Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Yes - I know that is the title of a Clint Eastwood movie and I did mean to steal it.  The 1966 movie is about 3 men and their quest to find Confederate gold.  Great movie.  This blog is about the impact humans have on our planet and the devastation this has on our wildlife. The photo below represents the good, the bad, and the ugly of a recent snake venture. 

The Good - The good in this photo is my youngest son observing a bullsnake crossing a road.  This is a connection with nature, an understanding that wildlife (snakes) share our planet, and a respect for the bullsnake to allow it to cross the road without harassment.

The Bad - Roads, a railroad, and oil and gas development dominate this photo and all impact our native wildlife in ways that we can't even begin to comprehend.  The one thing they share in common is that they all kill wildlife and allow access for humans into areas that were at one time "wild".

The Ugly - The pink grass in this photo is cheat grass and it is nasty!  It can out-compete native grasses and perennials ultimately dominating the landscape and it has little wildlife use.  For a comprehensive understanding of cheatgrass, I recommend you read this 1996 publication:  Chaeatgrass: The Invader That Won the West.  I find it ugly.

So there you have it - the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly all captured in one photo.  My hope is that as you read this short blog, you open your eyes and see things for what they are and how humans have changed our planet.  Now think of the wildlife and the struggles that they have to just survive in a GREATLY altered world.

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