Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sierra Club Dilemma

If you are a card carrying, so-called, "Friend" of Gold Butte or Sierra Club member you may need to avert your eyes for this post
          — it isn't pretty.

[Dilemma, n. A situation that requires a choice between options that are or seem equally unfavorable or mutually exclusive.]

Two of your most endeared "causes" are duke-ing it out! And, how oh how, will you ever choose?

The only thing that might make it worse would be if the avian involved would have been a Bald Eagle — but I think they're smarter'n to live in this kind of heat!

You see, a very public endeared species decided to set up…
house immediately above one of the most ancient of petroglyph panels we have on "the Butte"– First Rock. [Click photos to enlarge]

And, like most of their species, they have no sense of historical perspective so "let loose" whenever they please — let the "chips" fall where they may!

To me, it looks like a very BIG bird had built its nest in the rock ledge, under the overhang, above petroglyphs — possibly an eagle or condor or something. However, I was assured by someone who had visited all winter that it was a pair of Red Tailed Hawks.

The petroglyphs in question, literally are down-gravity from the ledge and just happen to be the most publicly accessible of one of only two or three sets of the most "ancient" of the glyphs in the area. Over a thousand years old!

AND, lest you think the title of this post is simply for melodrama – a group of 50-somethings, who I came upon sitting in lawn chairs under the rock when I took this photo, inspired it. They seemed a bit too focused on the (now gone) birds in my opinion so I talked a bit about the petroglyphs. They seemed genuinely intrigued until the conversation turned to methods of protecting them. I thought a couple of the ladies were going to burst into tears at the thought of moving the "poor birdies"… "how mean."

Peoplebirds have wings and can fly! Petroglyphs, the poor non-ambulatory sots, just sit there and decompose under the crap! Additionally, Red-Tailed Hawks are everywhere and NOT endangered; BUT, petroglyphs ARE (have been "out of print" for your whole lifetime).

Intellectuals solve problems, geniuses prevent them.”
Albert Einstein
To the "Best Friends" of Gold Butte this is no dilemma at all. When the nest is empty (or frankly, even if it wasn't, these are petroglyphs for heavens sake) fill the ledge with some number-5 rocks so the birds move somewhere else. I'm told that in Wyoming where this is a much more prevalent problem, they toss a can of lie into the empty nest – a real turn-off when the birdie real estate agent shows the property the next year.

To the BLM, it's anybodies guess. They act like they're concerned about preservation by "restoring" million-year-old washes with mounds of rocks, desert detritus and "restoration in progress" signs; and by "landscaping" the desert with corrals, pretty pebble paths, "signed" Popsicle stick labels and cutesy cacti all in a row.

They put in 10-thousand-dollar post and cable fencing to protect some so-called "Bear Poppies" that no one around here has ever seen in their lifetime; but don't lift a finger to protect the most heavily viewed and most ancient and most vulnerable petroglyph in the area.

Come on BLM - show us that your true motive is something more than just keeping the seniors (highest percent of visitors) out. (Or, perhaps this is something like the Forest Service's no fire fighting in wilderness areas - ignore it until it burns itself out! Unlike trees - these don't grow back.)


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