Tag Archives: New York Times

Update: saving the sage grouse

Saving the Sage Grouse – NYTimes.com.

The following quote from The New York Times is a letter about NOT putting the Gunnison sage grouse on the Endangered Species Act, reminiscent of the nineteenth century effort to eliminate the buffalo along the transcontinental railroad routes to California.

Re “Newly Discovered, Nearly Extinct,” by John W. Fitzpatrick (Op-Ed, March 7):

The proposed federal listing of the Gunnison sage grouse under the Endangered Species Act would devalue state and local efforts already under way to conserve the species while simultaneously undermining energy development — both renewable and conventional — in the habitat region.

A federal listing would affect wind energy projects in the Monticello, Utah, area, oil and natural gas production in San Miguel County, Colorado, and potential geothermal development in the Gunnison Basin, Colorado. Agricultural interests would also be greatly affected, as 90 percent of the bird’s habitat sits on federal and private land grazed by domestic livestock.

Energy producers — from wind to natural gas — and local landowners are already working with state agencies to provide protection of the bird, while also providing domestic energy and hundreds of jobs. Placing the grouse on the endangered species list will not only undermine these efforts but will also halt energy development in the proposed region — a devastating, job-crushing, unintended consequence.

BARRY RUSSELL
President, Independent Petroleum
Association of America
Washington, March 8, 2013

From a post on my blog, Poprock Hill, February 22, 2010.

Fat-Takers

Buffalo Skulls at Michigan Carbon Works (1895) Detroit Public Libarary

The Sioux have a name for the white men.  They call them wasicun–fat-takers.  It is a good name, because you have taken the fat of the land.  But it does not seem to have agreed with you.  Right now you don’t look so healthy–overweight, yes, but not healthy.  Americans are bred like stuffed geese–to be consumers, not human beings.  –John (Fire) Lame Deer, in “Lame Deer Seeker of Visions: The Life of a Sioux Medicine Man,” p. 44.

Life is out of balance when people trespass into nature with two notions:  there is a superabundance of resources and nature can be harvested because man has dominion over nature.  Neither are true.  What teachers instructed the men in hats and suits to stand arrogantly on top of a carefully-stacked pile of buffalo skulls to be ground into fertilizer?  Life is out of balance when the photograph above was taken, the men standing on skulls and the teachers and preachers that taught that man has dominion and rights to harvest indiscriminately.  Lame Deer calls such people fat-takers and they are not human beings.  Life is still out of balance when coyote hunts are contests for pelt count and young persons shoot prairie dogs for blood sport.

Photograph above of John (Fire) Lame Deer (1974) Heyoka Magazine, November 2006.

So much to learn by going and sitting down in the woods.

So much to learn by walking the mesa.

Advertisements

15 Comments

Filed under Sage Grouse, Sagebrush

Rare the white buffalo

On the highway to Lubbock from Hermleigh, Texas, there is a byway that goes west to a marker for the white buffalo.  I have visited it once, but I do not see any markers these days to the monument of the white buffalo.  The monument may not be standing anymore since vandals have besmirched much of the statues and markers here in west Texas.

That being written, in Connecticut, a white buffalo has been born.  One in ten million the odds.  See the article in The New York Times:  White Buffalo,

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/13/nyregion/sacred-white-bison-is-born-in-rural-connecticut.html

Good, let us now praise a beautiful calf, and if it is born in Connecticut, so much the better.

 

14 Comments

Filed under Life in Balance

Possum Kingdom area map and weather lifts 20 APR 11

To give you an idea of the extent of the Possum Kingdom Complex Fire, here is a map with pertinent marks.  The distance legend is at the bottom as well as the location of our place — “Matthews (Flying Hat).”  The green lines indicate the field observations I have made the last few days — going north from Flying Hat on SH 108, SH 919 to US 180, then east and west to the Stephens County line, then southward along SH 16 to Strawn.

Wildfires were observed yesterday, NORTH of US 180 and WEST of SH 16 to Strawn — thirty-six miles of the sub-route.  Many of those were fire spots that were lessening in intensity.

The temperature this morning at the Matthews Place is 65 deg., humidity is 20 percent.  In looking at the National Weather forecast, there were NO Red Flag Warnings for today!

I will be writing a post later today.  With a click of your mouse, you may enlarge the map for obligatory detail.

Matthews Place north to Possum Kingdom Lake (The Roads of Texas map set, 1988).

