Natives And Yellowstone Park
On the day of the shootings, Cody sat in his usual spot in biology at the front row for a quick exit when the bell rang. “There was Jeff outside in the hallway, visible through a glass partition, armed with a pistol. He was aiming at me.” An instant later, a bullet crashed through the glass into Cody’s hip”.
Also, going through Goggle News last night I came across an extensive article about young Weise being under medical treatment for depression with Prozac and according to several sources he had attempted suicide on several occasions in the past. I went through the roster this morning and the story has been deleted.
Life will never be the same on the Red Lake Reservation because of the school shootings. World news is being focused on Native Disunity and the wretched living conditions existing on a tribal reservation in the wealthiest and most powerful nation in the world at a time when the Bush administration is trying to spread our brand of democracy throughout the world.
Hopefully, something positive for the tribe can emerge from this tragic event.
On to ‘Natives and Yellowstone’:
The following excerpt is from Michael Crichton’s latest novel “State Of Fear” which is generating a lot of buzz as Crichton takes on Global Warming and the Environmentalists.
Anti-environmentalist John Kenner is telling “tree hugging” film star Ted Bradley about the history of Yellowstone Park: The first national park and its involvement with Native Americans.
Yellowstone Park, Kenner explained, was the first wilderness to be set aside as a natural preserve anywhere in the world. The region around the Yellowstone River in Wyoming had been recognized for its wondrous scenic beauty. The new Northern Pacific Railroad wanted a scenic attraction to draw tourists to the West, so in 1872, President Ulysses S. Grant set aside two million acres and created Yellowstone Park.
There was only one problem. No one had any experience trying to preserve a wilderness. There had never been a need to do it and it was assumed it would be much easier to do than it proved to be.
When President Theodore Roosevelt visted the park in 1903, he saw a landscape teeming with game. There were thousands of elk, buffalo, black bear, deer, mountain lions, grizzlies, coyotes, wolves and bighorn sheep.
Yet, within ten years the teeming landscape Roosevelt had seen was gone. The park managers had taken a series of bad turns they thought were in the best interests of preserving the park.
Early park managers mistakenly believed the elk population was about to become extinct so they shot and poisoned the wolves in the park and prohibited Indians from looking for game in an area which had been their traditional hunting grounds.
Protected from predators, the existing elk population exploded and ate so much of the natural vegetation the ecology of the area began to change. The elk ate the trees the beavers used for dam building so the beavers disappeared. Beaver dams were vital to the overall water management of the area.
When the beavers disappeared, the meadows dried up, the trout and otter vanished and the park ecology changed,
By the 1920’s there were too many elk so the rangers began to shoot them, but the change in the plant ecology was permanent and the mix of old tree and plants never returned.
It also became increasingly clear the Indian hunters of old knew what they were doing. They exerted a valuable ecological influence on the area by keeping down the number of elk, moose and bison. They were credited with shaping the “untouched wilderness” the white man saw when they first came to the New World
But the narrator added, “The ‘untouched wilderness’ was nothing of the sort. ”The natives living on the American continent had been controlling their environment for thousands of years before the white man ever came here. They burned plains grasses, modified forests, thinned animal populations and hunted others to extinction. The “untouched wilderness” concept was a myth!
In his novel, Crichton makes many points against “global warming” but you will have to read the book to judge those points for yourself.
I was a geology major for a few semesters before I later turned to journalism, but one thing for sure - global warming was never mentioned in the 1940s.
In “State Of Fear”, Crichton goes to great lengths to stress the fact the Antarctic continent is not warming but never mentions the changes in climate in the Arctic regions that are drastically affecting its inhabitants – both man and animals.
Then again, there are not many people living on the Antarctic continent. Maybe that is the answer to global warming – too many people in the wrong places! Anyone for a move to Patagonia?
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