Nature conservationists should pay more attention to what citizens want: more nature where there's something to do. The strong emphasis on ecological management is too one-sided.
Dutch nature management is sees nature as wilderness. Ecology comes first and nature should be left alone. Intervention is against these managers' principles. Citizens, on the other hand, want more diversity in nature. They want nature in which there is priority not just for ecology but also for beauty, experience accessibility. Buijs calls for a better balance between the ecological and the societal aspects of nature areas.
'The societal value of parts of the Veluwe, for example, or of the Green Heart is probably higher than their ecological value. So the emphasis there should be on attractive accessible nature.' Buijs feels that nature organizations are missing opportunities. 'Nature can be made too sacred at times. Ignoring the citizens makes nature organizations vulnerable. Nature conservation remains important, of course. But if you want support in the long run you have to make sure you can't be dismissed as the environment mafia.'