>Sent: Tuesday, August 15, 2000 8:31 PM
>Subject: August Yodeler cover story
>With much interest I read Mike Vandeman's article, "Don't even leave
>footprints". His essay is bold in its assertations and empathatic in
>its viewpoint. I applaud the Yodeler and Mr. Vandeman for making me
>rethink many of my assumptions.
>However, I believe that ultimately his advocacy of a human-free
>wilderness is counterproductive to the animals he means to protect.
>One chainsaw scares more critters than a thousand hikers. One
>bulldozer kills more animals than a thousand bike tires. One
>open-pit mine is a far larger obstacle to wildlife migration than a
>thousand trails. These are the issues we should advocate, and unite
>people, not divide them.
>While the Sierra Club can make more "moderate" environmental groups
>seem mainstream, I believe that Mr. Vandeman's position is too
>extreme, and it will serve to polarize people in the middle ground.
>I have seen this firsthand; since at least 1995 Mr. Vandeman has been
>attacking mountain bikers on Usenet for the perceived environmental
>degradation they cause. Unfortunately, his efforts at education have
>only served to alienate many from the cause of environmental
>protection, as a cursory look at a mountain biking newsgroup will
at things from the point of view of the wildlife themselves. In a sense, I
am only passing on THEIR message! To them, ALL human presence is
undesirable. We all know that bulldozers are harmful to wildlife. We don't
need another Yodeler article to convince us of that. But what is less
obvious, and which is the reason for my article, is that we have recently
become aware that activities which seem TO US to be harmless to wildlife,
such as hiking and mountain biking, are not harmless at all. If you read
the same books I have (listed after my article), I suspect that you would
agree with me.
Since those works have been made public for many years, some since 1995,
one wonders why you haven't bothered to read them?! I certainly haven't
been preventing you from educating yourselves! Is it because you got your
feelings hurt? :) Or because you are ***ED to mountain biking (and
heavily invested in it financially), and so have an interest in remaining
ignorant about these matters?!
I am working on creating wildlife habitat that is off-limits to
humans ("pure habitat"). Want to help? (I spent the previous 8
years fighting auto dependence and road construction.)