Friday, November 15, 2013

Newspapers Can Have Very Poor Timing

We've all seen the notification that humanity just managed to drive the West African rhinoceros to extinction. Big ups there, Monkey-boys.

But get this - on November 13, 2013, within the same week this news is going around, The Forks Forum publishes ANOTHER article proving humans cannot live with animals.

Evidently a bear was "rampaging" through the area, eating farm animals, especially lambs and goats. Of course, the bear was killed, and the paper did use the term "rampaging." I'll give the reporter credit for trying to just be a good reporter, writing what she saw and heard. She actually is a reporter, unlike me, who is actually a fiction writer (admittedly social and historical fiction, but we WILL put in what we figure out - it's what we're trained to do). And us correspondents for the paper (I'm the - ahem - "West End North Correspondent." Put THAT on a nametag) do NOT write those titles. Thank you.

Considering that the Forks area has been gobbling up all the bear's habitat with clearcuts, why would anybody be surprised? One is always amazed that people try to stick farm animals into a wilderness, with absolutely no idea of what can happen when the apex predators suddenly lose their homes and food sources. Then again, I've become more and more amazed how people - even those claiming to be rural - CANNOT read animal body language, or understand wilderness forest dynamics. I swear, these people might as well have been raised in the houses behind the 7-11 in Bremerton. They're just that knowledgeable when it comes to how animals and forests actually work.

I keep my chickens in a chicken tractor. I do not try to build a completely hard, secure cage for them (although I have one, for the dead of winter, because even we sometimes get blizzards). The reason I have a light little cage is so  I can move it around - and if a starving apex predator shows up and flips the thing, the hens won't be trapped, but can scatter. Predators will kill every last animal they can catch - they're just like us, getting everything we can get our paws on - but if they can only grab one, they'll stop to eat it, and the rest will get away. 

Every time somebody whines about a mountain-lion getting their horse, you can bet a Chinese dinner somebody just clearcut next to their place. The lions prefer DEER and ELK. Not your stupid horse - those things kick! But they'll try for the more difficult meat if it's the only thing they can get.

And keeping weak domestic animals out in a field where something that eats meat - and lives by natural rules - can do a double-take and say, "OOH! Marshmallows!" is just proof the owner is stupid, not the predator is evil.

I heard a woman on A Prairie Home Companion the other day, saying she'd begun to hunt deer as revenge for their eating her tulips. WTF? What planet do these people live on? The ONLY reason for hunting or fishing is if you're hungry or cold. Period. Not for your entertainment or ego or because you need to take it out on your ex.

In Africa, the lion populations are crashing. The Masai no longer hunt them for "proof of manhood." They now guard them. How are they paid? Tourism money.

But if we keep trying to live in the 19th century because there's plenty to kill and waste, we'll all end up having to hang our heads in shame, again, because another species went under on our watch (and the West End STILL has the shame of intentionally wiping out an apex predator - for CASH!). You'd think the Christians and Jews would be on this one - the holy book they share says "steward," not "meat-headed greedy redneck." 

The Forum (you wonder if white people have ANY sense of timing) also published a shot of beautiful big-leaf maple trees with this caption - but you can't see the photo when you go there. The shot is along the Sol-Duc river. Tree-cutting is not allowed along the river, because salmon need forests and shade.

The title and lack of photo is appropriate, considering Rayonier just wiped out all the big-leaf maples along the south side of Frontier Street. This means the older folks and kids will have no place cool to walk in the summer, or see this year's crop of leaves. 

I know, you folks from California or Nevada will call us heat wimps; well, we are. We need our shade. They couldn't have left at least that little plot of land alone while clearcutting a tsunami tunnel into the back of town? Evidently, the humans mean less than the salmon - or we all mean nothing to a corporation based in Florida.

You know - where most of the profits for the death of your tourism industry are going? 

(I am so fired).