Wyoming Elk Problems

February 18, 2009

The New York Times has an article about elk that surprisingly interested me, and as I looked even superficially deeper into it, many aspects of it further interested me.  This sequence of events also might forecast how the really major environmental issues facing America and the world will be handled.

Last year,  conservation groups under the auspice of environmental law firm Earthjustice filed a lawsuit to stop a century long practice of tourists and other individuals feeding the elk herds in the Jackson, Wyoming area refuges and national parks.  The main reason for this suit is that because this tradition had caused the elk herds to grow to numbers much beyond the natural habitat itself could supply, that the possibility of the carrying of disease has increased dramatically.  The worst possible disease that would effectively end the refuges and parks is one that appears similar to mad cow disease, Chronic Wasting Disease.  The agents that cause this last for years.  The feeding of the elk has become a boon to the nearby towns by tourism and hunting as well as helping farmers and ranchers keep the elk off their own properties.  Stopping the feeding will impact these communities and will cause widespread dying of the elk herds.

Like most problems, this one was caused by good intentions.  Who thought that feeding a hungry elk would be a problem?  If its a tradition from long ago, why would it be bad now?  Like all other good intentions turn harmful, the effects were not even conceivable at the time.  These events show us how global warming and other environmental factors have been caused and continue to effect us.

There are no evil characters behind the scenes wanting to destroy the world (even the worst Rapture Ready nutjob isn’t that much a Bond villian), but simply caused by thoughtlessness and good-turned-horrible intentions.  These people who support the feeding didn’t and don’t want to see the herds die out and unfortunately their own activity might just as well cause it to happen.

Before we seriously look into the problems we are all facing, we have to take the time to evaluate whether the solution isn’t worse than the problem itself.  We have to judge what consequences our choices have caused and might cause in the future.  All of our current issues have arisen because someone somewhere didn’t reason fully in this matter.

A herd of thousands of elk will probably die and this will effect the natural and human lives that found themselves dependent on this herd.  Less than a year has passed and the consequences only jam together with each passing day.

Johnson, Kirk.  “Debate Rages Over Elk Feeding.”  The New York Times 17 February 2009.  18 February 2009. <http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/18/us/18elk.html?_r=1&ref=us&gt;

Robbins, Jim.  “Suit Opposes Elk Feeding in Wyoming.”  The New York Times 4 June 2008.  18 February 2009. <http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/04/us/04refuge.html&gt;

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It’s always good to lead off with a nice cliche.

No, of course not, unless you have a wanting to be laughed at you don’t.  Unfortunately for you all I do enjoy a good pun or cliche, so you will just have to bear with me on this.  Feel free to laugh at me as well as I blunder back and forth on this blog.  I just entered into the blogosphere with nary a good thought in my head.

This is the place where I will be depositing some of the half-baked ideas I have floating in my head.  A lot of it will be controversial because life isn’t worth living if you aren’t controversial at least once in your life.  Please do not become offended but become understanding.

That is my truest wish for this blog.

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