Static & Iconic Yellowstone


A delightful little post in National Parks Traveler gives, (at least me,) insight into the enduring values of some key players in the Grizzly Bear delisting drama.

Deputy Interior Secretary Lynn Scarlet is quoted as saying:

“The grizzly’s remarkable comeback is the result of years of intensive cooperative recovery efforts between federal and state agencies, conservation groups, and individuals. There is simply no way to overstate what an amazing accomplishment this is.”

On the other hand, Louisa Willcox, who directs the NRDC‘s Wild Bears Project, is quoted as saying:

“Grizzlies are part of the natural heritage that is shared by all Americans. Yellowstone and its wildlife have a special place in our history and in the hearts and minds of millions of people. If the grizzlies die out, it would be like Old Faithful running dry. Healthy bear populations mean that the land is healthy. It means that remaining pieces of wilderness will be here for our children and our grandchildren.”

Now there’s a pair to draw to. I prefer a more realistic view of our universe and the small bits of it that we call “National Parks.” It is certainly good to try and maintain a diversity of species. And my values suggest that a grizzly is a very important thing to try and preserve.

Dear, dear, Louisa: I would celebrate the occasion of “Old Faithful Running Dry.” I promise you that it will. Is that so tragic?

And if it’s here for your grandchildren, it most assuredly will be different than you remember it. Is that also a tragedy?

The problem with an icon is that it’s static. I don’t like the idea of a static Yellowstone. That would not be the way that I understand how the universe works. I shudder to think that the NRDC wants it that way. Now, that is a tragedy.

Dear, dear Louisa: try to celebrate change, dynamism, interrelationships, complexity, and the joy of the unexpected. If that’s too hard; go see “Yellowstone” at the Imax Theater. Old Faithful is the same every time at the movies. It does not run dry.

Dear, dear Louisa; losing the grizzly would be far more tragic that the drying up of Old Faithful. We can do something about the one, and should do nothing about the other.

My fear is not that Old faithful will run dry, (for it surely will,) rather it’s that the NPS will rapidly install plumbing to “RESTORE” it to it’s once natural splendor. I will rant against that. Many cheerleaders will want the plumbing. Go figure.



  • RSS National Parks Traveler


  • RSS Wine Hiker

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

    • Heavy Snow Moving into the Great Lakes; Locally Heavy Rain with Mountain Snow Out West

  • RSS Fly Fishing Colorado

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
  • RSS Trout Nut

  • Feeds For You

    Subscribe with Bloglines

    Fair Use Notice

    --- This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.

    --- We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

    --- If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.