Yellowstone is a beautiful area in America which was teeming with elk, bear, coyote, wolf and so on. That is why Ulysses Grant made it into the first ever national park in 1872. At 2,000,000 acres it is a good size - some 3,000 square miles. The Park Service was established soon after Teddy Roosevelt visited it in 1903 and briskly ruined it. The new bureaucracy thought that the elk were becoming extinct so they went after the predators and banned Indians hunting there. The elk population exploded and over-grazing changed things. They ate the plants things that beavers needed so dams were not built and meadows dried up. This got rid of trout and otter. All of these changes made the park different permanently. The old mix of trees and grasses did not come back.
The Indians kept elk, moose and bison down. Stopping them changed things too. What people saw as an untouched wilderness was not. Protecting grizzlies then killing them off was another wheeze. Wolves were wiped out then brought back. Fire prevention made matters worse. Frequent small fires had temporary effects. Larger fires destroyed habitat permanently.
The damage was done by well meaning environmentalists who were ignorant.
Has this message gotten out to the public? No, not even slightly. Do we all believe the soft, warm fuzzy image that greenies project?
You can find out more by reading the book - Playing God in Yellowstone- The Destruction of America's First National Park New York: Atlantic 1986 - it comes highly recommended.
broken links, cock ups, over-emphasis, malice [ real or imaginary ] or
whatever; if you find any I am open to comment.
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Updated on Sunday, 27 April 2014 13:07:54