A Bunch of other stuff

James Rogers jamesr@best.com
Tue, 21 Jan 2003 21:51:03 -0800

On 1/21/03 9:08 PM, "Owen Byrne" <owen@permafrost.net> wrote:

> Levitch admits he's not terribly concerned with precision when it comes
> to figures. (In the film, he states that 600 million buffalo once roamed
> North America. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the
> number was more likely somewhere between 30 million and 75 million.)
> He's more of an idea man than a detail man, trying to jog the American
> mind out of strictly vertical concepts of rebuilding.

Running off on a tangent, a lot of people do not consider how important the
bison was to the North American ecosystem.  There are quite a number of
animals that require large grass-eaters in their habitat.

The importance of this rarely brought up by environmental lobbies that are
slowly but surely shutting down the large-scale open range ranching
operations in the US.  Free range cattle, which occupy much of the
traditional regions where buffalo were found in numbers, are very good
ecological substitutes for the bison.  Animals with close ecological ties to
the bison/cattle such as pronghorn (which are no more "antelope" than bison
are "buffalo") can only be found in regions where active ranching range and
buffalo herds are found.  As large regions of the western half of the US are
slowly being closed off to ranching, the ecologies are suffering and animal
populations are disappearing in the absence of a grass-eater population.  It
is important that people understand that free-range cattle ranching occupies
a cornerstone of the environment in those parts.  Short of transplanting
vast herds of buffalo to replace the cattle, you destroy the ecosystem when
you shut down a cattle ranch.

Yes, I know, this post has nothing to do with commies, racists, or anything
like that, but this is probably a more productive point anyway. :-)


-James Rogers