Letters to the Editor, February 13-16, 2010
February 13, 2010
A group of friends skied at The Canyons last weekend and felt very fortunate to see two moose, a coyote and a fox while there. It’s always great to see wildlife thriving, even when surrounded by so much activity. We noticed a moose, either stuck or injured off to the side of one of the runs. It was there all day Saturday and didn’t move and there were hordes of people stopping to seeing him. At Smokie’s that night it seemed that everyone was talking about the "poor moose." Some were simply excited to see a moose and others were lamenting the fact that the poor guy seemed to be harassed to death by people all day Some people were even critical that The Canyons was "doing nothing" to save him.
The next morning at The Canyons the moose was still there and obviously had not or could not move. There were several Canyons people around as there had been the day before. I sat and watched for a while and, much to my amazement, I witnessed about 20 Canyons staff members, along with what looked like a few Wildlife Resources people, move the moose on a tarp, up onto the ski run, into a sled and then down the mountain. I asked a Canyons employee if the moose had died and this very nice lady informed me that the moose was alive and that they were transporting him to a better location where there was less deep snow, more food and less people around to stress him out. Doesn’t sound like a big deal, but where I come from Utah has a reputation for being a hard on wildlife and Wildlife Resources, unlike the equivalent division in Colorado, is not known to go out of their way to save one animal.
Kudos to The Canyons for caring. For two days in a row I watched Canyons patrollers and staff try to keep people away from the moose and then finally carry the huge animal down the mountain. The moose was too big to fit in the sled completely so his head was hanging off the side and would have dragged on the ground the whole way down but a Canyons patroller skied down, crouched in a squat position, holding the moose’s head all the way down to the bottom of the hill. It was an incredible thing to see.
Thanks to The Canyons for caring enough to save "just one moose."
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Sportsmen are last hope for wildlife
I read Diane Thomas’s "A vegan’s lament in the hunterlands" (The Park Record, February 6-9) with both interest and amusement.
Most, if not all persons relocate to another area because it is different and provides what they cannot get where they come from. Why is it that Ms. Thomas and many like her then complain when it is different? Would they be happier if it were more like where they came from? If so, why move? In spite of the fact that Park City has a diverse population, demand for vegan menus in area restaurants is extremely limited. If that were not so, restaurants would rise to the demand with more offerings.
Further, her statement "We feel it (eating meat) is detrimental to your health, to the environment and to the animals" shows gross lack of knowledge. Eating meat and other animal products, like everything else when done in moderation as part of a well balanced diet, is not detrimental to your health.
"Detrimental to the environment"? I wonder if she realizes primarily whose dollars maintain the fish hatcheries, streams and much of the land in Utah that shelters and nurtures our moose, elk, mule deer, mountain lions and fish? It is, of course, money from hunting and fishing licenses, volunteer organizations such as the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF), Ducks Unlimited (DU) and Sportsman for Wildlife (SFW), to name only a few. These organizations and licenses provide millions of dollars each year. Members of RMEF, DU and SFW are responsible for maintaining, protecting and improving many thousands of acres of wildlife habitat in Utah and many other states, not only with personal funds, but thousands of hours of their own labor as well.
Her statement that eating meat is detrimental to the environment shows a level of ignorance that sadly is all too common. Hunters, fishermen and ranchers are now and always have been the last real hope of our open spaces and the wildlife that live there. It is population encroachment and its accompanying pollution that primarily threatens our environment and its wildlife. This is especially true because of the significant population increases the Utah mountains are experiencing caused in part by outsiders such as Ms. Thomas.
David C Ludema
To know wilderness is to know humility
The following is for all those undecided about the ongoing controversy to designate more land as wilderness. It was written more than 40 years ago by my grandfather, Howard Zahniser, author of the Wilderness Act.
"It is not long since man thought of himself as the center of the universe, thought even of the Sun the very source of all our life as a light by day revolving about the Earth. As our new understanding has come through science science also has brought us many other new and wonderful discoveries, and the new knowledge of what we are has been overlooked by many of us in our eagerness for the new knowledge of what we can do. We have become as proud over what we can do as ever our ancestors could have been over themselves as the center of the universe.
"We deeply need the humility to know ourselves as the dependent members of a great community of life, and this can indeed be one of the spiritual benefits of a wilderness experience. Without the gadgets, the inventions, the contrivances whereby men have seemed to establish among themselves an independence of nature, without these distractions, to know the wilderness is to know a profound humility, to recognize one’s littleness, to sense dependence and interdependence, indebtedness, and responsibility.
"Perhaps, indeed, this is the distinctive ministration of wilderness to modern man, the characteristic effect of an area which we most deeply need to provide for in our preservation programs."
— Howard Zahniser (author of the Wilderness Act), from "The Need for Wilderness Areas"
Firefighters came and saved the day
I would like to publicly thank the firefighters in our town who take care of us. My radiant heating blew up at 2:30 Wednesday morning and I called 911 and the police came and a whole bunch of very handsome firefighters came and saved the day. They said they were just doing their job but I feel lucky that they were able to come and help me, even though I didn’t have a fire. They even vacuumed up a lot of the mess and then said my little three-year-old grandson who, of course, slept through the commotion could come and see the fire truck at the station.