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Old 07-26-2004, 10:49 PM
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Feiger Feiger is offline
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: Deschutes, John Day, Grande Rhonde, Salmon Rivers
Posts: 168
Amen OC...

Reminds me of Aldo Leopold's writing - "Thinking Like a Mountain"
in describing his own youth, referencing his younger days of a proponent of predator elimination to create a hunter's paradise. After shooting a half dozen wolves he and his companion had come across, he made this observation--

"We reached the old wolf in time to watch a fierce green fire dying in her eyes. I realized then, and have known ever since, that there was something new to me in those eyes--something known only to her and to the mountain. I was young then, and full of trigger itch. I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, that no wolves would mean a hunters' paradise. But after seeing the green fire die, I sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view."

Aldo goes on to relate his observations of the elimination of the wolf from the western US, and the affect the abundance of deer that resulted - destroyed summer and winter range habitat, loss of species diversity, and ultimately, after a dramatic increase in deer populations, the even more dramatic crash of same populations due to trashed habitats.

"Only the mountain has lived long enough to listen objectively to the howl of the wolf."

I hear often the finger pointing that comes with declines in favorite species, whether they be atlantic salmon, steelhead, pacific salmon species, deer, elk, grouse, you name it. And as often as not, the predator blame game comes out en force... Yet no one stops to objectively look at the role they themselves have played in that desired species decline? Are "we" not the ones that have damed the rivers we cherish? Have we not encouraged, or at least not spoken against, over harvest on our seas, river mouths and inland streams? Are we not the ones that have encouraged, or at least not spoken against, damaging logging and other land use plans that are a detriment to our rivers we again cherish? Are we not the ones that have created the Locks and other bottle necks that allow a natural predator to become that much more effective, and fat and happy? I have yet to see a situation where a truely predator and predatory problem exists. In every situation, a finger can be pointed at the man in the mirror, for decisions made, actions implemented, and shameful silence maintained, that is truely the root of the problem. My bench mark? 15 years as a wildlife biologist. As I have said before in this forum - in order to change the world, and the resources we love that are in peril, we must first change the person looking back at us in the mirror...... Killing the loons, the seal, the goshawk, the wolf, that's not the answer... reducing or eliminating the effects of human presence on this world is....

time to tie flies for my alaska trip - the monstor rainbows, cohos and char await!!!
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Last edited by Feiger; 07-26-2004 at 10:53 PM. Reason: misspellings...
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