Watershed Journal: Spring 2010
Brown and Risd's Journal of Environment and Culture. Spring 2010- Western Issue Our experience is not of a verdant dale, or a fecund jungle, but of public parks and parking lots. We find a wilderness in the rivers that run through our cities, in the trees that line our streets. Our nature is not the unmitigated nature of museums or magazines. Ours is a nature known in the midst of people. Given this experience, Watershed collects critical, artistic and literary productions that respond to the question: "What is the natural?"
watershed Watershed Brown and RISDâ€™s Journal of Environment and Culture. Issue 4. Volume 1. Thoughts on a Volcano Karen Holmberg & Illana Halperin Voices From the Rocky Mountains: Doug Peacock Jesse Logan Louisa Willcox Matt Skoglund Lisa Upson River Music, Farm Work, & Distillation Letterboxing Marc Beaudin Ari Rockland-Miller Spawning in Mud Ana Maria Khahteyee Dena Adler Mono Lake Anna Mills Spring 2010 1 2 watershed Spring 2010 3 watershed E ditor ’ s N ote Dear Watershed Readers, Welcome westward! In this double-length issue, we embark on a journey through the west both as a physical space and cultural construction. En route, Watershed’s central question: “What is the natural?” is never far from mind. Our travels begin on a far afield yet intimate stage, as Emlie’s Lyrgen’s prose describes “home” in the Californian West and Hilary Bakamwesiga nostalgically recalls campfire in western Uganda. In “Damning Eden” we broaden our horizon to discover how the human footprint is altering some of the most iconic wildlands. Our feature article explores the latest ramifications of this far reaching anthropogenic touch on grizzly bears, wolves, bison, and the very landscape of Yellowstone. As the climate continues to warm and legislation remains painfully slow to conserve wildlife and wild places the words of Doug Peacock, Louisa Wilcox, Jesse Logan, Lisa Upson, and Matthew Skoglund are increasingly essential. Despite the long reach of human impacts, Karen Holmberg’s essay and Illana Halperin’s gorgeous prints remind us of the raw power of nature and the timeless patience of volcanoes. Meanwhile, the poetry of Marc Beaudin and Benjamin Bonyhadi hauntingly reflect on how much we stand to lose on our current path. Our odyssey is rounded off the illustrated field notes of Erica Layton and Margiana Petersen-Rockney’s mental and physical meanderings through the Indian marketplace and countryside. It has been a great pleasure bringing this issue of Watershed to the presses and I am incredibly excited to produce one more issue during my time as editor. Front Cover Illustration by Dadu Shin Inside Front Cover by Katie Patch Back Cover Illustration by Susanne Lamb 4 watershed Dena Adler Managing Editor Box 1930 Brown University Providence, RI 02912 firstname.lastname@example.org www.watershedjournal.org DENA ADLER . . . . . . . . . . . . . Managing Editor ALICE COSTAS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Art Director CHRISTINA BODZNICK . . . . . . . . . . . . . Features Editors VERONICA CLARKSON . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Prose Editor MOLLY COUSINS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Poetry Editor NATHAN CHELLMAN JEHANE SAMAHA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Design BEN CARMICHAEL EVAN FRAZIER IAN GRAY BEN GODDARD NICK NEELY ALICE COSTAS HELEN MOU . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Editors Emeriti ELIZABETH TAYLOR NORMAN BOUCHER THALIA FIELD RICHARD FISHMAN KARL JACOBY DAN JAMES SIMONE PULVER CAROLINE KARP . . . . . . . . . . . Advisory Board Watershed is published with funding from Brown University’s Creative Arts Council and Undergraduate Finance Board, from the RISD Illustration Department, and from invidividual donations and Printed by Kase Printing ISSN 1549-1374 ©2007 Watershed Magazine All Rights Reserved. C ontents Abacus 6 路 Switchboard 7 路 Contributors 78 路 Days 82 F eatures KAREN HOLMBERG & ILLANA HALPERIN. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Thoughts on a Volcano 18 DOUG PEACOCK, JESSE LOGAN, LOUISA WILLCOX, MATTHEW SKOGLUND, & LISA UPSON . . . . . . Voices From the Rocky Mountains 32 P rose M. KELSEY LANE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Damning Eden 13 A rt ERICA LAYTON . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Notes from the Field 58 ............................ MARGIANA PETERSEN-ROCKNEY. . . . . . .A Seed in the Hand 68 P oetry MARC BEAUDIN . . . . . . . . . .Farm Work, River Music, & Distillation 26 BEN BONYHADI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nawalagwatsi 62 submit to watershed Prose, poetry, art. Send us your work for review. Deadline: April 20thst Detailed submissions guidelines available online: www.watershedjournal.org Submissions and inquiries: email@example.com Spring 2010 5 A bacus A Grizzly Outlook Year by which grizzlies had come into significant contact with European settlers 1850 Year when serious grizzly decline was identified 1850 Year by which grizzlies were occupying only 2% of their former range 1970 Year when grizzlies were listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act 1975 Number of grizzly bear ranges remaining in the United States 5 Current estimated percentage of grizzly mortality attributed to humans 80 Approximate number of grizzlies surviving in the United States 1000 Wanting Water Average temperature increase on the planet over the last 5 yrs (ËšF) Avg. temperature increase in the Western United States over the last 5 years 1.7 Avg. temperature increase in the Colorado River Basin over the 2.2 % of Colorado River water that comes from snowmelt 70 In the past decade, years in which regional snowpack was below average 8 % of Lake Powell Reservoir filled in 1999 97 % of Lake Powell Reservoir filled in 2005 33 Consecutive years it will take of pre-2005 water inflow to fill reservoir 20 Millions of Americans dependent on the Colorado River for water 30 Sources on page 80 6 1.0 watershed S witchboard West as Home Photograph by Emilie Lygren For me, the form of a light green metal watering can face-down in a puddle with rain sliding down its sides is an emblem of winter.Though we cut snowflakes and pasted them onto the windows in school, I never saw them in real life unless I left my home and went somewhere it snowed. Winter was the time of year when it was supposed to snow but didnâ€™t. It just rained, and the rain stripped the leaves from the trees, and there was less fog than summer, and it got cold but not the way storybooks said it would. It was never cold enough to ice skate, except for one year at Grandmaâ€™s when, after a frigid night, the pool out back received a coating of ice just thick enough to support my childhood weight. Aided by the arm of an uncle or other relative, I stood, my rubber sneaker soles Spring 2010 7 sliding frantically in attempts to find balance. That afternoon’s details—the blue and green fleece hat I wore and the clear block shapes the ice made after we cut them with a shovel—lodged themselves permanently in my mind. They would, however, have been written differently and remembered differently by one who grew up knowing many iced afternoons in many permutations of hats, someone for whom snow was a part of the seasonal menu. Barry Lopez describes an exterior landscape that includes the geology, flora, fauna, and weather. In his essay “Landscape and Narrative,” he says each person is indelibly influenced by that exterior landscape. He believes that one’s sense of place and story is “deeply influenced by where on this earth one goes, the patterns one observes in nature.” I am from the West—California, specifically—and the places I call home are those I have fallen in love with. They stick in my memory as images or sounds: the dawn chorus of birds lifting up at sunrise over the Sierra Valley, the scent of sage heated by slanting winter sun in the mountains of Big Sur, the dark silhouettes of Joshua Trees pasted on a searing sky, an oak-lined hill covered, once, in snow. I have spent my years knowing a set of species, a topographical pattern, the seasons of a few places. I am a steward of those images—of the rocks and redwoods and birds of this coast—more than of any other. They have marked my mind with a ferocious permanence, one that influences my every action and thought.This is a love of a landscape that has touched me deeply, one that has seen me change, and one whose changes I know well. As such, I will always be that surprised child, watching a winter’s ice that seems to have come from somewhere else, from someone else’s story. ~Emilie Lyrgen A comparison of Waterfire in Providence and Campfire in Kabale: A Nostalgic tale of black wattle Recently, I joined the rest of Providence City community to celebrate Waterfire. The occasion served as a reminder of a similar fortnightly event, Campfire, back home in the Kabale district of south-western Uganda in the early 1970’s. Waterfire attracts people of all ages who come to listen to ambient music played along the river banks and watch fires burning on pontoons in the middle of the river in Providence. Campfire mainly entertained white missionary priests 8 watershed and brothers all-night and involved dancing, singing, sharing and telling scary stories. The Waterfire gathering instills a sense of togetherness and reaffirms personal commitment to community. Similarly, Campfire was one of the rare avenues where the young and old mixed freely – the religious instilling morals through sharing of their past life experiences. --While Waterfire is produced, seasonally, by full-time staff, preparation for campfire needed only a couple of days. On the eve, young crusaders of Roman Catholic faith – mainly teenagers and youth - walked up-hill while singing religious hymns, felled as many Black Wattle (Acacia mearnsii) trees as they could roll down hill. The next day, they torched the wood piles and maintained Photograph by Jenny Fillipetti the fire through out the night. Campfire was organized during the dry season when nights were darker and temperatures lower than most of the year, Waterfire symbolizes the qualities of light and warmth as generated by fire and of life sustained by water. However, Waterfire is less destructive to the environment than campfire. Probably, the lavish campfire contributed to environmental change in my home district. In the last 30 years the district has experienced frequent and prolonged droughts, loss of soil fertility, and an increase in malaria incidences among other issues, following my lifetime experience. Generally, black wattle trees covered hilltops of the then Kigezi district. Almost every family owned a woodlot for fuel wood, building poles and strings. Because of its qualities – excellent hot-burning firewood; strong, workable and termite resistant – black wattle was significant source of fuel wood and poles source. “Wattle and daub” houses lasted longer (more than 30 years) than those Spring 2010 9 built using other trees. To lower coffins into graves on burial ceremonies, black wattle stripped barks were commonly preferred. The cover of trees and wetlands was enough to cause thick morning mists to converge on hill-slopes from hilltops and valleys respectively, sometimes so translucent that one could hardly see an object 10 meters away. During the months of June and July, average morning temperatures varied between 6-10 degrees centigrade and sometimes caused mild frost on plant leaves. Afternoons were usually sunny. The late 1970’s saw reduction of black wattle cover that marked the beginning of the end of campfires. A handful of white missionary priests had remained - many fled Amini’s racist and brutal rule, others were recalled following increased numbers of native black priests. Subsequently, in the 1980’s, as fuel wood and food demand increased due to high population pressure, the slow growing black wattle (8-10 years to maturity) woodlots were converted to annual crop gardens. By the same period, my village-church-owned black wattle woodlots that sustained campfire ceremonies were no more. Sadly, I write with nostalgia. Blackwattle trees that covered the bare hills, sustained campfires, provided instant fuel wood and building poles, and contributed to the morning mist and night cold are no more. While the similarity of the two celebrations is in originality and purpose, their difference mainly lies in organization and modernity. ~Hilary Bakamwesiga Hybrid Vigor Gosh, I don’t think it’s that simple any more. Jim hikes off to find the purest Cutthroat he can. Requires: clear, cold water. Oh, I’m just here fishing the fishing line from my hair. I’d like to pull you back by the back of your knees. Trade you for some answers. I am afraid, though, that your eyes too, like everything, will begin and end as a gray day spinning. 