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December 2, 2017: What’s to Come?

Today was a sign of what’s to come tomorrow, weather-wise. It snowed, got about six inches, was overcast. And while it was not balmy, it was warmer than it has been. Tonight it’s raining. I think the rain will melt the already fallen snow. It is heavy snow, soon it will be non-existent.

The weather variables get me to thinking about my horsey plans. If it’s really crappy, and I have the sense that tomorrow is going to be one of those days, I won’t do a whole lot with them.

We took Raudi and Hrimmi for a ride on the trail. Tis the season – the Christmas tree cutters are out in droves. The problem is there are not as many small spruce as there used to be in our neck in the woods, so they are cutting down the bigger trees and taking the topmost parts. I say that this is like killing

Remains of birch tree cut down for it's burl.

an elephant and taking its tusks. Others would say this is hyperbole. I don’t think so. Trees, like elephants, have feelings and like to be treated in an equitable fashion.

Another example of witless destruction. Someone cut down a tree near the front entrance to Siggi’s trail. The tree fell and they took a large burl that was about 12 feet off the ground. The rest of the tree is still there. Why do this? What are such people thinking? And what is to become of us all who must suffer the consequences of this lack of foresight?

A sad day (in this respect) in history. The Republicans got a revised tax bill by the Senate – one that has built into tax cuts for the wealthy. Equally damning is a provision that is built in to open up the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge, perhaps the last pristine wilderness area in the world, for oil exploration and drilling. So many have worked so hard for so long to keep this a wilderness area. In fact, our friend Sean McGuire once did a long walk, from Alaska to Florida, to draw attention to wilderness in Alaska.

It seems like now, if something is there, it stands the danger of one day being gone because as many think, it is there for the taking.

Our woods, where our trails are, are a small version of the larger version. I suspect that someday, the state of Alaska will sell off this land to developers. Then it will be gone. As it is, the ATVers are trashing the trails.

What to do? I am not sure. I’m going to talk to Sean and at least begin writing letters to those who have the insight, intelligence, money, and know-how to do something about this.

Tonight Pete and I attended a Back Country Horsemen of Alaska meeting. I was one of the local founders. I was fortunate in that early on in the history of the local organization, I was able to go to the Nine Mile Ranger Station outside of Missoula, Montana. There I received Leave No Trace training – training in which many, including BCHA members, are taught how they can, on an individual basis, make a difference, mainly by cleaning up after themselves. I was heartened – ten years after this organization was formed, and there is an interest locally in such practices. So never say never because tomorrow is another day.

Next: 334. 12/3/17: Gathering Light

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