||Animals in the Wild
by Jim Robertson
Private Land can be a Refuge for Wildlife
This letter appeared in the Methow
Valley News in August 2003
Git the gun Martha, it sounds like
that commie editor at the Methow Valley News wants us to take down our "No
Hunting" signs and replace them with "Welcome Hunters"!
His allusion that turning back the
clock will bring egalitarian bliss is part of a collective, Rousseauan
fantasy which preaches the revisionist history that Indian tribes did not
claim lands for their own. The fact is that many defended to the death
their territories against neighboring tribes. And contrary to popular
belief, their hunting practices were cruel and often had staggering
impacts on local wildlife populations.
Harvard biological anthropologist
Richard Wrangham and author Dale Peterson address revisionism in their
1996 book "Apes and the Roots of Human Violence". In a chapter titled
"Paradise Imagined" they write: "Many of us who...absorbed the ideas of
anthropologists like Margaret Mead, find deeply comforting their evocation
of paradise and their notion that human evil is a culturally acquired
thing, an arbitrary garment that can be cast off like our winter clothes".
The chapter goes on to challenge this falacy with examples of human
ill-behavior throughout the ages and concludes with: "To find a better
world we must look not to a romanticized and dishonest dream forever
receding into the primitive past, but to a future that rests on proper
understanding of ourselves".
Considering all the public lands in
the area, there's no reason to suggest that property owners should not
mark their land with No Hunting/No Trespassing signs. I'm all for taking
down unnecessary fences and would like to see all fences modified so
wildlife can pass safely through. But private land can serve as a refuge
for our wildlife neighbors in areas surrounded by public lands already
open to hunting.
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