[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [pct-l] Clearcuts, and elk herds

>>Why are there so many Elk?  The Mt. Rainier staff explained that the Green
River Valley and areas to the east and north (south of Snoqualmie Pass) had
been largely clear cut creating lots of winter browse.  This allows much
larger Elk herds than if the more of that area were in woods because they
can survive the winter, and amount of winter browse is normally the
limiting factor for herd size.  In the summer they go up into the mountains
 and frequently into alpine and subalpine areas. In the  summer and fall,
many of them go to Rainier national Park to avoid being hunted ((Hunting at
any time of year is legal for native americans).  The numbers of elk there
are far above what the environment can support.    <<

This sort of thing is exactly why I say that no amount of science can
replicate the balance of nature. And why clearcutting, even at its most
scientifically perfected, is not healthy for the local ecosystem. The problem,
of course, stems from the fact that every living thing in an ecosystem is
connnected to all others, and that this state of balance evolved without
the presence of man. When man comes in suddenly and begins chopping down the
forest, he sets off a cascade of changes which he simply cannot account for.
It is, quite simply, incalculable. To put it in perspective, consider the
pronounced worlwide changes that result from El Nino, a natural phenomenon
involving minute changes in localized ocean temperature. Could we ever have
predicted how dramatic an effect such a "small" upset in balance could cause?
And can we ever accurately predict exactly what the effects will be, when
an El Nino cycle rolls around? We don't know our planet as well as some folks
might like to think.

- Blisterfree
* From the Pacific Crest Trail Email List |  http://www.backcountry.net   *