Saturday, April 27, 2013

Yellowstone And Change

“Ever since he had been military governor of Texas shortly after the Civil War, Sheridan had advocated the slaughter of the bison herds across the West as a way to starve the region’s American Indian tribes into submission.  He often expressed praise for the buffalo hunters, who killed an estimated 31 million bison between 1868 and 1881.”---Rocky Barker, Scorched Earth: How The Fires Of Yellowstone Changed America.

I am a man of strong opinion as was Phil Sheridan. I have my views on most things and believe I’m right on all of them. I am proud to be an American. Though not a radical conservationist I believe we should take care of our environment. I am in favor of a strong federal government but believe most issues should be a matter for each state. It is good for me to read history and wrestle with these concepts.

Yellowstone is a favorite national park. The family and I have visited it twice in the last ten years. I am glad that it is pristine; I am glad that there are huge packs of bison roaming freely in the park as well as elk, bear and other wildlife. Yet I believe that hunting is important for food and to maintain the ecosystem.

The American views of Native Americans, hunting and national parks have changed in the last 150 years. As an individual I must be willing to change as well as I wrestle with concepts---even allowing that not all things are always black and white but being principled in all places is what matters.

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