Attending to business as usual

The 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Dodo

The 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Dodo

Anonamoo sends along this link to the president’s doings up on MV today. A quick bike ride in the Manuel F. Correllus State Forest, then ditch the kid and the old lady and back to the golf course with the guys. All very gay, but I was drawn to this peripheral tidbit:

The State Forest was created in 1908 in an effort to save a dwindling population of heath hens. Only 45 remained on Earth at the time. The State Forest has since expanded to 5,343 acres and the heath hen is extinct.

That ironic twist sent me looking up the heath hen, an eastern branch of the prairie chicken clan, and wikipedia obliged.

Ironically, the establishment of the reserve on the open shrubland of what was then called the Great Plain in the Vineyard may have accelerated the heath hen’s extinction. Fires were a normal part of the environment, but with the attempt to suppress fires instead of enforcing ecological succession with controlled burns, open habitat quality decreased and undergrowth accumulated until a normally limited fire would have disastrous consequences, as it did in 1916. Lack of awareness of the region’s historical fire ecology also led the state legislature to require firebreaks when protecting the heath hen.

The same sort of ignorance has been loose in the west for several decades now. We suppressed fires, beetles then killed millions of acres of trees, the “environmentalists” stopped logging companies from taking the dead wood (“profit!”) and, exactly as foresters predicted, a huge tinderbox was created, waiting to be touched off. It did, and the enviros blamed, wait for it …global warming!

Despicable, dangerous morons.

UPDATE: Anonymoo alerted me to a video, circa 1918, of the ol’ Heath Hen himself, found here. It’s a little short on drama, but hey, it’s the last waltz.


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7 responses to “Attending to business as usual

  1. Anonymous

    I wonder if they stopped to celebrate the diversity (of a black first family on largely white MV) at Gay Head?

  2. Fred2

    I do not suppose the heath hens were edible? Could have raised them for meat and profit, maybe gourmet eggs! There’d be 1000’s of escaped hens today infesting all the scrubland from Maine to Florida.

  3. Anonymous

    5,343 acres of forest on MV? All I saw was traffic, traffic, traffic. The bike trails were so impacted by cars whizzing by. Too bad, could be such a special place.