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High Uintas Bookshelf

A High Uintas Bookshelf

In this column we’ll list 2-4 interesting articles, books or the like that have caught our attention. They aren’t necessarily recent or recently read-- sort of a random compilation. Within a year, hopefully, we’ll have an established and detailed reading list. It won’t be complete without your additions. Please send suggestions and a descriptive sentence or two.

This month's reviews are by Dick Carter

Environmental Ethics. Summer 2006. “Technology and the Wilderness Experience.” Sarah Pohl.
If everybody or nearly so has a cell phone, a GPS unit and a host of other sleek technological devices in your local wilderness is it really wilderness? Arguing for a “responsible simplicity,” Pohl reveals the ethics behind needed or important equipment from “needless” devices. This is an important issue since there will never be regulations which control these “needless” devices (a government wilderness ranger searching your pack for a cell phone would be as intrusive and anti-wilderness as the cell phone!) so it will depend upon wilderness users to keep wild places wild—to have the “equipment” consistent with the context of a primitive, wild environment.

Conservation Biology. June 2006.“Conservation Science and Forest Service Policy for Roadless Areas.” James M. Turner.
Preservation of roadless areas has always been controversial. But for decade after decade the recognition of the importance of roadless area preservation from an ecological perspective has been increasing dramatically, pushed and pulled by a series of cultural changes. The Clinton administration in its final days hooked together a national policy, weak and frayed in many places, but at least a national direction, only to have it dismantled in the first days of the Bush administration. Getting the biology and politics on the same track has been and will likely always be the weak point in such a national policy.

Conservation Biology. June 2006. “Carnivore-Livestock Conflicts: Effects of Subsidized Predator Control and Economic Correlates on the Sheep Industry.” Kim Murray Berger.
In other words, it doesn’t work—that is, predator control. In other words, all of that aerial gunning, poisoning, shooting, and trapping has does nothing to prevent the decline in the sheep industry. In Utah thousands of coyotes are killed every year, year in and year out, for no purpose other than the joy of killing coyotes. And now the Forest Service is proposing to expand predator control in designated wilderness! (Ed. Note: see the article on public land predator killing below.)

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