Thursday, September 28, 2006

Where the Spirit Soars

(L'anse au Flamme:
Alison Dyer)

The following is part of an interview with George Schaller, a preeminent field biologist, by John G. Mitchell in Oct.2006 issue of National Geographic:

JMG: Why do we need parks & reserves?

GS: It's essential that each country keep part of its natural heritage untouched, as a record for the future, a baseline to measure change, so people can see the splendor of their past, before the land was degraded. And if we ever want to rehabilitate habitat, we need to see how things used to be. These parks and reserves, these untouched places are also genetic reservoirs, where plants and animals that dan't exist elsewhere still survive. The can be invaluable to the human species as sources of food or medicine. If we destroy the parks, they're gone forever, and we may be losing something invaluable to us.

JMG:And now the Bush Administration and Senator Stevens are looking for a go-ahead to drill for oil on the refuge's coastal plain. How do you feel about that?

GS: It's a warning that you can never give up if you really treasure something. Nothing is safe. About 95 percent of Alaska's North Slope has already been opened for oil leases. Can't we save the rest? What kind of people are we if we don't? the oil companies are trying to get into the refuge, because if they can get in there, they can get in anywhere.

GS:....It is tremendously worrisome that we don't talk about nature anymore. We talk about natural resources as if everything had a price tag.


Anonymous said...

Dear Alison, nice to see your blog. It looks great! Very professional job. I look forward to more coverage on the refuge, sea kayaking and other things to come. From Jessica Zimmer

squidink said...

Thanks for posting Jessica. Developments on the Alaskan Refuge are very disturbing. Please consider posting updates to articles on same that you come across. best, Alison