Heart Happy (cathy_edgett) wrote,
Heart Happy
cathy_edgett

Balance -

My magazine of The National Parks Conservation Association arrives today with news of Maine's North Woods and the possibility of the second largest national park in the Lower 48. Roxanne Quimby, with her husband, of Burt's Bees, has been buying huge portions of Maine's wild lands to ensure their permanent protection. She wants to donate the 50,000 acres of contiguous land she now owns to the National Park Service as part of a 3.2 million-acre planned park. Amazingly, some are against it, snowmobilers for one. They think it will limit their access to the land that used to be owned by paper barons who allowed snowmobile and hunting access in exchange for no interference on chopping down trees. Quimby is trying to point out that the land will be privately owned by individuals, if it is not quickly swept up into the park. Let's root for this, The Maine Woods National Park and Preserve.

The magazine also discusses the problem of the non-native deer at our own Point Reyes National Seashore. "The cost of culling the deer is estimated to be $300 per animal; to provide birth control, up to $3000 per animal." It is a problem as they continue to multiply, affecting my favorites, the native Tule Elk.

Ironically, I also receive a very funny piece from Vicki today on her experiences with the wood rats, which the ownership of a cat would prevent. She is at the yurt in Ukiah, and without a cat, she has more birds and close experiences with wildlife than she would have if she had one. On the other hand, wood rats seem to provide more wildlife experience than the average human currently needs.

I am reminded of the battles over access to the trails of Mount Tam. The hikers, bikers, and horse people would unite once a year to raise money for the trails. There was sometimes incredible animosity among the three groups. One thing that always struck me was that the hikers were adament that because of the mountain bikers they could not be out in nature, and just "zone out." Now, it is true, that there are some rude mountain bikers, and I occasionally offer a curse, but I also realize that our idea of nature as a playpen, or "safe place" has been recently created. Nature required awareness and respect in the past. Now, the trails have to be closed at dark on Mount Tam in case some one trips, falls, and/or gets lost, and sues. Park rangers are babysitters. People see the park as a museum to walk through, and not as a living, evolving place that once provided a livelihood, a plentiful one, for the Coast Miwok Indians.

Ah, I am reminded now of a poem I wrote when I was very upset about my area being turned into parking lots and interpretive centers for the nature that surrounds me. Someone proposed a tunnel be blown through the land. Well, you can imagine how we fought that. All is currently quiet. Anyway, all of this, is just to say, we each pollute and use incredible resources, and sometimes, it is important perhaps, to reflect on that, and, in doing so, how we can keep as many places as possible, as "natural" as we can.
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