July 2017: Greetings from Lady Dunrovin
As many of you know, before moving back to Montana and starting Dunrovin Ranch I had a long career as a biometrician working for state, federal, and international natural resource and wildlife management agencies. Biomathematics is the use of mathematical models to help understand phenomena in biology systems. It relies heavily on statistics and computer-simulation modeling. A primary focus of biomathematics is the study of biological patterns and variability. I have spent over half of my life thinking about, measuring, and trying to understand the diversity inherent in biological systems and in the human dimensions (economic, demographic, social, and cultural) of natural resource management. The most important thing I have learned from these years of study is that diversity is the key to resilience in almost any natural system. The more diverse a biological and human system is, the better it is able to withstand perturbations and disruptions, and the quicker it is to heal from destructive forces.
Diversity is not always easy and inevitably leads to never-ending changes, but that is the way with nature and with human civilization. Diversity is at the heart of the evolutionary process; something new arises, flourishes, and reproduces.
Our nation’s Fourth of July birthday always reminds me of the role that diversity plays in our collective well-being. We are blessed with an abundance of diversity—in our landscapes, weather, and climate, in our way of governing with 50 states serving as experimental governing units, in our culture, race, religious and ethnic origins and traditions, and in our economic complexity. This is our strength.
Unfortunately, diversity can be viewed as a threat rather than as the incredible asset that it is. Some want things to never change. Some want everyone to think alike, pray alike, and hold fast to the same beliefs. Others fear the unknown and seek refuge in familiarity. Each of us probably feels these feelings at various times and in various circumstances. Change and diversity are not always fun and can require significant energy and strength, and therein lies its benefit, its secret ingredient to making us resilient. Diversity prepares us for the inevitable shift that time and circumstances bring.
May we take a moment to celebrate our country’s diversity, to really think about the ways in which our diverse cultures, places, and opportunities contribute to our ability to withstand the forces of change that naturally come whether we want them or not.
One of D@D community assets is in its diversity. We have members from many places that speak different languages, worship in different churches or not at all, and come from vastly different backgrounds. The respect and kindness that is central to our community enables us to share and learn from our diversity. It gives us reasons to cross cultural bridges, form new relationships, and rejoice in our differences. One of the primary reasons that the D@D community is subscription-based is to ensure that safe space where diversity is prized.
Our subscription serves three very important purposes:
First, it allows us to pay the costs of operating DaysAtDunrovin without having to use our limited resources chasing advertisements as a source of revenue. We do not see our community members as consumers in the online world, but as friends who have come together to celebrate animals, nature, and learning. We strive to create an online community free from constant, invasive pushes to purchase. Information about and links to our partner organizations appear without charge on our public D@D pages. We are proud to be associated with these entities and hope you will support them. They share our values and will serve you well.
Second, our subscription creates a "gated community" where people with common interests and values can freely communicate without fear of disrespect. Requiring a D@D membership to participate in the open chat and posting forums ensures protection from internet trolls and bullies. Open and respectful communication opens hearts and forms the basis for friendships. Our website must be safe and secure in order for meaningful conversations and friendships to thrive. Furthermore, this is very personal for me. I live at Dunrovin and I am inviting you into my home. I need to know that you, too, are a real person with honest and good intentions.
Third, we would love to raise money to give back in meaningful ways and support nonprofit causes which speak to the values we all hold. As a community, we can collectively be a force for good.
If you want to join the D@D community and cannot afford the $8/month subscription fee, please email us at email@example.com and we will work with you to set up a scholarship. Willingness to divulge who you are and abiding by our conversation standards of respect are more important to us than payment. Ability to pay should not be a barrier to community membership.
Please share your thoughts about our magazine. Email your comments and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. We cannot promise to answer every message, but we do promise to read every one and post them in our Discussion section for our D@D members to see and discuss. We will work with our D@D members to determine the magazine's course together.
Thank you for your time and attention. Welcome to Dunrovin. I'd love to hear from you.