Environmentalist stresses conservation with pictures

Seven-year-old Emily Wurk watched from her seat on her mother’s lap Tuesday evening as J. Michael Fay lectured on pictures he took that show human impact on the African environment. Wurk and brother Dominic, 9, were brought to the lecture by their mother, Nancy Lung of Benbrook, who said that although she was hesitant to bring them, she thought her children mostly understood the lecture.

“Understanding the idea of habitat destruction for human development is something we’ve talked about since they were born,” said Lung, a director of veterinary science for the Fort Worth Zoo.

Fay used about 60 of the 110,000 pictures he took while flying over more than 25 African countries to explain the need for more conservation of land, and the detrimental effect Western logging and mining companies have had on the environment.

Dominic Wurk said he comprehends the importance of conservation.

“We understood the main part that parts of Africa were falling into poverty and all lands and resources are perishing and we need to help out,” Wurk said.

Rick Garnett, an environmental science studies graduate student, said he was impressed with the emphasis Fay placed on ethics and responsibility.

“You have to put people ahead of profits,” Garnett said. “It’s difficult for a lot of companies and people to even think of that.”

Fay said all the pictures would remain uncensored and will be available online at www.nationalgeographic.com.