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Environmental Degradation Is Evident Here In Newtown



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To the Editor:

Once Indigenous People were one with tall grass prairies, where lived the Sage grouse, the gopher, the Black Tailed Prairie Dog, the buffalo, the so-important Buffalo soul-mates of the indigenous people. Now the Sage Grouse is almost extinct.

The good news is that people who see the value of this harmony that once kept this ecosystem healthy, indigenous and others are working to restore the buffalo and to keep the remaining buzzing insects so necessary for baby birds needing the protein. Singing Back the Buffalo by award-winning Cree filmmaker Tasha Hubbard, of the University of Alberta, is a full-length film, following the communities that are bringing back animals to the prairies.

Patches of short grass here, medium there, here a length, there a length, everywhere a different length, each sending roots to different depths so water below remains pure and the air above healthier. If we stop using till methods and day-time spray irrigation when evaporation depletes aquifers (underground water) we stand a better chance of sustaining crops.

If we stop pesticides and herbicides use we may prevent trouble that starts with T and rhymes with C that stands for conservation. We must conserve our water even here in the East.

Alanna Mitchell writes for the Canadian Geographic an article, where she doesn’t cap her title, the land holds memories. I adopted her animals: Sage Grouse, Pronghorn, once the main grazer of the North American Great Plains, Greater Short Horned Lizard that scampers for shade.

It’s a beautifully written article mentioning names of chiefs, both men and women chiefs, and anyone: professor to farmers to ranchers who are using ecological methods to return the tall-grass prairies to their original life-sustaining, world-protecting, climate-threat-reducing selves.

We need to be bumped into action to conserve water, to use no-till methods in our gardens, to use no pesticides or herbicides. We need to protect our pollinators by not spraying for ticks or mosquitoes and by being cautious about our streams and lakes by having rain gardens (deposits so that rain water doesn’t rush to erode stream banks). To not act is evil and as Greta Thunberg says, “I prefer not to think of you as evil.” Is evil another word for selfish and ignorant?

In the 25 years I’ve observed wildlife on Taunton Lake, fewer species appear and those that do are in fewer numbers. Awareness that each of us can reduce our carbon footprint, can conserve in other ways, and can support people and foundations that are sticking their necks out to change the trajectory of a horrible outcome.

Patricia Barkman


Comments are open. Be civil.
1 comment
  1. qstorm says:

    You had me right up to evil, Greta.

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