A Conversation with Len Jubinville

By: Gail Veley
Originally appeared in the Spring 2018 Issue of the Upper Midwest Cervid Newsletter

NatureAgriPark (NAP) Consultant and Canadian native Len Jubinvile has a vision for our ecosystems. A vision he feels is deserving of our President’s and Prime Minister's attention. He would like to make North America safer and richer by developing NAPs where humans, commerce, and lifestyles co-exist sustainably with nature. Places such as this would promote environmental conservation, create more outdoor jobs, create safe havens for wildlife, and perhaps perpetuate a future generation of healthy human beings committed to preserving our natural world.

NAPs could showcase family-oriented outdoor activities such as fruit and berry picking, bird watching, camping, hiking, horseback riding, photography, school field trips, and picnics, just to get the list started. It could also include other activities such as conventional farming, ranching, alternative livestock farming, and during certain parts of the year, hunting and fishing.

Ideally. Existing farms or ranches would be pivotal in helping to see this concept to fruition. Farms and ranches who diversify their operations to become NAPs would help embrace agritourism and might add increased value and sustainability to their property.

Although this task may at first seem daunting, the benefits reach far and wide. Perhaps worth mentioning first is the concept of fencing wildlife in, rather than fencing them out where urban sprawl has left them nowhere to roam. As a result of fencing them out, road-way accidents and deaths have increased from species such as deer, elk, and moose finding themselves in the pathway of vehicles. By creating NAPs, Jubinville feels deer and other wildlife would have safe havens to roam and be appreciated by humans, rather than seen as an inconvenience or death-trap. To him, it doesn't matter If the carcass goes away and disappears. He feels the blood stains left on the road are a sign of our disrespect for nature.

From his extensive travels throughout the U.S. and Canada, Len can attest that our wildlife is being smashed all over the roads. During a road trip from his home in Alberta to the U.S. he counted 22 road kills within the first 400 miles only to encounter seven fresh road kills on Highway 52 in North Dakota. He shuddered to think of how many human injuries or deaths were caused due to these collisions. Perhaps unknowingly, free-range hunters also cause accidents by sending deer out into roadways, as Jubinville witnessed along Interstate 35 in Iowa a few years ago. Incidents such as this would never happen inside a NAP.

Jubinville also has first-hand knowledge of other wildlife related deaths Including a married man with two small children who died after a deer crashed through his car window, and two seventeen-year-old girls who were killed when their vehicle struck a moose.

To Jubinvillle, this proves ‘our North American wildlife model is broken. Unless we make our roadways safer and paint a new picture about our environment and wildlife, we won't even need to have this conversation in the future," Jubinville, 68, said “All the pristine natural areas may be gone and we will have suffered too many fatalities from wildlife having nowhere to go.” Jubinville sees the deer industry as one of the many entities who could provide solutions to wildlife issues and problems. His mission is to get state DNR’s, legislative entities. and the general public to see it that way, too, and become supporters rather than adversaries. By developing inclusive NAPS everyone would be welcome to enjoy nature while simultaneously preserving permanent natural areas.

“The more people connect with nature or earn their income around nature, the better chances we have at protecting and enhancing the environment." Jubinville said. “Trees, tall grass, bushes, and wildlife habitats would become assets rather than liabilities. The Amish are perfect examples of people who revere and respect our natural, beautiful world.

Therefore NAPs, designed to promote respect and reverence for nature in all of us, would only be to our benefit. “Our state DNR’s need to do a better job of managing wildlife. We as a collective group would also benefit in many ways should they recognize, accept, and encourage NAPs,” Jubinville said. “Presently statistics show that for every 100 hunters who quit hunting, only 60 start. This means that hunting is going by the way of the dinosaurs. NAPs can help reverse this trend by concentrating on the rebuilding and protection of our hunting resources. This would also help save governments from future wildlife disasters and potential class action suits "

Jubinville, a native of St. Alberta, Canada has spent nearly a lifetime being involved in the deer industry in some form or another. While his full-time too involves selling specialized deer-handling equipment through Deerstore.com, Jubinville’s other passion involves ensuring the industry remains strong and sustainable in years to come.

Jubinville feels for the farmers in various places throughout the U.S. such as Indiana who have fought through the court system to keep their deer farms and hunting preserves, because he has been through the same thing as a former deer farmer in Canada. He believes legislatures should not be allowed to use tax dollars in an attempt to shut down legitimate industries.

“Fortune favors the prepared mind,” Jubinville said, in reference to repeating a famous quote by Louis Pasteur. “We need to ready ourselves for changing the management of our ecosystems and direct our efforts in the positive direction they need to go, in order to have the fortune and safety benefits from preserving natural areas.”

He is looking for like-minded people to join him in this quest. Interested anyone? Call Len Jubinville at 320-232-8396 or email him at deerstore@fallsnet.com

Len Jubinville