10 watershed Jim says if you can find a stock of pure native Cutthroat you’ll be in the deepest wilderness that’s left. You won’t know, I guess, until you’re there. And even then, only if you’re good enough at fishing to catch one. That’s bullshit. I’m terrible at fishing. Illustration by Natalie McGarvey Didn’t go. “Should I come?” “Oh, did you want to?” “Oh, I don’t know...” “Well it’s up to you.” Besides. I’m already in the deepest wilderness of all time all the time. I practically breathe national park air all the time. is what I’m saying. Want to know? Anadromous fish evolved all the way up the western slope, slopping for two million years. On we go: 1. Jim returns. Success at the headwaters! 2. Our pond emptied. Spring 2010 11 3. Send HELICOPTER to collect trout 4. Put them in the pond (with water) (clear, cold water) 5. “Okay, live, make more of you. Stay Simple. Stay Cool.” We say. We want pure. Jim keeps looking for simple. You were right about all that complexity. I have the biodiversity spins. The pond is drained to hell... Non-native salmonid eggs were still hiding in the pond muck ... Hatch and so... Cutthroat hybridizes with Rainbow trout, creating an impure, hybrid trout: A HYBRID trout. Everything is hybrid as fuck these days. There’s some baseline I’m trying to establish. What baseline? That’s your question for me. I know I know I don’t know. Good Question. Cutthroats will hybridize with any shit that will help them survive better. That’s a way to live. I think I mean that. Maybe for me there’s no clear, cold, water. You say: the more you cut your hair, the faster it grows. To hybrid vigor then! To impurity! Oh, that isn’t how I feel at all. I love the native Cutthroat. Let’s try again: I say to Jim, chewing on my hair. Let’s drain the pond and give it another go. ~Christina Bodznick 12 watershed Damning Eden M. Kelsey Lane Illustration by Ida Floreak A secret Eden hides in the depths of the arid American West. A primordial ocean, once teeming with our earliest ancestors, is recorded in layer after layer of sandstone, shale, and limestone. Corals and sandy beaches are ground fine, deposited on ocean floors, lithified, cemented, and buried in colorful strata of mocha, salmon, beige, rose, and coral. This ancient landscape should hide hundreds of feet below the surface, but it lies exposed thanks to a force that could not be ignored. A steady stream of water began eroding particle after particle of sediment, transporting them downstream to the Pacific Ocean. Over time this torrent of water became the river we know today as the Colorado River. In the canyons of the Colorado River, the stark desert splits in half, creating an aquatic oasis. Small willows grow on the banks; chub and pike swim in the steady currents. The Grand Canyon is the most famous, but many other canyon systems formed by the Colorado River stretch across the American Southwest. It is now a dammed (or should I say damned?) Eden. Spring 2010 13 The Colorado River was a force all its own, an uncontrollable and constant threat. Before it was dammed, 500,000 tons of silt were carried each day 1400 miles down 6,000 vertical feet at a speed of 85,000 cubic feet per second. The Bureau of Reclamation called the Colorado River a “national menace,” but it was a lucrative menace too. Figuring out how to harness that raging bull was no easy task, but the hydraulic power behind could be used for electricity, agriculture, flood control, and recreation. The Bureau of Reclamation wrote in 1947 that in the near future, “the Colorado River will be utilized to the very last drop.” In the 1950s, a dam was proposed on the Colorado River above the Grand Canyon in the Glen Canyon, named the Glen Canyon Dam for the natural canyon system it would flood. It was neither the first nor the last dam to choke the Colorado, but it proved to be one of the most tragic. To the hardened canyoneers and river runners who knew Glen Canyon, it was arguably “the jewel of the Colorado.” (Graham, 2005) When talks of a dam began, environmentalists and conservationists protested. At first just a few locals spurred the fight, but quickly the movement grew and even those who had never seen Glen Canyon’s beauty felt drawn to protect it. The Sierra Club became involved and brought national attention to the cause. Ultimately, the Sierra Club compromised and gave up Glen Canyon in exchange for scratching two other dams. The decision haunted the Sierra Club’s then-president, David Brower, for the rest of his life. “Glen Canyon was what he considered his biggest mistake and the worst loss that happened on his watch,” said Brower’s son, Ken Brower. Illustration by Ida Floreak 14 watershed Construction on Glen Canyon Dam began in 1957. Building Glen Canyon Dam was no easy task. The Colorado River had to be diverted from its path to allow construction of the dam. The dam itself required approximately 10 million tons of concrete to create the 710-foot tall structure. An entire town, Page, AZ, was built to bring in supplies and house the construction crews. The entire process took seven years and seventeen men lost their lives. The final price tag was over $400 million. In 1964, as The Beatles toured America and Martin Luther King, Jr. won the Nobel Peace Prize, construction finished on Glen Canyon Dam. The Colorado River was allowed back to its natural course and flowed happily into Glen Canyon, following the million-year-old path that it had been denied during the last seven years of construction like a giddy child glad to return home. But once in the reservoir, Lake Powell, the Colorado found itself plugged by the massive dam, with nowhere to turn but back on itself. The mighty river became a lake, albeit slowly, as the intricate canyon systems of Glen Canyon took 17 years to fill. Lake Powell looks like an outline of a Pollock painting; small fingers of water spread in every direction like an agitated amoeba uncertain of where to go. 2,000 miles of shoreline wrap around the lake’s 180 mile length. In 1972, the government established the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Those who never knew Glen Canyon delight in Lake Powell’s natural beauty, but it is a hoax. The lovely trees shading the banks are tamarisks that grow naturally in the Mediterranean. They were introduced to the United States and now, despite the Parks Service’s best efforts, cannot be expunged. The water of the Colorado flows clear and green at a chilly 40˚. The undammed Colorado ran red with silt and stayed a lukewarm 60˚. The trout and bass flitting through the pools beneath the dam are natives of much colder waters; the native fish of this area are gone. Furthermore the Glen Canyon Dam threatens the prized Grand Canyon. When a river is dammed, the water released from the dam is sediment-starved. This is particularly true of the Colorado River which naturally carried so much sediment. So the river scours the banks of the Grand Canyon beneath the dam’s outflow, taking away the sand and mud that supports life on those shores. Rafting guides find campsites and entire shorelines in the Grand Canyon area gone, stolen by the hungry river. The Glen Canyon Dam actually clogs the Colorado River. Annual floods used to provide fresh sediment to the banks and clear away the debris that blocked the Colorado’s rapids. Now, these rapids clog and the debris piles up. Officials began to simulate floods in the 1990s, semiannually allowing huge flushes of water and sediment to pour into the canyon system below. The results of these simulated floods were encouraging. Environmentalists realized the ecosystem of Glen Canyon was salvageable, if the dam gates were opened. The Sierra Club began to call for the decommissioning of Glen Canyon Dam in late 1996. * * * * * Spring 2010 15 Release Lake Powell and this desert Eden will rise from the depths! The dam does not need to be taken down, just open the gates and let the river run through. Then, if future generations need the dam, there the structure will stand. Glen Canyon Dam is an inefficient endeavor. Currently, the reservoir spends over half of its time at less than 50% capacity. And what water there is evaporates or gets sucked up by the dry land – 600,000 acre-feet annually. (This is a disturbing amount: consider that Los Angeles uses 660,000 acre-feet of water annually.) Instead, better-planned water storage at sites with less evaporative potential would be much less wasteful. The Colorado River lower basin, in its natural state, has potential benefits. Ecotourism, in the form of river running and canyoneering expeditions, would be a huge boom for Arizona and Utah’s economies. These states could profit from what occurs naturally – a unique wilderness. The primordial ocean and its layers of sediment, revealed in Glen Canyon by the Colorado River’s patient presence and pressure for millenia, now hide beneath stagnant waters. Why are we damming Eden? And in doing so, will we damn ourselves? Illustration by Ida Floreak 16 watershed Illustration by Natalie McGarvey References: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 5. “Back as it was?” The Economist. 24 June, 1995: 29. Farmer, Jared. Glen Canyon Dammed. Tuscon, AZ: University of Arizona Press, 1999. Fradkin, Phillip. A River No More. New York: Alfred Knopf. 1981. Graham, Wade. “Houseboat Heaven: Flush It; the “Jewel of the Colorado” is Gone for Good.” Editorial. Los Angeles Times. 19 June 2005. Kaplan, Matt. “Let the Wild River Run.” New Scientist September 28, 2002: 32. Reisner, Marc and Sarah Bates. Overtapped Oasis. Covelo, California: Island Press. 1990. “Water in the West.” The Economist. 29 March, 1997: 27. Spring 2010 17 Thoughts on a Volcano: An Infernal Dinner Party Words by Karen Holmberg Prints by Illana Halperin NOTE: Should the occasion have required music, the 1964 composition by Icelandic composer Jón Leifs, Hekla Op. 52, could have served well. The performance of the piece requires sets of volcanic rocks that are hit with hammers, anvils, cannons, metal chairs, steel plates, a choir, orchestra, and an organ. The beginning was slow but colossal. At the onset of time, on a day that began with breakfast over deep-sea vents,1 Pele sat down to a fiery dinner with Thor.2 The banquet table was provisioned with a roast phoenix and the customary sides.3 The Oracle of Delphi poured the wine and swayed in the fumes4 from Vulcan’s pipe.5 Hephaestus6 sat with Geryon7 who watched, red-faced, as Sir Hamilton enacted uproarious tableaus and set them in stone.8 (footnotes) 1. Archaea is the term used to describe the first lives on the planet, which formed 3.5 billion years ago. Shallow - formed in a boiling, salted, motherless milk. over deep sea volcanic vents longing 2. Pele, Hawaiian goddess Norse god of thunder. life - with such deep of fire, lightning, volcanoes and violence. Thor, the 3. The ancient Phoenicians revered the phoenix as a sacred firebird. 4. The cryptic Oracle of Delphi, also known as the Pythia or priestess of Apollo, sat on a tripod seat over an opening in the earth from which snakes of intoxicating telluric vapors rose. 5. Vulcan, Roman god of fire, was married to the beautiful but Venus. Each time she betrayed him, his anger was channeled into metalwork in his workshop under Mount Etna, prompting sparks and smoke to erupt from the volcano. the ancient promiscuous 6. Hephaestus, the Greek counterpart of Vulcan. 7. Geryon, a red monster who tended red cattle in a volcano crater, is known to us from a 6th century BC epic poem by Stesichorus. Geryon featured more recently as the protagonist in Autobiography of Red by Anne Carson. 