With the Bundy’s recent invasion of Oregon’s Malheur Wildlife Refuge, as a native Oregonian and being a person who absolutely needs the restorative healing that only the natural world can provide, I stand firm that these greedy souls need to leave Oregon asap. Many of the locals nearby do not want the likes of Bundy militia darkening their doors.
In case you aren’t familiar, the Malheur Wildlife Refuge is a crucial stopping point along the Pacific Flyway which is a migratory corridor for more than one billion birds annually along western North America from Arctic tundra to tropical beaches and mangroves. The Malheur Wildlife Refuge offers resting, breeding, and nesting habitat for hundreds of different migrating species. It also offers folks like me a place to clear away the “mind clutter” created by the daily grind of living so close to other people. No longer living on my own acreage, public refuges allow me essential access to the natural world. And the wildlife were here long before any rancher . . .
American author and scientist, the late Rachel Carson, in describing the role of national wildlife refuges seven decades ago:
“Wild creatures, like men, must have a place to live,” Carson wrote. “As civilization creates cities, builds highways, and drains marshes, it takes away, little by little, the land that is suitable for wildlife. And as their space for living dwindles, the wildlife populations themselves decline. Refuges resist this trend by saving some areas from encroachment, and by preserving in them, or restoring where necessary, the conditions that wild things need in order to live.”