Jay DeLong (
Mon, 17 Sep 2001 19:33:26 -0700

> I know what you mean about listing and that it's tempting to do it for
> too. My problem with listing is that the lists became more important than
> the birds themselves, at least for me and in the end it took a lot of the
> fun out of it. I don't want to make the same mistake with fish.

The first time I went to Yellowstone I was amazed by the number of people
there. Everywhere were crowds of people and their cars, and so many times
when there was an interesting moose or something near the road there were
cars lining the sides of the road and people walking all about with cameras
and kids and such, making it a hassle to drive, or see nature as I'd hoped
to. But after awhile I learned to be more tolerant and look through and
around the crowds and see the beauty of the area from my own perspective
while still among all the others-- I guess to "share" the experience with
others. There I saw my first and only grizzly bears-- a sow and 2 large
cubs-- because there was a group of avid and dedicated bear-watchers who
shared their observations with me and told me where to go. I saw them at a
distance through a spotting scope generously offered by another bear-watcher
there (with a license plate BRWCHR on his van).

A year later I bought a grizzly poster from Montana artist Monte Dollack at
his booth at the Pacific Rim Wildlife Expo in Seattle (It's still framed and
on my wall 8 years later). About the same time issues of reintroductions of
wolves and grizzlies began getting discussion on a national level. I can't
help but think that my feelings and attitudes towards these predators--
which are the objects of so much undeserved fear and hatred and
misunderstanding-- have some sort of connection to my "wild" experience with
them. So I guess I don't agree with you "purists" <g> out there who feel
that some people don't deserve to see nature because they do it wrong or
don't appreciate it properly. If you're viewing nature in the wild without
harming it (with or without a checklist)-- it's all good! More power to ya!

(Just like discussions on this list-- they're all good. More power to ya!)

Jay DeLong
Olympia, WA
"If the biota, in the course of aeons, has built something we like but do
not understand, then who but a fool would discard seemingly useless parts?
To keep every cog and wheel is the first precaution of intelligent
~ Aldo Leopold (1953)

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