8. Sir William Hamilton, ambassador of Britain to the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies in the 18th century, was one of the first modern volcanologists. His scientific passion and vigor to understand Vesuvius led to the Campi Phlegraei, a magnificent book with hand-painted illustrations about the life of the volcano. Hamilton’s second 18 watershed Spring 2010 19 Athanasius Kircher brought a vomiting lobster and told tales of Vesuvius9 that Pliny refuted as embellished beyond acceptance.10 Prometheus stole the candles11 but everyone made him put them back. Then Loki stole them again.12 They told stories that crossed continents and spanned ages in increasing decibels and decreasing and overlapping coherence.13 They described a savannah in Africa where animals and early humans ran in the warm rain and cool ash; they lived their lives and disappeared though their footprints remained for millennia multiplied by millennia.14 They spoke of a small Italian town where an artists’ studio was slowly covered with ash that sagged the roof over a plaster cast of a kneeling woman long after her living model fled.15 A dog looked up toward Vesuvius and writhed in agony, then reappeared millennia later in New York;16 ancient pain made material for modern wonder. Flesh turned to negative space that turned to stone. They told of a man who spent his days in a cinder cone looking at the sky and called it art.17 Of smothering gray ash belched from Indonesia that aborted summer plans for the Shelley’s, prompting Mary to give birth to a monster who outlived her.18 The middle was an accelerated whirl. wife Emma was famous for her tableaus, striking classical poses, which replicated famous sculptures made of marble. 9. Kircher, one of the great forgotten polymaths, had himself lowered into Vesuvius in 1638 just prior to an eruption in order to satisfy his geological curiosity. The vomiting mechanical lobster was only one of his many inventions. 10. Pliny the Elder was killed in the eruption of Vesuvius that buried Pompeii in 79 AD. We know of his intellectual inquisitiveness through the writing of his nephew, Pliny the Younger. 11. Prometheus stole fire from Zeus and gave it to the mortals. Zeus, in his anger, sent the first woman, Pandora, to Prometheus’s brother as a punishment. 12. Loki, the Norse trickster and shape shifter, had many adventures with Thor. 13. When one tectonic plate subducts under another it creates mirror images of volcanoes of increasing and then decreasing height. As newer volcanoes grow, older ones erode and move further from the zone of creation over time. When one looks at the profiles of all of the volcanoes in a front as a unit, they mimic the lines of a single volcano. 14. The site of Laetoli in Tanzania preserves the tracks of hyenas, baboons, giraffes, gazelles, antelope and elephants in ash from the Sadiman volcano. In the midst of this melee, three Australopithecus afarensis walked 3.7 million years ago and left their uncannily modern footprints. 15. One of the many structures preserved at Pompeii included an artist’s studio. 16. The Dog from Pompei, Allan McCollum 1991. 17. Roden Crater, James Turrell 1983 To date. 18. Tambora erupted in 1815. The ash from this massive eruption was taken by the wind to the upper atmosphere, where it clouded and cooled most of Europe and Frankenstein: or, The wet, dark summer caused created what was known as the year without a summer. Modern Prometheus by the eruption. 20 by watershed Mary Shelley was written in the Spring 2010 21 They spoke of the hubris of the Age of Reason and the easy overturning of the banquet table with one hiccup.19 Gaia does not create balance and harmony that the mind can calculate and control. ‘The earth is unthinkable, untameable, an impossible wildness’,20 they joyfully and drunkenly proclaimed while pouring another pitcher of blood-red and blood-warm wine. A toast is poured to an inebriated British diplomat stumbling in Mexico under a volcano.21 You only live twice,22 said Medea, laughing,23 and they pour another round, making dirty jokes of dark and stormy nights and the illogic of any city having a true last day.24 The day simply changes. The Pythia danced around a makeshift omphalos made from living karst.25 The deception, the misperception, the seduction: there is no fire and pain filled portion of the garden of earthly delights,26 no icy entry to a searing hell or dark world guarded by three-headed Cerberus.27 To believe such is to imagine the existence of a single place. A single end. No such thing exists in the constant motion of the earth. 19. The Enlightenment, or Age of Reason, burst out of the Dark Ages with a fervent philosophy that all in Nature was knowable with work and science. The crumbling of this assurance in the current era compounds the uncertainty caused by the erosion of our Cartesian confidence in a Nature versus a Culture. 20. In The Inhuman, French philosopher Jean-Françoise Lyotard voices this seduction and deception of a stabilized idea of nature as a relationship of order, which is in fact only a confluence of mind and things. 21. Malcolm Lowry’s alcoholism consumed him in a pyroclastic flow of drinks, just as it did his character in Under the Volcano. 22. In the James Bond movie by this name, a volcano shelters a secret rocket base that erupts on command as part of a self-destruction system. 23. As the granddaughter of the sun, Helios, The enchantress Medea has a genealogy of fire. 24. The Last Days of Pompeii, Edward Bulwer-Lytton. 25. In the Fontaines Pétrifiantes in France, a different type of tableau was created by placing molds under dripping karst to create bas-relief objects of cast stone (Ilana Halperin, Physical Geology [Slow Time/Cave Cast] 2009). The objects were carefully turned each day to keep them from cementing to the interior, like stalactites and stalagmites the cave is more prone to form. 26. The Garden of Earthly Delights, Hieronymus Bosch c.1504. 27. In medieval Iceland the volcano Hekla was thought to be the gateway to hell. If human hell is universal then Cerberus, the three-headed dog that guarded the ancient Greek entry to Hades, had a long commute. Cerberus likely slept in Cumae, southern Italy, where giant chains were found attached to the walls at the shrine of Hades and Persephone. THOUGHTS ON A VOLCANO: AN INFERNAL DINNER PARTY was originally commissioned by artist Ilana Halperin as part of the Alchemy Fellowships at the Manchester Museum in 2008, following discussion with archaeologist Karen Holmberg on how to ‘observe the volcano.’ 22 watershed Spring 2010 23 24 watershed Spring 2010 25 Farm Work (Ectopistes Migratorius) (once an estimated 40% of all North American birds, billion-strong flocks of Passenger Pigeons, blocking out the sun for days) On March 24, 1900, Press Clay Southworth a young boy on a Pike County, Ohio farm ate his typical breakfast of eggs and thick slabs of sausage or a tall stack of buttermilk flapjacks maybe (roosting in oak trees, thick as leaves large limbs would snap, come crashing to the ground in a mind-numbing cacophony of wings) He pulled on his ordinary work boots and slapped his customary cap on his head The routine of his day unfolded as it had a hundred times before: Farm life thrives on such expected repetition (they sold for pennies, so for much of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries this was the only meat tasted by slaves and servants while masters grew fat on hogs, also fed on the flesh of the pigeons) Press made his daily rounds, collecting eggs and feeding cows, slop for the pigs, chopped wood and hauled buckets of cold water from the well dug by his father or grandfather maybe (1869;Van Buren County, Michigan: 7.5 million killed by commercial hunters 1878; Petoskey: 50,000 birds/day for five monthsâ€“ barrels filled boxcars shipped east) 26 watershed The boy noticed an unfamiliar bird eating grains of corn in the barnyard, grabbed his shotgun and asked his motherâ€™s permission. He was a good shot, a natural Illustration by Ruth Chung (pots of burning sulphur placed beneath roosting trees fumes dazing the birds who fell to the ground for an easy kill. With netted birds: heads crushed between thumb and finger. It sounded like rainfall) I imagine that the farm boy noticed nothing special about the moment he pulled the trigger and the last one ever seen in the wild fell to the earth, holding the final word on the subject in its half-closed, scarlet eye But it didnâ€™t matter one way or the other, the business was finished and there was more farm work to do and already, the sun was sinking (into a slate-blue, feathered horizon) Spring 2010 27 28 watershed I float, apart from myself, allowing the river to carry me like a vapor, my feet dragging through muck and over rocks; The uranium I myself put here by paying my taxes, by shopping for a bargain, by reading the lies of American history textbooks, by watching the propaganda of John Wayne on Sunday afternoons wrapped in a blanket the colors of the flag, by thinking that wisdom is to be found in the books of dead men rather than in the song of the nighthawk or the poem of cottonwoods clacking in the breeze Floating, eyes closed, face to an unclouded sky, held by the cool hands of the Cheyenne River I forget – for a moment – the uranium from inhuman mines seeping into each pore of my body like late-afternoon sunlight into every window in town River Music and will shine on my skin like a mirror. When I stand and stagger to the shore, dry off, and climb into my truck, I hope that the toxins I have absorbed will leave this river some small part cleaner, They transform this poison nectar into song. And in my broken Lakota, with my funny, city-bred accent, I try to sing along: Wanbli gleshka waniyan nihiyouwe “A spotted eagle is coming for you” The sun through these pale eyelids becomes a field of sunflower; the voices of the native children downstream: bees darting among the golden heads nodding in the wind. weeds and small fish brushing my legs in velvety greeting Illustration by Ruth Chung Spring 2010 29 Illustration by Ruth Chung 30 watershed Distillation “ … the average size of all living things is a housefly.” –Ivan T. Sanderson How to Know the American Mammals What freaks we must seem so large and clamoring – crushing whole worlds with each grotesque step If I could fold inward, self upon self, and shed everything superfluous Like the ability to shoot a gun or build a slaughterhouse or pave a road or turn on a television or poison a river or aim a missile or plant a flag I would be distilled to the essence of what is vital and creative in a human – I would be condensed to the size of a housefly And on silvered, papery wings would take flight, and never look back. ~ Marc Beaudin Spring 2010 31 Voices from the Rocky Mountains Illustration by Mary Mekarnom 32 watershed The Rocky Mountains and Yellowstone National Park have served as iconic symbols of American identity for over a century. Whether we have visited these places or not, they still thrive in our imaginations as expanses of wilderness untouched by civilization. Many decades have passed since this frontier was claimed by farmers, towns, and railroads, but these large areas of remaining intact ecosystems still provide us with the building blocks of life such as clean air and freshwater. They provide critical habitat for wildlife and hold spiritual and recreational value. Yet these places may only exist as we know them for a short while longer. Climate change is wreaking devastating consequences on the landscape and our policy protections for wildlife are woefully inadequate. Below, five scientists and advocates share their perspectives on key aspects on the fight to protect wildlife and wild places in Yellowstone and the encompassing Rockies. Defending the Yellowstone Grizzly By Doug Peacock The tracks of the sow and two-year-old came out of a dead-end thermal drainage, which led up into the deep snow of the high country. Although midApril was a bit late, they may have just emerged from their winter den. I stashed my heavy pack and followed their trail, hoping to backtrack them and see where they had come from. The tiny creek followed a wild fissure in the earth lined with steam vents and hot springs. Some of them were largeâ€”deep azure at the bottomless middles, turning sequentially turquoise, cream, yellow, and red as the waters cooled at the edges and supported the different algae that refracted the various colors. A pair of ravens accompanied me out of this crack in the planetâ€™s crust and onto the deep, soft snow.The bear family