The Efforts of Habitat Restoration
*Hunting(noun): the act of a person, animal, or thing that hunts. (Dictionary.com)
After reading “Thinking Like a Mountain,” by Aldo Leopold, many issues arise, one of the most important being wild animal population diminishing over the twentieth century. What actions do human beings need to take for this to end? First, to find the solution to this problem, the cause must be addressed, which would call for all hunters. As hunters increase, the death of wildlife increases as well. In order to resolve the issue hunters must understand the issue behind the deaths of these animals. In Leopold’s argument he refers to, “Thoreau’s dictum: In wildness is the salvation of the world.” By this he means wildness is the key or answer to a healthy environment for the humans. In other words, it is part of the circle of life. In order to maintain wild animal populations, hunters must understand nature and how it affects our (humans) daily lives. The lives of humans are connected to the lives of the wild, therefore without wild animals, our world would remain incomplete. We, the humans, will diminish if we do not permit the replenishment of the wildlife.
Mentioned in the Wolf Restoration article from the National Park Restoration website, “Between 1914 and 1926, at least 136 wolves were killed in the park…. By the 1970s, scientists found no evidence of wolf population in Yellowstone” (Wolf Restoration). Unfortunately by 1994, Yellowstone Park had a wolf population of zero. It was not until 1995 through 1996 did the park reintroduce wolves that thrived in the environment. There are now over 300 of their descendants living in the park (Wolf Restoration). With proof that there were no wolves in 1994, it helps us understand the issue a little more. Since 1994 was not more than twenty years ago, we can conclude that it is still an unresolved issue although there are more wolves now. However, this can change in a matter of time.
This is where the hunters come into play. As mentioned before, we live in a circle of life; therefore, hunting cannot be permitted all year round. This is the reason behind hunting season! Before all animals are diminished nature must restore itself rather than being left with no animals at all. This is very much like the movie, The Lion King. After Mufasa is killed, Simba is accused for the murder of his father, which leads him to leave the kingdom. Scar, Mufasa’s envious and selfish brother becomes the next designated king. After a couple years, the pride’s food source declines heavily because of Scar’s excessive hunting. This is where the lions begin to starve because Scar did not allow the restoration of the other animals. This is where the theme of the movie, “The Circle of Life,” is portrayed.
In Leopold’s work, he describes how vital the cycle of life is for not only the animals but the humans as well:
We all strive for safety, prosperity, comfort, long life, and dullness. The deer strives with his supple legs, the cowman with the trap and poison, the statesman with pen, the most of us with machines, votes, and dollars, but it all comes to the same thing: peace in our time. A measure of success in this is all well enough, and perhaps is a requisite to objective thinking, but too much safety seems to yield only danger in the long run. (369-70)
The imagery that he paints within this passage, symbolizes a chain that demonstrates the peace that all animals, including humans, seek as their lives carry on. A catalyst leading to thinking objectively requires some degree of peace of mind. Moreover, he explains the irony that acting too cautiously can lead to danger. In simpler terms, if all wolves are killed, the predator will not have food to survive on which will cause the death of another species and so on and so forth. Therefore, once the chain is hurt or broken in