Wilderness (part 2)


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This is part 2 of Leopold's essay "Wilderness" paired with beautiful images. This presentation can be used as a backdrop to help illustrate public readings of the essay.

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Wilderness (part 2)

  1. 1. On this SlideShare page, you will find several Power Point presentations, one foreach of the most popular essays to read aloud from A Sand County Almanac atAldo Leopold Weekend events. Each presentation has the essay text right on theslides, paired with beautiful images that help add a visual element to publicreadings. Dave Winefske (Aldo Leopold Weekend event planner fromArgyle, Wisconsin) gets credit for putting these together. Thanks Dave!A note on images within the presentations: we have only received permission touse these images within these presentations, as part of this event. You will see aphoto credit slide as the last image in every presentation. Please be sure to showthat slide to your audience at least once, and if you dont mind leaving it up toshow at the end of each essay, that is best. Also please note that we do not havepermission to use these images outside of Aldo Leopold Weekend reading eventpresentations. For example, the images that come from the Aldo LeopoldFoundation archive are not “public domain,” yet we see unauthorized uses ofthem all the time on the internet. So, hopefully that‟s enough said on this topic—ifyou have any questions, just let us know. mail@aldoleopold.orgIf you download these presentations to use in your event, feel free to delete thisintro slide before showing to your audience.
  2. 2. Wilderness 2 Wilderness as SciencePhotos by John Downing, Rebecca Kauten, Erv Klaas, Carl Kurtz, JimPease, and Don Wishart
  3. 3. The most importantcharacteristic of anorganism is that capacityfor internal self-renewalknown as health. Kurtz
  4. 4. There are two organisms whose processes of self-renewal have been subjected to human interference and control. One of these is man himself (medicine and public health).Klaas
  5. 5. The other is land (agriculture and conservation). Kurtz
  6. 6. The effort to control the health of land has not been very successful. Itis now generally understood that when soil loses fertility, or washesaway faster than it forms, and when water systems exhibit abnormalfloods and shortages, the land is sick. Downing
  7. 7. Other derangements are known as facts, but are not yet thought of assymptoms of land sickness. Klaas
  8. 8. The disappearance of plantsand animal species withoutvisible cause, despite efforts tocontrol them, must, in theabsence of simplerexplanations, be regarded assymptoms of sickness in the Kurtzland organism. Both areoccurring too frequently to bedismissed as normalevolutionary events. Kurtz
  9. 9. The status of thought on these ailments of the land is reflected in the fact that our treatments for them are still prevailingly local. Thus, when a soil loses fertility we pour on fertilizer, or at best alter its tame flora and fauna, without considering the fact that its wild flora which built the soil to begin with, may likewise be important to its maintenance.Kurtz
  10. 10. It was recently discovered, for example, that good tobacco cropsdepend, for some unknown reason, on the pre-conditioning of the soilby wild ragweed. It does not occur to us that such unexpected chainsof dependency may have wild prevalence in nature. Kurtz
  11. 11. When prairiedogs, ground squirrels, ormice increase to pest levelswe poison them, but we donot look beyond the animalto find the cause of theirruption. We assume thatanimal troubles must haveanimal causes. The latestscientific evidence points toderangements of the plantcommunity as the real seatof rodent irruptions, but fewexplorations of this clue arebeing made. Kurtz
  12. 12. Many forest plantations are producing one-log or two-log trees on soilwhich originally grew three-log and four-log trees. Why? Klaas
  13. 13. Thinking foresters know that the causeprobably lies not in the tree, but in themicro-flora of the soil, and that it may takemore years to restore the soil flora than ittook to destroy it. Klaas
  14. 14. Many conservation treatmentsare obviously superficial. Pease
  15. 15. Flood-control dams have norelation to the cause of floods.Check dams and terraces donot touch the cause of erosion. Kauten
  16. 16. Refuges and hatcheries to maintain the supply of game and fish donot explain why the supply fails to maintain itself. In general, the trend of the evidence indicates that in land, just as inthe human body, the symptoms may lie in one organ and the cause inanother. Klaas
  17. 17. The practices we now call conservation are, to a large extent, localalleviations of biotic pain. They are necessary, but they must not beconfused with cures. The art of land doctoring is being practicedwith vigor, but the science of land health is yet to be born. USDA-NRCS
  18. 18. A science of land healthneeds, first of all, a basedatum of normality, apicture of how healthy landmaintains itself as anorganism. Pease
  19. 19. We have two available norms. One is found where land physiologyremains largely normal despite centuries of human occupation. I knowof only one such place; northeastern Europe. It is not likely that weshall fail to study it.