had walked out the morning before. I gave up and turned back. Even if they had just left their den, it was probably miles away; grizzlies like more rugged terrain for den building. Just as I was about to leave the area and strap on my snowshoes, I rounded a timbered corner and spotted the sow and her two-year-old digging at the edge of open ground. There was no way I could get around the bears without spooking them. I sat back and watched until dusk, when I retreated a mile and set up for the night. I went back to fill my canteen, but before I could get to the creek I saw the sow and cub grazing and digging their way downstream. I backtracked again, giving them room, and filled my canteen at a muddy rivulet back in the trees. It was their valley not mine. *** The idea of saving an animal like the grizzly bear is shockingly new. Prior to the last several decades, the American brown bear was summarily dispatched on virtually every occasion over every inch of the hard and rapid conquest of the West. He was a varmint, a giant pest, the devil incarnate. He was poisoned Spring 2010 33 in the wilderness and shot at on the trail. He was trapped, dynamited, blown away by set guns, and run down by dog packs. His rapid demise was facilitated by large bounties and boosted by government trappers. The end of the killing in each region resulted in the extinction of discrete grizzly populations. It began with the Spaniards in California and continues today in Montana and Idaho, a sweep of killing that goes back and forth across time for over a hundred years, depending on when the local bears were blown into eternity.The fewer the bears, the rougher the techniques: a pipeline worker wrapped a sandwich around a primed stick of dynamite, and a grizzly lost his head. From a Canadian town dump came a report of a bear caught in a culvert trap, then doused with gasoline and set on fire. The last surviving grizzlies in each region were the stuff of which legends were made, and great tales were told about the passing of these old outlaws. The last grizzly on record in California was killed in 1922. In Oregon: 1931 Arizona: 1935. In southwestern Colorado, one lasted until 1979. And so on. The wildlife agents who paid the hunters stood by watching until it was too late. By the time anyone questioned whether we should keep a few grizzlies around, the big bear was on his way out. Invariably, the last estimates of bear populations in each region were overstated, and the grizzly was gone before the agencies could believe it. Throughout the U.S.A. we managed the wilderness efficiently, tidying up those little pockets of resistance and taming the entire West in record time. As a culture, we saw ourselves as hard-pressed warriors, beleaguered frontier heroes righteously running over anything that was in our way. In a little more than a century we killed 100,000 grizzlies with our rifles and westward expansion. Our dealings with the grizzly are not unique; bears provide only one example of a Native American species that did not bend to our purposes. The efficient way we handled the bison, Indian, wolf, and grizzly was the way we wrote our colonial history, the convergent, blood-flecked roads that carried us here. Despite a bit of latter-day remorse about the way we treated Indians, our unapologetic dominion marches on. Grizzlies now survive in one percent of their former range in the continental United States, occupy much of their historic territory in Canada, and roam throughout Alaska. About a thousand now live south of Canada, although the number could be a few hundred more or less. Nearly all of these grizzlies live in two ecosystems, the cores of which are Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks. A handful of animals hang on, perilously close to extinction, in three or four other ecosystems near the Canadian border. Another forty to sixty thousand brown bears may live in Canada (mostly in British Columbia) and Alaska. *** Today the Yellowstone grizzly bear population may again be in serious trouble. During 2008, the bears suffered a double disaster: grizzlies died in record numbers, and global warming dealt what could be a death blow to the 34 watershed bear’s most important food source. Some 79 grizzly bears — including a minimum of 37 shot by humans — were known to have died in 2008, the highest [single-year] mortality ever recorded; this number probably exceeds the extensive killings of 40 years ago when Yellowstone National Park closed down its garbage dumps and bears wandered into towns and campgrounds. The Yellowstone grizzly population sharply declined in the early 1970s, and, consequently, the bear was listed as Illustration by Jean Kim threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 1975. Known mortality is, as a rule of thumb, generally about half of actual grizzly bears dead. A hundred dead bears per year, no matter if the total number in the ecosystem is 200 or 600, means the population is crashing downhill. This is especially true for the grizzly, one of the world’s slowest-reproducing mammals. Related to the high mortality of 2008 was the massive die off of whitebark pine trees, whose nuts are the bear’s principal fall food. Mountain pine beetles killed the trees; the warm winters of the past decade allowed the insects to move up the mountains into the higher whitebark pine forests. How could this record mortality have happened? In April of 2007, the U. Spring 2010 35 Illustration by Jean Kim S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed Endangered Species Act protection for the Yellowstone grizzly bear. The agencyâ€™s decision to delist suggested that all was well with the great bear. Yet, the reason the pine nuts are not available to grizzly bears is because the whitebark trees in the Yellowstone region have succumbed to global warming. Global warming was glossed over by Fish and Wildlife when they delisted the Yellowstone grizzly. But this, too, is not rocket science. Last fall behind my Montana house on the northern flank of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, 36 watershed far up the mountain, the forest turned red with dead trees. So did the tops of all the other mountain ranges in and around nearby Yellowstone park. What does U. S. Fish and Wildlife, which is the lead agency for the Yellowstone Grizzly Coordinating Committee and the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team, have to say about the dead grizzlies and dying pine trees? On April 15, 2009, these agencies gathered in Bozeman, Mont. to discuss Yellowstone grizzly mortality. They call the alarming number of dead bears in Yellowstone a “spike,” which the agencies would reduce by recommending better hunter education, use of bear spray as a deterrent, and opening a limited grizzly bear hunt in the three adjacent states. The committee coordinator Chris Servheen admitted that the 2008 mortality was the highest that had been seen but pointed out that today’s grizzly population is larger than that of the early 1970s. Mortality spikes are often tied to low whitebark pine cone production and the consensus was that human-caused bear mortality will drop when the number of cones per tree bounces back.Yet when pressed (by one of the handful of non-agency people, including myself, at the meeting) about the possible role of global warming on whitebark pine, team leader Chuck Schwartz reluctantly admitted the low production of pine nuts could be the beginning of a trend. Frankly, it doesn’t matter how many cones grow on the surviving trees when 80 percent of the whitebark forest is already dead. No one brought this up. Nor was there the whisper of a suggestion that the removal of ESA protection for the Yellowstone grizzly had anything to do with the record number of bears shot. Nobody thought of asking the public, especially elk hunters, to take responsibility for causing these encounters with grizzlies or to give up anything in terms of hunting hours or access in order to reduce grizzly mortality (in my opinion, getting too close to a grizzly and precipitating a charge is always the fault of the human). *** The future of the American grizzly depends upon what value we urbandwelling people place on keeping viable populations of grizzlies on the continent. The duality of independence and intelligence of grizzlies combined with their low reproductive rate and vulnerability to human induced mortality means we must grant them vast areas of road-less habitat to live in. They are not animals that we can bend easily to our human agenda or manage as we do whitetail deer. Grizzlies require large wilderness area. In the areas south of Canada, this is a problem: All grizzly bear ecosystems are being gnawed away at the edges by industrial and commercial development. They are becoming islands of genetic and geographic isolation. Saving the grizzly will therefore require great human restraint and tolerance. And why should we save them at all? Larger problems loom over the planet: in many places the air is poisoned, the oceans are overfished, and climate change threatens both men and bears. We are commonly besieged, and all the progress and economic growth on Earth isn’t worth the sacrifice of those natural systems that keep both grizzlies and humans alive. Is it possible to our species no longer Spring 2010 37 correctly perceives what lies in our own self-interest for longtime survival? The difficult answer to that question will entail prodigious strength and wisdom. From what inspiration might the requisite human resistance emerge and where today do we perceive risk? The beast of our time is global warming but there’s no saber-tooth lurking in the bush. We could look to the bear. If we can’t save grizzlies out of altruism, we must save them for the not-so-simple fact that we cannot live without them. The grizzlies, along with Homo sapiens, evolved in habitats whose remnants we call the wilderness. The fact that our fates—the clever modern human and our ancient companion in the fur-coat—remain mingled is far less esoteric than it sounds. [Editor’s Note: In 2009 several environmental groups filed a lawsuit to relist the Yellowstone grizzly bears. On September 21st, 2009, U.S. District Judge Donal Mollow ruled to relist the grizzlies in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem to the Endangered Species Act. Crucial to the ruling was the finding that federal agencies had failed to account for the decline of whitebark.] Photograph by Dena Adler 38 watershed Catastrophic Loss of Whitebark Pine By Jesse Logan Widespread outbreaks of mountain pine beetles (MPB) are occurring throughout the range of this native insect. Periodic outbreaks are a common occurrence in its primary host, lodgepole pine, a species that is highly resilient to MPB disturbance. Current outbreaks, however, are occurring in habitats where previously they either did not occur or were limited in scale. Of particular interest are unprecedented outbreaks in the high-elevation whitebark pine forests in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Under historic climate regimes, these forests provided an inhospitable habitat for the mountain pine beetle because most of the time they were simply too cold for the beetle to thrive. Although past tree mortality did occasionally occur during periods of unusually warm weather (e.g. the 1930s), these outbreaks were short lived and Spring 2010 39 of limited scale. Unfortunately, with the level of anthropogenic climate warming that has already occurred, the harsh conditions that served to protect these forests have become increasingly rare. As a consequence, significant MPB mortality is taking place year after year, with the very real possibility of total this important ecosystem’s total collapse. Although MPB was not historically considered a major player in the ecology of whitebark pine, theoretical computer modeling experiments indicated the vulnerability of these forests under reasonable climate warming scenarios (Logan and Bentz 1999, Logan and Powell 2001). Unfortunately, subsequent events have large played out these early models predicted. A major difference however is that the resulting outbreaks have occurred earlier than expected, and the severity and intensity of mortality is much greater than anticipated. A major contributor to the severity of mortality in whitebark is the