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- A tumblr site dedicated to the people and places that make up Oregon and Southwest Washington.
As a biologist working for various entities over a number of years, I have conducted numerous vegetative and aquatic habitat type surveys, on both private and public grazing lands, throughout Eastern Oregon. This experience has allowed me to witness firsthand how much change humans are bestowing upon these lands. Changes like native vegetation disappearing and being replaced by invasive weeds (or other non-native substitutes), water tables dropping such that streams are drying up, and wildlife disappearing because their habitat no longer exists. It is quite apparent to me that our domestic hoofed animals are not mimicking the behaviors of the native wild hoofed animals, and that this type of land use is not sustainable in the long run for these types of lands.
Domestic cattle, horses, and sheep did not historically evolve with the lands of Eastern Oregon and from my observations it is obvious the lands are not able to support them properly without sacrifice to the lands’ health and vigor. The degradation usually happens in a gradual way and is not always apparent to the casual or uninformed human observer, who lives but a short time relative to earth time. The earth operates within a natural system of checks and balances and when we disrupt these we all suffer in the long run. A true steward of the land understands this system and works with it for the benefit of all life, and not just for his/her own profit.
Not all are able to own a piece of heaven on earth, and with our ever expanding human population resulting in more and more of us seeking ways to stay connected to nature, attitudes toward how our public lands are to be used are changing. Values change, life changes, and as a result we have the choice to either adapt or die (be it psychologically or physically). The reintroduction of wolves is a prime example of changing values--a symbolic change desired by the populace to restore and rewild the lands we have so altered.
Humans are very creative and inventive creatures. We can find better ways to live on and with the land that is beneficial and perpetual for all of life’s creatures and its processes.
posted 2 years, 10 months ago
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