  20. 20. The other and most perfect norm is wilderness. Paleontology offers abundant evidence that wilderness maintained itself for immensely long periods; that its component species were rarely lost, neither did they get out of hand; that weather and water built soil as fast or faster than it was carried away. Wilderness, then, assumes unexpected importance as a laboratory for the study of land-health.Pease
  21. 21. One cannot study the physiology of Montana in the Amazon; eachbiotic province needs its own wilderness for comparative studies ofused and unused land. Klaas
  22. 22. It is of course too late to salvage more than alopsided system of wilderness studyareas, and most of these remnants are fartoo small to retain their normality in allrespects. Wishart
  23. 23. US NPSEven the National Parks, which run up to a million acres each in size,have not been large enough to retain their natural predators, or toexclude animal diseases carried by livestock.
  24. 24. Thus the Yellowstone has lost its wolves and cougars, with the result that elk are ruining the flora, particularly on the winter range. At the same time the grizzly bear and the mountain sheep are shrinking, the latter by reason of disease.US NPS
  25. 25. While even the largest wilderness areas become partiallyderanged, it required only a few wild acres for J.E. Weaver todiscover why the prairie flora is more drought-resistant thanthe agronomic flora which has supplanted it. Kurtz
  26. 26. KurtzWeaver found that the prairie species practice „team work‟ undergroundby distributing their roots-systems to cover all levels, whereas thespecies comprising the agronomic rotation over-draw one level andneglect another, thus building up cumulative deficits. An importantagronomic principle emerged from Weaver‟s researches.
  27. 27. Again, it required only a few wild acres for Togrediak to discoverwhy pines on old fields never achieve the size or wind-firmnessof pines on uncleared forest soils. In the latter case, the rootsfollow old root channels, and thus strike deeper. Kurtz
  28. 28. In many cases we literally do not know how good a performance toexpect of healthy land unless we have a wild area for comparisonwith sick ones. US NPS
  29. 29. Thus most of the early travelers in theSouthwest describe the mountain rivers asoriginally clear, but a doubt remains, for theymay, by accident, have seen them at favorableseasons. USGS
  30. 30. Erosion engineers had no base datum until it was discovered that exactly similar rivers in the Sierra Madre of Chihuahua, never grazed or used for fear of Indians, show at their worst a milky hue, not too cloudy for a trout fly.Colorado Riverwatch
  31. 31. Moss grows to the water‟s edgeon their banks. Most of thecorresponding rivers in Arizonaand New Mexico are ribbons ofboulders, moss-less, soil-less, and all but treeless. Thepreservation and study of theSierra Madre wilderness, by aninternational experimentstation, as a norm for the cure ofsick land on both sides of theborder, would be a good-neighbor enterprise well worthyof consideration.
  32. 32. In short all available wild areas, large or small, are likely to havevalue as norms for land science. Recreation is not their only, oreven their principal, utility. Klaas
  33. 33. The National Parks do not suffice as a means of perpetuating thelarger carnivores; witness the preservation status of the grizzlybear, and the fact that the park system is already wolfless. Wilderness for Wildlife US FWS
  34. 34. Neither do they suffice for mountain sheep;most sheep herds are shrinking. Google image
  35. 35. The reasons for this are clear in some cases and obscure in others.The parks are certainly too small for such a far-ranging species asthe wolf. Many animal species, for reasons unknown, do not seem tothrive as detached islands of population. Natureworlds.com
  36. 36. The most feasible way to enlarge the area available for wildernessfauna is for the wilder parts of the National Forests, which usuallysurround the Parks, to function as parks in respect of threatenedspecies. That they have not so functioned is tragically illustrated inthe case of the grizzly bear.
