Brian Czech: Wrestling the 800-Pound Gorilla

YouTube video

Brian was hired in 1999 as among the first Conservation Biologists in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Working in the headquarters of the National Wildlife Refuge System, he brought an interdisciplinary approach including an expertise in ecological economics. When he began to raise awareness of the trade-off between economic growth and wildlife conservation, Refuge System leadership got cold feet and started issuing gag orders. As a scientist passionate about conservation, Brian refused to ignore the “800-Pound Gorilla” and was subjected to reprimands, suspensions, and a general abuse of authority.

Brian finally quit FWS at the end of 2017 to work as the executive director of the Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy (CASSE). One of CASSE’s projects is helping civil servants speak truth to power about limits to growth and the trade-offs between economic growth and environmental protection. Czech has also authored his fourth book, “Gag-Ordered No More,” scheduled for publication in 2019.

Readers can sign the CASSE position on economic growth at


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