Naturalists often complain that species and phenomena are neglected unless they are of direct
economic interest. So many aspects of natural history are ignored that "everyplace" is
effectively unknown. Environmental change makes everything different than it was before, and
requires re-exploration of every territory. The more we learn, the more detail and complexity
unfolds to us. Henry David Thoreau 'travelled a good deal in Concord', providing an unparalleled
public record of the species he recognized and their relationships in natural communities, and
making major advances in theoretical ecology simply by constantly re-exploring his ancestral
Anyone can do for their home range what Thoreau did for Concord: notice, record, monitor, analyze, and publicize natural phenomena. Many people are out there enjoying Nature, but relatively few of them record what they see. Every one who goes out as a serious observer, with a field notebook or journal, is adding to what we can know of nature.
Many observations go unrecorded, and many scientific datasets not included in publications languish in files. Fragile Inheritance is mandated to support long term ecological monitoring, as well as archiving and databasing the observations of both amateurs and academics, historical and current. Beyond the tasks of gathering and keeping data, it supports and encourages the essential tasks of analysing, publishing, and disseminating the results of long term monitoring, both to the general public, and to decision-makers.