apparent lack of effective chemical defenses to attacking beetles. The lack of co-evolved defenses (in the sense of those expressed in lodgepole pine), combined with the lack of winter mortality and accelerated developmental process in summer, have resulted in a “perfect storm” that threatens the ecological functionality of whitebark pine forests in the GYE. Recent Forest Service ground surveys have verified mortality that exceeds ninety percent of cone bearing trees in some stands (Gibson et al. 2009). Whitebark pine plays a major role in the ecological integrity of the GYE since it functions as both a foundation and a keystone species. Within the high mountain and alpine ecosystems (those above approximately 2,591 m (8,500 ft) in the GYE), whitebark pine serves a foundational role by providing the major biomass and primary productivity, enhancing soil formation, and serving as “nurse trees” for subalpine fir. In the larger spatial context of the entire GYE, it is a keystone species because high elevation forests play an important role in snow dynamics, both in the distribution of snow during winter and subsequent temporal attenuation of spring melt. This is critical as the hydrology of the GYE, as is true for the Rocky Mountains in general, is based in the high mountains. Whitebark pine also provides critical resources to many wildlife species. The documented mutualistic relationship between whitebark pine and Clark’s nutcracker is well known. This pine’s large, fleshy, highly nutritious seeds also provide an important food resource for a wide array of other wildlife ranging from squirrels to grizzly bears. The importance of whitebark 40 watershed pine seeds to iconic wildlife such as the grizzly is of particular importance in the GYE due to paucity of other high quality food during the critical time prior to entering hibernation (Mattson et al. 1992). The large, fleshy whitebark pine seeds provide an invaluable food resource for grizzly bears, particularly impregnated females. Pine nuts become available at a critical time of year, right before bears enter hibernation and why they are accumulating the stores of fat that will serve to nourish them over the winter. Lack of sufficient nutrition has two important impacts on the population. First, a bear with insufficient fat reserves has reduced over-winter survival. Secondly, and perhaps even more importantly, impregnated females with insufficient nutritional reserves have higher rates of spontaneous abortion. Whitebark pine nuts are particularly attractive to female bears who raid squirrel caches. Squirrels collect and cache large quantities of seed-bearing cones right on the ground where they are readily available to foraging bears. In effect, the squirrel does all the work and provides absolutely no threat to bears. In addition, the act of raiding squirrel caches holds the bears in the most rugged and remote habitat on the continent, away from the typically dangerous interactions with humans. One clear prediction for the loss of cone-bearing whitebark pine trees is that negative interactions between grizzly bears and humans will increase. With the loss of white bark pine cones, hyperphagic females are forced to exploit other food resources that are far more dangerous than red squirrels and squirrel caches. A primary alternative fall food source in the GYE consists of gut piles left by elk and deer hunters. Unfortunately for the female grizzlies, gut piles are also a favorite of male grizzlies, always a potential danger to a female with cubs. Foraging on the remains of hunting also brings them in close contact with the human hunters themselves. Instead of being in the high-elevation forests out of harmâ€™s way, they are exposed to the two greatest mortality threats in the GYE. Since delisting the GYE grizzly, the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team action threshold (a level mandating review of the delisting decision) was vastly exceeded last year (2008) with 52 verified mortalities (37 resulting from human/grizzly interactions), and was only one mortality short in 2007. The number of mortalities in 2008 is the highest on record, and the Illustration by Aaron Kent Warder Spring 2010 41 estimated total deaths (a generally accepted figure is twice the verified number) accounts for 1/6th to 1/3 of the total GYE population. This is clearly a catastrophic and unsustainable level. None of this bodes well for the future of whitebark pine or the great bear. Functional loss of whitebark pine in the short term is, in fact, almost a certainty, and cascading consequences on grizzlies may well have already begun to be expressed. Even in areas with substantial whitebark pine recruitment, the slow growth and maturation of this tree guarantees the availability of cones for squirrels to harvest, and bears to eat, will not soon be recovered. The same is true for other ecosystem services provided by whitebark pine. At best, we are faced with a serious ecological crunch of multi-decadal or century duration. In the longer temporal prospective, it is conceivable that the fragility of whitebark pine to MPB disturbance, combined with other ecological insults like white pine blister rust, could drive GYE whitebark pine to the brink of ecological extinction. 42 watershed Photograph by Logan and MacFarlane Et al References: Gibson, K., K. Skov, S. Kegley, C. Jorgensen, S. Smith, and J. Witcosky. 2008. Mountain pinebeetle impacts in high-elevation five-needle pines: cur rent trends and challenges. USD. Forest Service, Forest Health Protection R1-08-020. Logan, J. A., and B. J. Bentz. 1999. Model analysis of mountain pine beetle seasonality. Environmental Entomology 28:924-934. Logan, J. A., and J. A. Powell. 2001. Ghost forests, global warming, and the mountain pine beetle. American Entomologist 47:160-173. Mattson D. J, Blanchard B. M, Knight R. R 1992.Yellowstone grizzly bear mortality, human habituation, and whitebark pine seed crops. Journal of Wildlife Management 56:432-442. Turiano, T. 2003. Select peaks of Greater Yellowstone: a mountaineering Spring 2010 43 Fighting for Wolves in the Northern Rockies: Developing New Relationships with the Wild and Ourselves By Louisa Willcox The Return of the Wolf I moved to Wyoming in 1974, in love with the mountains, the rivers, the wildlife – spaces so vast and unlike the east coast where I had grown up. Still in my twenties at this time, I had the privilege of meeting some “old timers” who loved the same things I did, including one of our country’s great conservation heroes, Mardy Murie. Her husband, Olaus Murie, was a famous biologist, a leader in the campaign to pass the Wilderness Act, and a founder of The Wilderness Society. He was also a lover of carnivores, especially wolves, and he documented the last survivors in Yellowstone, which federal agents and others extirpated by the 1940s using poisons, traps, and guns. He wrote and spoke out passionately against the wanton killing of wolves at a time when such views were not popular – when the wolf was still considered Satan’s dog and a threat to progress in the West. Olaus died before I arrived in Wyoming, but the stories Mardy told me of his dedication, extensive field research, and moral conviction towards protecting our remaining wild country and wildlife continue to stick with me. And so, perhaps it was no accident that I found myself similarly unpopular in the 1980s and early 90’s, smack in the middle of the battle to restore wolves to Yellowstone. Etched into my mind from this battle are memories that I will never forget, such as when I was invited to speak about wolves at the annual meeting of the Idaho Woolgrowers Association in Driggs, Idaho. I was given a picnic table to stand and then peppered with hostile questions from all sides. At least words were all that were thrown at me … We learned not to park anywhere close to the buildings where wolf hearings were being held, and we took the bumper stickers off our cars. I got my share of threats too, which, I think, came more from ignorance about what wolves actually did, than from concern about the heavy hand of government that was proposing to bring them back, and fear that the West was somehow moving away from the fiercely held cowboy/logger/miner mythology that had given meaning to so many for so long. In that tough-minded mythology, nature was for extracting and making a dollar; there was no room for creatures with big teeth. 44 watershed Illustration by Dadu Shin Spring 2010 45 Mardy, who became a mentor to me, was delighted to the point of tears when wolves were finally brought back to Yellowstone and central Idaho in 1995-96 after a bitter, bloody eight-year campaign. I know Olaus would have been proud too. Background on Wolves and the Role of the ESA Gray wolves in the lower 48 states were listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act in 1973. At that time, with the exception of a few hundred wolves in northern Minnesota and a few dozen on Isle Royale in Michigan, wolves had been essentially eradicated from the lower 48 states. Thanks to Endangered Species Act protections and reintroduction efforts in Yellowstone and Idaho, wolf numbers rebounded swiftly in the Northern Rockies. The last official count estimates that roughly 1,650 wolves are wandering the mountains of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. This is an enormous success story, one of the greatest conservation achievements in the West in recent decades. Wolf Controversy Grows as Numbers Expand Wolf reintroduction was a great moment in history, but it was, without question, not the end of the story. Since their reintroduction, wolves have rebounded, moving far outside the boundaries of Yellowstone National Park and the central Idaho wildlands. Still, they continue to be a lightning rod for controversy. To a large extent, today’s issues are not dissimilar to the ones that Olaus faced: wolves remain in many people’s minds a threat to “progress,” a symbol of a step backward towards an ”uncivilized” world that westerners had fought to tame. But there are now additional burrs under the saddles of antiwolf advocates: a local hatred of the federal government that “shoved wolves down our throat,” a resentment of the Endangered Species Act (which in some minds has become a symbol for stopping progress) and a sense of competition about who should be able to kill elk: wolves or hunters. Environmentalists, scientists, and wildlife lovers want to see the wolf population continue to expand, but some vocal ranchers and hunters want to see the wolf population drastically reduced, if not eliminated altogether. Meanwhile, misinformation and suspicion of the government continue to pervade the debate. Ranchers, for example, claim that wolves threaten their livelihoods because they occasionally eat a calf or a sheep. The reality is that, while wolves sometimes prey on livestock (and there is a compensation program for the affected ranchers), cold weather, dogs, lightning, disease, and poisonous plants kill many more livestock each year in the Northern Rockies than do wolves. Another example of misinformation involves certain elk hunters, who claim that wolves have decimated the elk population in the Northern Rockies. Yet according to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, which is certainly not a wolf-loving organization, the elk population in the Northern Rockies has 46 watershed skyrocketed in the last twenty-five years, notwithstanding the wolf ’s return in the ‘90s. Wyoming’s elk population has grown 35%, Idaho’s has grown 5%, and Montana’s a whopping 66%. With wolves, the one thing you can count on is a heated debate. I have yet to meet someone who is neutral on the subject of wolves. One contributing factor is the ongoing litigation over gray wolves in the Northern Rockies; while necessary, it has made it more difficult to find areas of common ground and proactively resolve problems, especially wolf-livestock conflicts. Are Wolves Recovered? The federal government says wolves are recovered and removed wolves in Idaho and Montana, (but not Wyoming), from the endangered species list in early 2009. Many scientists and wolf advocates, on the other hand, believe that recovery is close but has not yet been achieved. Leading scientific experts say that to achieve long-term recovery, we need 2,000 – 5,000 