Wildfire near Strawn, Texas (photo by Tom Pennington, New York Times, April 20, 2011).

Notes:

Corrections: italics used to emphasize and word added that these were observations made yesterday. Large caps used to indicate NORTH and WEST in locations.

Sentence added that some hot spots were lessening in intensity yesterday.

17 Comments

Filed under Wildfire

Rewilding the Self

Rediscovering nature and its sentient beings is “rewilding.”  In the mid-1990s, Michael Soule of the University of California, Santa Cruz, proposed the idea that to restore ecosystems one should start from the topside down — reintroduce bears, wolves and otters to a deteriorating system.  Soule’s work was in conservation biology, but is now applied to psychology.

To many people in the field of mental health, a rewilding of the psyche is essential to the “heart’s ease.”  The following article from The New York Times expands on several themes surging in ecology and psychology.  I highly recommend you read this.

Is There an Ecological Unconscious? – NYTimes.com.

Artwork by Kate MacDowell (Photograph by Dan Kvitka for The New York Times)

8 Comments

Filed under Life in Balance

It’s Recess! Coggin Ward 1955

Dale Smith Hitting Home Run, Coggin Ward, Brownwood, Texas, 1955 (click to enlarge)

In the 1950s, when I went to elementary school at Coggin Ward in Brownwood, Texas, we had two recesses, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.  The op-ed article from the New York Times today (see link below) decries the lack of playtime in childhood and the problems encountered at recess — bullying, arguing, intimidation — so much so, that recess coaches have been appointed for troubled schools and playgrounds.  “For children in past eras, participating in the culture of childhood was a socializing process. They learned to settle their own quarrels, to make and break their own rules, and to respect the rights of others. They learned that friends could be mean as well as kind, and that life was not always fair”, so writes David Elkind.

I loved recess at Coggin!  Not so much to escape academics because I loved most of my classes, but I engaged recess like a high form of testing my strength against my weaknesses — running, jumping, kicking soccer balls, escaping from tag, hitting the baseball, even playing mumblepeg on school grounds (pocketknife game, we all carried them).

I used a 620 Kodak camera to take these pictures of us playing baseball in ca. March 1955, at Coggin Ward school.   (Mother used the Kodak to capture pictures of Camp Bowie and my father in the 1940s.)  Dale Smith was a good friend of mine and quite talented in athletics.

These photographs show no recess coaches.  I think there were a couple of teachers observing from the building, but they were never interventionists in our play and gaming unless a major squabble broke out (I don’t remember any).  We chose sides to play baseball.  There was some organization every now and then — calesthentics were occasionally forced upon us.  In the choosing of sides, athletic ability carried the most importance, then popularity.  Even the poorest-talented boy would be chosen to play for there was no sulking allowed we ordered.  I learned that life was not always fair and good, but most of the time the shame and failure could be overcome by coming up to bat again, having another chance for a hit to drive in Henley from second base.   There was always another chance at the plate, and, even then, there was tomorrow’s recess to score a point to win the game.

Television, computer games and other devices have robbed children and adolescents of time outside in the sun and wind and rain.  Look at the trees in the photographs.  It’s late winter, early spring and the leaves are not even out on the trees.  I can tell you that we would play at recess as long as the dust did not obscure second base from homeplate.  We learned to play and adapt to each other.  Oh, these were “social skill sets” that we carried into life beyond Coggin, beyond Brownwood High School.  It may be strange for us of the 1940s and 1950s to visualize a recess coach on the playground, but if that is needed to get boys and girls, young men and women, out of boxes called classrooms and houses, then so be it.  I think I’ll apply to be a recess coach in my retirement.  I’d rather be on the playground than behind a lectern on any sunny day of the year.

Choose sides, boys!  I want Dale, Joe and Jimmy on my side.  Carol will lead the cheers.  It won’t turn out that way, but that’s life, a lesson I learned at recess.

Dale Smith Sliding Into Homeplate, Coggin Ward, Brownwood, Texas, 1955 (click to enlarge)

Baseball Card Photo, Dale Smith, Coggin Ward, Brownwood, Texas, 1955 (click to enlarge)

Op-Ed Contributor – At Schools, Playtime Is Over – NYTimes.com.  This is the link to the New York Times article explaining the socialization problems of modern youth.

16 Comments

Filed under Recollections 1942-1966