bears, and various others when they have walked very close to me (sometimes close enough to reach out and touch) but not known I was there - I always love those. Any beautiful sunrise or sunset. Listening to the wind blow through white pines.

2. Did you have a favorite place in the great outdoors during your childhood?

The old farm where my grandmother grew up in Preston County, WV. My family would often go camping there and it was where I did alot of my hunting. While I was a teenager, I would drive out there and go for a walk almost every Saturday, regardless of the weather or time of year.

Now? The central Appalachian Mountain region in Virginia and West Virginia. I've been to Kenya, New Zealand, Costa Rica, Hawaii, and other places, but I still love it here the most. Specifically, a section of Jefferson National Forest in Giles County, VA. It's a broad, high-elevation valley, so it's consistently cooler than the surrounding area. The valley is drained by a beautiful stream full of native brook trout that weaves its through old beaver meadows and hemlock stands. It's also very remote - the occasional plane overhead is usually the only unnatural sound that I hear.

3. As a former zookeeper, I would love to know what your favorite animal is, and why?

That's a hard one, too. I've always loved cats. They have such personality and I've always had at least one as a pet.

4. What do you think is the greatest environmental challenge facing us now, and what do you think will be the greatest challenge in the future?

Where to start? In the short term - permanent habitat loss and fragmentation. In the long term, society's increasing disconnection with the natural world around us. So many people think nature is the Discovery Channel and the local zoo. They have no real connection and understanding of the natural world or the problems facing it, and therefore can't see the steps they can take to help conserve it or even realize they need to.

5. If you could give everyone one piece of advice regarding the environment and our natural resources, what would it be?

Whatever your level of involvement is in the outdoors, increase it. If you don't do things outside, start taking walks and take binoculars with you. If you like to walk and hike, start camping (with a tent - not in an RV). Do things that will both increase you connection to the outdoors and your understanding and respect of the natural world. And take a child with you!! Only by teaching our children that they are a functioning part of nature will we reverse the disconnect that has become so prevalent today.

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