wolves in the Northern Rockies, with ongoing movement of wolves between the three subpopulations of greater Yellowstone, central Idaho and northwest Montana. Although that goal is within our reach, since wolves can travel 500 or more miles, it has not been attained in the Northern Rockies. Wolves in the greater Yellowstone area still remain almost entirely isolated from the two other populations, and since only roughly 40 wolves were reintroduced, continued isolation could mean inbreeding and genetic problems for the Yellowstone population down the road. Furthermore, the state governments continue to be hostile to wolves, aiming to reduce wolf numbers -- in some cases dramatically -- under plans to manage wolves after delisting. The safety net of responsible management is not yet in place to ensure that the Northern Rockies wolf population will be healthy and sustainable in the years to come. The way Montana and Idaho proceeded with the wolf hunt this fall proves that the states are not ready to have the keys to the car of wolf management. While we at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) are not opposed to hunting and would accept a sustainable wolf hunt once full recovery has been achieved, we fought these wolf hunts in court because they threaten to reverse the progress already made and further delay true wolf recovery. Because wolves have not yet fully recovered in the Northern Rockies, NRDC and twelve other conservation organizations filed a lawsuit in federal court in Montana in June 2009, challenging the removal of Endangered Species Act protections for wolves in Idaho and Montana. Unfortunately in the fall of 2009, we lost our motion for a preliminary injunction to stop the wolf hunts. The good news is that the judge presiding over our case found that we are likely to succeed on the merits of the larger case (i.e., whether the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service violated the Endangered Species Act by removing ESA protections from wolves in Idaho and Montana this spring). Specifically, the Spring 2010 47 Illustration by Mary Mekarnom court stated, “The [U.S. Fish and Wildlife] Service has distinguished a natural population of wolves based on a political line, not the best available science. That, by definition, seems arbitrary and capricious.” The lawsuit proceeds (with a ruling expected at some point in 2010), and so have the wolf hunts. As of December 15th, 126 wolves had been killed in Idaho and 72 had been killed in Montana, including multiple Yellowstone National Park wolves (some of which were radio-collared) that crossed into Montana and were shot just outside the Park’s boundaries. And Idaho recently decided to extend its hunt by three months, through the end of March, to allow hunters more time to reach the full quota of 220 wolves. 48 watershed But that is not the full extent of the killing: most wolves are killed as a result of perceived or real livestock-related conflicts. As of December 15th, about 40% of Montana’s wolf population had been killed by hunters or in so-called “management actions.” Yellowstone National Park wolf expert Doug Smith recently announced that Yellowstone’s population numbers have shrunk to their levels of 10 years ago. This demonstrates that wolves are still vulnerable, and that it does not take much killing to reverse decades of work and millions of dollars worth of hard-fought progress toward bringing back an animal that we had so recently almost succeeded in wiping out. The resolution of the lawsuit will certainly have an enormous impact on the gray wolf in the Northern Rockies. Another central issue, discussed earlier, involves tolerance and people’s attitudes and behavior towards this powerful animal. The wolf is a native predator in the Rockies, a keystone species that greatly benefits the ecosystems it inhabits. Helping people move past the misinformation and antiquated myths of bloodthirsty wolves would do more for wolves in the Northern Rockies than almost anything else. We need to tell a new story about the role of wolves and wildness in our lives, in a world increasingly filled with asphalt and development. That story must be based on facts, humility, and a heart-felt commitment to a fellow species that has nowhere else to go. And that’s something we at NRDC are working on. We are pursuing a series of pilot projects and workshops intended to demystify wolves and to learn from the last two decades of experience with wolves on the Northern Rockies landscape. There are many ranchers and others who have learned to make peace with wolves, but their stories and the lessons they have learned have not yet been told enough. To develop a new story around wolves, we need to focus on real world experience and exchange ideas about what works in practice to avoid and resolve conflicts – rather than retelling tired tales like Little Red Riding Hood or the Marlboro Man. We need to nurture the attitude – which, as ecologists like Olaus Murie remind us, is reality – that we are all connected, and that our fate is intimately tied to the fate of these rare wild animals. In making peace with wolves, we just might make peace with that wild part deep inside ourselves – the part that wants, sometimes, to go outside and howl at a full moon. Spring 2010 49 American Bison A Story of Survival by Matthew Skoglund It can weigh 2,000 pounds, run 40 miles per hour, and jump over a sixfoot fence from a standstill position. Itâ€™s the largest land mammal in North America and has been around since before the last ice age. An American icon, it stirs your soul when you lock eyes with it. Iâ€™m talking about the American bison (Bison bison), an awe-inspiring animal that we exploited to the brink of extinction merely a little over a century ago. Tens of millions of bison, also commonly known as buffalo, used to roam the continent from the west coast to the east coast, Mexico to northern Canada, and everywhere in between. And, as with grizzly bears and wolves, bison are an important keystone species. Their grazing patterns benefit mixed-grass prairie ecosystems and their wallows (micro depressions that result from bison rolling on the ground) create important wetlands habitat for various other species. Illustration by Neftali Beder 50 watershed In the second half of the nineteenth century, however, bison hides became extremely valuable commercially, and “hide hunters” headed west in droves. The bison slaughter was relentless, but it wasn’t until the invention of the buffalo rifle and the expansion of trains throughout the West that bison almost disappeared forever. The speed with which we eradicated bison from the North American landscape is mind-boggling, and by the dawn of the twentieth century bison were on the cusp of extinction. By then, a thousand or so bison survived in private captivity (e.g., the Bronx Zoo in New York City), and only a couple dozen bison remained in the wild. These hardy survivors were tucked away in a remote valley in Yellowstone National Park. Today, the possibility of extinction has passed, but significant threats to bison still loom. Consider that of the roughly 500,000 bison that currently exist in North America, more than 95% of these animals are being raised as domesticated livestock. Not wild bison or wildlife, these animals are different than the wild beasts that once thundered across the plains. While approximately 5% of bison that are treated as wild bison, many of theseare in small herds of only a few hundred animals that are aggressively managed and culled, and the majority of them possess cattle genes. Yes, thanks to some experimental breeding in the early twentieth century -- the goal was to create a super breed of livestock, a “cattalo,” combining the hardy survival instincts of bison with the domestic properties of cattle -- the vast majority of wild and domesticated bison in North America exhibit some genetic hybridization with cattle. And then there are the wild bison of Yellowstone National Park, which are critical to the long-term conservation of the species. Yellowstone’s bison are the only continuously wild population that remains in the United States, and they are genetically wild (they possess no cattle genes). The size of the population is also significantly bigger than other wild herds, with the most recent estimate putting the current population at 3,300 animals. But some of Yellowstone’s bison have brucellosis, a disease that causes pregnant females to abort, and the livestock industry in Montana is ostensibly concerned that wild bison from Yellowstone could transmit brucellosis to domestic cattle in Montana (even though, ironically, it was cattle that introduced this non-native disease to bison and elk in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem early in the twentieth century). As such,Yellowstone’s bison are, with limited exceptions, not allowed in the State of Montana. And that’s a big problem, because some of Yellowstone’s bison leave snow-covered Yellowstone and migrate to lower elevations in Montana in the winter and spring to graze and give birth, which violates Montana’s general do-not-enter rule. So the five state and federal agencies that manage the Park’s bison population -- National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Montana Department of Livestock, and Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks -- haze bison out of Montana Spring 2010 51 Illustration by Neftali Beder and back into Yellowstone with ATVs, horses, and helicopters according to arbitrary deadlines and illogical geographical boundaries. These hazing operations are relentless and brutal, and bison sometimes suffer injuries or even die as a result. When hazing does not suffice, the agencies resort to slaughtering some of America’s only continuously wild bison population. Shockingly, the federal and state agencies involved have slaughtered over 3,500 bison from Yellowstone since 2000. With the hell we’ve imposed on wild bison in the past two centuries, who would’ve thought the bison slaughter would continue at the edge of America’s and the world’s first national park? The tragic truth is these hazing and slaughter operations are unnecessary. There is not a single documented case of wild bison having transmitted brucellosis to cattle; such transmission has only occurred in a controlled environment. The most recent science also finds the risk of transmission from wild bison to cattle outside Yellowstone to be extremely low or zero in most years. Moreover, elk, which vastly outnumber bison and can also carry brucellosis, are allowed to freely wander in and out of Yellowstone and Montana 52 watershed -- as they should, but it begs the question: why elk and not bison? In the spring, bison are even aggressively hazed away from Horse Butte, a large cattle-free peninsula adjacent to Yellowstone where the residents welcome bison. The time for change is now. More year-round habitat for Yellowstone’s bison in Montana is greatly needed. The habitat is there, and the small risk of brucellosis transmission can be easily managed in the limited areas where cattle are found (e.g., spatial and temporal separation of bison and cattle in the spring). Needlessly wasting the time, resources, and taxpayer dollars to haze and slaughter Yellowstone’s bison must stop. The State of Montana, which has earned itself a big black eye for its role, needs to wake up and realize the amazing opportunity it hazes out of its state each spring. With wild bison come a plethora of wildlife values (ecological, economic, aesthetic, spiritual) -- values not being realized in Montana with bison. America’s relationship with wild bison is peculiar. We almost hunted the animal to extinction, yet the bison as a symbol now pervades our culture (e.g., city names, state flags, coins, government logos, team names in sports, restaurants, stores, etc.). We now regard the bison as an icon of America, but our government agencies continue to unnecessarily haze and slaughter Yellowstone’s bison, our only direct link to the tens of millions of bison that used to roam North America. While our relationship with bison has improved, it needs to be reexamined. What transpires each spring outside Yellowstone National Park in Montana is abhorrent. The Yellowstone survivors deserve better. On February 21, 2006, Sam Pollock went rabbit