  37. 37. In 1909, when I first saw the West, there were grizzlies in every majormountain mass, but you could travel for months without meeting aconservation officer. Today, there is some kind of conservation officer„behind every bush,‟ yet as wildlife bureaus grow, our most magnificentanimal retreats steadily toward the Canadian border. Klaas
  38. 38. Of the 6000 grizzlies officially reported as remaining in areas owned by the United State, 5000 are in Alaska. Only five states have any at all. There seems to be a tacit assumption that if grizzlies survive in Canada and Alaska, that is good enough. It is not good enough for me. The Alaskan bears are a distinct species. Relegating grizzlies to Alaska is about like relegating happiness to heaven; one may never get there.US FWS
  39. 39. Saving the grizzly requires a series of large areas from which roadsand livestock are excluded, or in which livestock damage iscompensated. US FWS
  40. 40. Buying out scattered livestock ranches is the only way to createsuch areas, but despite large authority to buy and exchangelands, the conservation bureaus have accomplished virtuallynothing toward this end. US FWS
  41. 41. The Forest Service has, I am told, established one grizzly range inMontana, but I know of a mountain range in Utah in which theForest Service actually promoted a sheep industry, despite thefact that it harbored the sole remnant of grizzlies in that state.
  42. 42. Permanent grizzly ranges and permanent wilderness areas are of course two names for one problem. Enthusiasm about either requires a long view of conservation, and a historical perspective. Only those able to see the pageant of evolution can be expected to value its theater, the wilderness, or its outstanding achievement, the grizzly. But if education really educates, there will, in time, be more and more citizens who understand that relics of the old West add meaning and value to the new.US FWS
  43. 43. Youth yet unborn will pole up the Missouri with Lewis and Clark, orclimb the Sierras with James Capan Adams, and each generation inturn will ask: Where is the big white bear? It will be a sorry answer tosay he went under while conservationists weren‟t looking. US FWS
  44. 44. Wilderness is a resourcewhich can shrink but notgrow. Invasions can bearrested or modified in amanner to keep an areausable either for recreation orfor science, or for wildlife, butthe creation of newwilderness in the full sense ofthe word is impossible. It follows, then, that anywilderness program is a rear-guard action, through whichretreats are reduced to aminimum. The WildernessSociety was organized in1935 „for the one purpose ofsaving the wilderness Defenders of Wildernessremnants in America.‟ Pease
  45. 45. It does not suffice, however, to have such a society. Unless there be wilderness-minded men scattered through all the conservation bureaus, the society may never learn of new invasions until the time for action has passed. Furthermore, a militant minority of wilderness-minded citizens must be on watch throughout the nation, and available for action in a pinch. In Europe, where wilderness has now retreated to the Carpathians and Siberia, every thinking conservationist bemoans its loss.Kurtz
  46. 46. Even in Great Britain, which has less room for land luxuries thanalmost any other civilized country, there is a vigorous if belatedmovement for saving a few small spots of semi-wild land. Kurtz
  47. 47. Ability to see the cultural value of wilderness boils down, in thelast analysis, to a question of intellectual humility. Klaas
  48. 48. The shallow-minded modern who has lost his rootage in the land assumes that he has already discovered what is important; it is such who prate of empires, political or economic, that will last a thousand years. It is only the scholar who appreciates that all history consists of successive excursions from a single starting-point, to which man returns again and again to organize yet another search for a durable scale of values.Kurtz
  49. 49. It is only the scholar who understands why the raw wilderness givesdefinition and meaning to the human enterprise. Kurtz
  50. 50. Photo Credits•Historic photographs: Aldo Leopold Foundation archives•A Sand County Almanac photographs by Michael Sewell•David Wisnefske, Sugar River Valley Pheasants Forever, Wisconsin Environmental Education Board, WisconsinEnvironmental Education Foundation, Argyle Land Ethic Academy (ALEA)•UW Stevens Point Freckmann Herbarium, R. Freckmann, V.Kline, E. Judziewicz, K. Kohout, D. Lee, K Sytma, R.Kowal, P. Drobot, D. Woodland, A. Meeks, R. Bierman•Curt Meine, (Aldo Leopold Biographer)•Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Environmental Education for Kids (EEK)•Hays Cummins, Miami of Ohio University•Leopold Education Project, Ed Pembleton•Bird Pictures by Bill Schmoker•Pheasants Forever, Roger Hill•Ruffed Grouse Society•US Fish and Wildlife Service and US Forest Service•Eric Engbretson•James Kurz•Owen Gromme Collection•John White & Douglas Cooper•National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)•Ohio State University Extension, Buckeye Yard and Garden Online•New Jersey University, John Muir Society, Artchive.com, and Labor Law Talk