SEVERAL springs ago some friends and I arose before dawn in Moab, Utah, to witness the sunrise mating dance of the Gunnison sage grouse: a surreal display of nine ornately plumed, chicken-size birds tottering about amid the sagebrush like windup toys, fanning their spiky tails and uttering a magical sound — “pop … pop-pop!” — as they thrust yellow air sacs out of their snow-white chests.
Read the rest of the article and support adding the Gunnison sage grouse, the drumming lover, to the endangered species act.
On the matter of we people expanding into the wild, the veld, we decide whether to deep clean and cultivate assiduously the earth or whether to leave unturned and uncultivated the earth upon which we trod. In between this binary choice–turning or not turning the soil–there is no middle ground. This choice is one of those locked-down moments of either-or, either alive or dead, nothing in between, either turning the soil for cultivation or leave it alone.
Therefore, to keep alive and robust the biota of this good earth–the Gunnison sage grouse, for example, –we must as a people, as temporary tenants of this space, here and now, leave sufficient areas of territory for species to live, to roam, to rest, to raise families. Yes, we need to cultivate land as well, but large tracts of it? At the expense of destroying major habitats? In response to all living things, therefore, let us ratchet down, pin down less tightly, our clearing land and cutting trees and brush, so that we as a people can rise early in the morning and attend the dance of life in those spaces we have tenderly set aside.
(To be continued, The post-industrial order.)