hunting with his dog On February 21, 2006, Sam Pollock went rabbit hunting with his dog Jenna on Spring 2010 53 Wildlife Services By Lisa Upson BLM land near Vernal, Utah. Sam and Jenna were walking on a public road back to Sam’s truck when Jenna began choking and vomiting. Less than two minutes later, Jenna was dead. After watching helplessly as Jenna died, Sam looked around to see what could’ve happened to Jenna and noticed a spent M-44 device on the ground nearby. Sam carried Jenna’s body back to the truck, soon thereafter experiencing a headache and a metallic feeling or taste between his nose and mouth. Sam went home and buried Jenna in his backyard. M-44s are devices used by Wildlife Services, an agency housed within the U.S. Department of Agriculture, to protect livestock. The device shoots sodium cyanide – one of the most toxic chemicals approved by the EPA – into an animal’s mouth when the animal tugs on a baited knob sticking out of the ground, killing it within minutes. M-44s are set by Wildlife Services agents targeting coyotes and foxes, but the poison kills wolves, bears, coyotes, bobcats, foxes, eagles, and dogs like Jenna. The devices are indiscriminate killers; any carnivore will likely be killed if it tugs on the meat-scented lure. Unbeknownst to most Americans, M-44s are strewn across our public lands. And sodium cyanide is just one of the poisons used by Wildlife Services to kill wildlife. Wildlife Services was a major force in eliminating wolf and grizzly bear populations in the continental United States by 1940. Today, the agency spends over $100 million annually to kill millions of animals each year. In 2008 alone, Wildlife Services spent $121 million to kill 4,996,899 animals.While the majority of animals killed are birds, in western and other states, one of Wildlife Services’ primary objectives is to protect livestock. In Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, for example, Wildlife Services spends 80 percent of its mostly public funding to protect cattle and sheep. However, the correlation between animals killed and benefits gained are dubious at best. In her 2006 study, biological economist Kim Murray Berger established that the most important factors to sheep production are the price of hay, farmhand wages, and lamb prices, which represent 77 percent of production variations from year to year. Berger also found that despite Wildlife Services’ killing of 5 million predators at a cost of $1.6 billion from 1939 to 1998, the effort had little effect on sheep industry trends. Even though the agency has been killing predators for nearly a century, 85 percent of U.S. sheep producers have gone bankrupt. Berger found identical trends in geographic areas where coyotes existed as in areas where coyotes were absent. Berger concluded that the decline of the sheep industry has been caused primarily by unfavorable market conditions, not losses to predation. 54 watershed The most recent data from the National Agricultural Statistics Service, moreover, show that each year only 2.9 percent of total U.S. sheep production is lost to predators, while 4.9 percent was lost to other causes such as illness or disease, lambing and weather. Cattle statistics reveal an even wider gap: In 2005, 0.18 percent of the cattle produced in the U.S. were killed by predators; in comparison, 3.7 percent died from other causes, including respiratory illness, weather and theft. In other words: Predators cause less than one percent of total cattle losses, and only three percent of total sheep losses. reduce populations in the hopes that livestock conflicts are then reduced. Illustration by Henrik Franklin Under its predator control program, Wildlife Services kills far more predators than is necessary to protect agriculture from wildlife. The agency utilizes a kill-back method – what the agency refers to as “preventative” killing – to reduce populations in the hopes that livestock conflicts are then reduced. Such an approach is not only unproven, but harms ecological function. Biologists criticize Wildlife Services for using a “sledgehammer approach” to wildlife management, because it relies on large scale but unselective killing methods such as poisons, primitive neck snares and traps, and aerial gunning. With new understanding of the ecological importance of predators, there is a need for increased transparency and accountability from an agency that kills millions of animals each year. Carnivores can modulate prey populations and Spring 2010 55 make them more vigorous. Large carnivores increase biological diversity and functionality of ecosystems. The effects from predation cascade through all the trophic layers—through the herbivores to the producers—and can even influence riparian systems. In short, carnivores such as wolves, bears, and coyotes increase both the richness and complexity of animal life and contribute to better ecosystem function. President Barack Obama, in his Inaugural address, stated: “Those of us who manage the public’s dollars will be held to account, to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day, because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.” Further, in his Memorandum For the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies, Subject: Transparency and Open Government, President Obama committed his administration to creating “an unprecedented level of openness in Government,” demanding a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration – all to ensure the public trust. Wildlife Services is known for operating on behalf of the livestock industry with a culture of secrecy and impunity. Wildlife Services has often been unresponsive to records requests filed under the Freedom of Information Act and to complaints relating to accidents. Sam Pollock and others who have been injured or had dogs killed by poisons or traps have been confronted with agency secrecy and resistance to acknowledging mistakes or harmful practices. Despite being a federal employee with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Pollock received no professional courtesy or acknowledgement of any, even potential wrongdoing by Wildlife Services. The EPA, however, investigated the incident. In March, 2008 the EPA served Wildlife Services with a Notice of Warning, citing a reason to believe that Wildlife Services violated federal law by using a regulated pesticide in a manner inconsistent with its labeling. The EPA found that, among other things, Wildlife Services failed to set the M-44 at least 50 feet away from the public road so that it would not be detectable by people or dogs. Do the benefits of predator control justify its costs? Former Wildlife Services-Nevada employee Gary Strader stated in a recent interview: “As far as livestock protection – I think it’s an act in futility sometimes – they’re losing just as many sheep and calves as ever – they’re not reducing predation. Society is changing. Most people don’t like to see predators killed; maybe it’s time for Wildlife Services to change. The mission, indirectly, is to control predators, but in the process of killing predators, they have to kill an awful lot of them – they’re killing a lot of innocent predators.” 56 watershed Illustration by Leilani Diaz Spring 2010 57 Multnomah 58 watershed Spring 2010 59 Multnomah 60 watershed Spring 2010 61 NAWALAGWATSI I met a woman Who spoke the last words of a language That had one foot in the grave And one foot wiggling toes in the diamond-deep moss of the old-soul forest I met a woman who spoke the last words of a dying language with a tongue made heavy with ghosts and long green shadows There is, she said in English that sounded like axes on trees One other person in the world Who can speak with me In the language I call home And she is another old lady, older than me. I know she said, choked like a river, spent with frenzied salmon That when I die my people die with me, because my grandchildren would rather speak gameboy and sing Nike than talk in the back of their throats about a way-of-life they never knew And I know, She said in her cedar-bark smooth-rough voice That when I die I will return more wholly to the forest Than every night I have spent under stars and rain to my mothers and fathers and cousins who dance dark evergreen and smoky in tidepools and toppled trunks 62 watershed And dance in a bow to the ancient more ancient than my ancient can imagine And I donâ€™t know, she said like a fern raveled tight and hard and impatient, I donâ€™t know if I want to let my people die just yet But itâ€™s getting awful lonely on this side of the campfire Illustration by Leilani Diaz Spring 2010 63 I met a woman who told us stories how coyote learned to fly how raven catches fish how bear got his name and she said they were important The stories, she told me, Are all we ever have And they were printed in the books of our minds By potlatch nights And family, And songs And just a little magic, But now the trees That heard the first story My greatest grandmother told To my greatest grandfather Have been clear cut, And on the corpses of those trees brown-green ground clean and white I write the stories That serve as their own epitaphs 64 watershed Here lies Raven, who has been pine-needle and lover and thief and king who stole the sun to give it to the world. may he be better remembered in the spice of rotting leaves and the ever-dripping trees than in the injustice a silent foreign tongue can do him. Fondly remembered Coyote who taught us to sing and gave his name to the green that clings to every branch the day he fell from the sky He died that day too, But this time, We bury him I met a woman who told us stories In a language that scattered the embers of her heritage because she knew she said that a little memory is better than none and that a people, captured in photographs and phonographs, and history flattened between pages until the final graph reads â€œNative Speakers: zeroâ€? is better than no people at all Spring 2010 65 And her people of the space between the islands people of the space between the roots and earth people of the space between the bark and the heart wood are not no people at all and they deserve to be remembered ‘cause even broken, smoking embers still say there was a fire in this place and it shed its light upon the face of a people who never knew the difference between nature and nurture and called each creature “brother” and every tree was “mother” and so, she said, in her voice as thick and soft as the diamond-deep moss of the old-soul forest these stories have a lesson And it’s not one of transgression Or the evils of the white men Or the old moral that the land is older and freer than you will ever grow no matter how many rings you wrap around your trunk Because that stuff Is already in the books. No, She said, The lesson is this, 66 watershed Every one of us Is connected by every breath we take To the world that we make whole by our presence and if we forget this we forget our people We forget that we are people rare and perfect ancient and real and the cold that I feel in the bones that start to bend from carrying the stone that reads “R.I.P. my people” Is the cold regret for the vanity that let us break and forget our humanity so don’t apologize don’t punish yourself for a crime you never knew was committed you are acquitted without charge because the penalty’s too large already and humanity’s unsteady from forgetting itself and don’t you ever forget yourself don’t you ever forget the humanity you carry because I’d rather carry my people until I join them than let go and be left holding nothing ~ Ben Bonyhadi Spring 2010 67 A Seed in Hand Photos of Rural Village Agriculture in Tamil Nadu, India Margiana Petersen-Rockney 68 watershed Handing on the Seed I walked through the market in Chennai, India, with the hot sun beating down on my shirwa kamis. Despite my new Indian clothes, my pale New England winter skin stood out in a sea of beautifully dark bodies- women mostly- wrapped in brightly colored saris. As I wandered, overwhelmed by my aloneness in a place so full of busy people, I couldnâ€™t help but linger at each stall. I inspected the fruits and vegetables. Some I was familiar with, some were completely foreign. At one stall I saw a beautiful squash. It was large and teardrop-shaped with sun-mottled skin like the wrinkled woman beside it. I stopped. I stared. I asked her what it was. In response I received a blankly curious stare from all gathered round. So, I began an elaborate game of charades. I pointed, I cut through the air with an arm for a knife, I picked up an imaginary seed and bent to plant it in the hard-packed red dust. The woman never smiled, but she bent down and picked up a handful of squash seeds from the earth at her feet. She offered me a piece of her world in that gesture, and I took it. Spring 2010 69 70 watershed The Rice People Every moment in Tamil Nadu is a gift from rice. The hand that is part of a community plucking the young grass from its soft nursery is the same hand that opened to give me rice. The brown seed is also the food that is eaten at nearly every meal by every caste. The right hand is used to mold the soft rice into a ball and bring it to the mouth. Though the rice may be from the same pot, people eat according to their position in the village. The males eat first, and when they have finished the children are fed- usually on a banana leaf. Last the women who grew and cooked the rice eat on the kitchen floor or outside. For us in the West this is an uncomfortable hierarchy. In Kariopatty it is the definition of a family meal. Most families who are lucky enough to grow their own plot of rice do not have machinery to process it. By hand they plant the many seeds in the nursery, then transplant them and flood the fields. They harvest the stalks with a blade and lay the plants on the dirt road for traffic of vehicles, people, and oxen to run over- thus threshing the grains. The women then sweep up these grains and sort out the chaff and insects. These are the lucky people who own their own rice. The people who do not have access to land can be seen sorting through the dust on the road for dropped grains. Do not think that we in the West are immune to this issue of food access and justice. We too face class lines that determine what we eat and where we get it. Spring 2010 71 72 watershed Planting Groundnuts The women work the earth into submission. They chop it with their spades and with each whack a hand darts in to plant a peanut. This rhythmic dance of sun-blackened women carries on through field after field of land that is not theirs. All the land in one village is generally owned by one family, one man. The owner of the land is of a higher caste. In the Kariopatty block of villages in Tamil Nadu people live by their caste. They eat by it, they marry by it, and their jobs are determined by it. These women are planting peanuts for a daily wage half that of a male farm laborer doing the same work. But the men are not the ones forming the patches of earth for flood irrigation, they are not planting the peanuts that are exported for their oil. The men travel to the cities to build roads and find â€˜betterâ€™ jobs, leaving their women in serfdom to the higher caste men in the villages. Spring 2010 73 The Men Men are the travelers. They follow work to the cities while the women stay in the empty villages with the old men and children. They go to the big cities to find work. They also go to the cities on pilgrimages to find religion. Buses overflowing with men of all ages- from boys just pubescent to men barely able to walk- go to the temples. As Hindus they smear ash across their foreheads and do not shave their beards. They walk barefoot so as to be more observant of the ground beneath them. Mostly they sit and converse with each other and live in the long moment of the present. The hard physical work stays home in the villages with the women and old men. As the sun dries the rice and red onions the bananas grow fat and the tomatoes blossom. The sun continues to pound on the dry, red, earth each day until it sets on the western horizon. 74 watershed Spring 2010 75 76 watershed Birds and Goats Animals modify their environment; humans are no exception. In Tamil Nadu, egrets flock from miles around for rice harvesting time. They stalk the fields like vultures as people harvest the rice, disturbing small animals such as frogs and insects. The pearly white and elegant birds swoop in without fear, snatching disturbed creatures from the feet of rice harvesters. But egrets are not the only animal that has evolved to take advantage of humanâ€™s powerful disruptive behavior. The villages of Kariopatty are occupied by many cows and dogs and goats. Three goat kids took advantage of the coolness provided by a shady stairwell in the heat of the day. Humans too spend the hottest hours resting. Changing our landscape can be subtle and dramatic. We modify our world, and some animals, such as the egret, can change with us and take advantage of these new niches, but many others cannot. Spring 2010 77 Contributors HILARY BAKAMWESIGA is an Assistant Lecturer, Makerere University, Uganda. He recently participated in the 2009undertaking the Watson International Scholars for the Environment (WISE) programme at Brown University, Rhode Island. He is also Secretary of the Ecological Society for Eastern Africa. NAFTALI BEDER is an illustrator and video game designer who loves not only cats, but also rats and bassoons. CHRISTINA BODZNICK is a dual concentrator in Literary Arts: Playwriting and International Relations: Global Environmental Policy. When sheâ€™s not mastering the art of writing plays about climate change, she loves to go backpacking in the mountains and tidepooling by the sea. BEN BONYHADI was the result of two hippies and an earthquake. He has spent most of his life on one coast or another and likes getting his feet wet. Mostly a literary arts concentrator he stands at the border of things - land and sea, forest and mountain - and looks awkward. RUTH CHUNG was born in Orange County, CA and studied illustration at RISD. I currently live in Providence where I work as an illustrator and teach art at Quest Montessori School.Visit www.ruthchung.com to check out my latest work. LEILANI DIAZ IDA FLOREAK is a RISD graduate living in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She works as a painter and freelance illustrator, and draws dead stuff all the time JENNY FILLIPETTI HENRICK FRANKLIN is an illustrator/ graphic designer/ animator/ cartoonist. Born 1983 in Stockholm, Sweden. He is Just about to graduate from the School of Design and Crafts, Gothenburg where heâ€™s been studying graphic design for the last three years. ILLANA HALPERIN is an artist, originally from New York, currently based in Glasgow, Scotland. She has a deep love of geology and shares her birthday with the Eldfell volcano in Iceland. KAREN HOLMBERG considers herself an archaeologist with a volcanology fetish. She hopes to work her way through a good portion of the Ring of Fire for research by the end of her life and hopes to finish a marathon on all 7 continents long before then. Her childhood was spent on a farm in Virginia where her family grew their own organic fruits and vegetables, made their own clothes, bread, and dairy products, and slaughtered their own meat. 78 watershed JEAN KIM ERIKA LAYTON is a RISD sculpture alum who loves the outdoors. She is in the process of moving her life westward. SUSANNE LAMB is a senior in Illustration from Cape Cod. She is hoping to be employed next year so feel free to give her a job if you have one. The Boston area is preferable but she’s not too picky. KELSEY LANE studies the ocean and dreams of unexplored waters, mountains, and deserts. She currently adventures in the urban jungles of New England. After graduating from Brown this May with a Geology-Biology degree, she will wander west. JESSE A. LOGAN After retiring as a scientist from the US Forest Service in June, 2006, Jesse and his wife Catherine moved to Emigrant, MT, where he continues to conduct and publish research and advocate for whitebark pine forests of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE). He is an enthusiastic citizen of the GYE who spends over 100 days a year skiing the backcountry, many of those days in whitebark pine forests. When not skiing, he can often be found scaring cutthroat trout with a fly rod. Next year, EMILIE LYGREN, will work as a naturalist, educator, and writer in California. She would like to pursue a career in skateboard/snowboard illustration. NATALIE MCGARVEY has a deep fondness in her heart for hoagies and Philadelphia where she currently resides. She draws stuff, occasionally, and paints in her sketchbook, frequently. MARY MEKARNOM will be graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2010 with a BFA in Illustration. After graduating, she will be focusing on children’s book illustration and editorial illustration. For more information she can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. KATE PATCH is currently a senior in the RISD illustration department. She was born and raised in the Washington, DC area.You can find her work at www.katiepatch. com. DOUG PEACOCK is one of the foremost experts on the American Grizzly bear, a famed wilderness advocate, lecturer, and an author of several books including, “The Grizzly Years: In Search of the American Wilderness” and “The Essential Grizzly: The Mingled Fates of Men and Bears”. He is currently living a nomadic existence migrating between Tucson, Arizona and Livingston, Montana while working on his next book, “Repatriation”. Spring 2010 79 MARGIANA PETERSEN-ROCKNEY grew up with the goat kids of Southeastern MA. She was home-schooled on a homesteading farm until coming to Brown. She is still tied to the land and is currently embarking on the second season of co-managing a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm. She has traveled to Italy, India, and Mexico to study sustainable agriculture returning with new ideas and perspective. As the old saying goes, ‘think globally, act locally.’ PHILLIPPA PITTS is a recent Brown graduate, now based in Boston and working in the museum field. She studied studio art and art history in college and is a compulsive sketcher of all worlds be they foreign, imaginary, natural, man-made, or just the view from her window. DADU SHIN is currently a senior in illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design. He likes to paint and look at pictures. MATT SKOGLUND, an attorney, is a Wildlife Advocate for the Natural Resources Defense Council in Livingston, Montana. A lover of all things wild, he wants to see Yellowstone’s bison given more room to roam outside America’s fist national park, and he looks forward to the restoration of bison as a wildlife species in Montana and the West. LANE TAPLIN LISA UPSON, J.D. is a wildlife advocacy consultant with Natural Resources Defense Council in Montana, working to conserve wild flesh-eating animals with big teeth. AARON KENT WARDER was raised in the same town as Prince Chunk, the 44-pound tabby. He appreciates grotesque things that appear cute, observational humor, and cats. He hopes to one day afford proper rehabilitation for his own cat, who is a whipped cream addict. LOUISA WILLCOX is Senior Wildlife Advocate for the Natural Resources Defense Council, based in Livingston, MT. She has been working on saving the wildlife and the wildlands they need in the Northern Rockies for the last 25 years. In the course of her career, her hair has come to resemble that of her favorite animal, the grizzly bear. Abacus Sources: “Grizzly Bear Recovery.” U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 8 Feb. 2010 <http:// www.fws.gov/mountain%2Dprairie/species/mammals/grizzly/>. Saunders, Stephen, Charles Montgomery, and Tom Easley. “Hotter and Drier.” National Resources Defense Council. March 2008. <http://www. nrdc.org/globalWarming/west/contents.asp> Smith, Tom. “Grizzly Bears in North America.” USGS Colorado Plateau Research Station. 8 Feb. 2010 <http://sbsc.wr.usgs.gov/cprs/research/ projects/grizzly/grizzly_na.asp>. 80 watershed -Lane Taplin Spring 2010 81 Days By Phillippa Pitts Tourism developed relatively suddenly. In the nineteenth century, it was spurred forward by the fusion of an artistic movement known as the picturesque with the invention of travel guides and souvenirs. Here, those conventions of exploration and discovery, generally applied in the American tradition to the West, are used to interpret an East Coast scene from Acadia National Park in pen, gouache, and colored pencil. 82 watershed Spring 2010 83 84 watershed