How in our own County we mistreat
the very symbols of the American West
WILD HORSES … It’s truly revealing about the Telluride community that two of its most passionate issues have to do with our more-than-human allies – prairie dogs and wild horses. I think how we treat animals, as a culture, is truly indicative of how we one day will treat each other … It was wonderful to have so many folks -- incensed and upset by James Kleinnert’s excellent documentary, Wild Horses & Renegades -- show up for a special county meeting on the issue last week. I think it’s shameful how we, as a nation, treat wild horses. I can think of no excuse for the condoning of helicopter herding – it’s absolutely an inhumane method of capturing these wild creatures, whose ancestors pre-date ours on this continent … At the same time, as an elected representative who listens to all sides, not just the side I side with, it was heart-breaking to hear from two local members of the National Mustang Association most familiar with the Spring Creek herd, about how long they’ve been fighting this fight, and how finally they’ve reached a new accommodation with the local BLM office in Durango on how to manage the herd. Things aren’t perfect, but new BLM officials are now working in conjunction with the horse advocates. It would have been counter-productive, in this new climate of local collaboration, to try to intervene and stop the wild horse roundup this week … But that’s not to say things are okay, or even right with the Spring Creek herd. And certainly, on the national level, we need to support a moratorium on any more roundups until a national investigation is completed … Anyone interested in this issue ought to contact David Glynn of Ophir or Alessandra Jacobson of Telluride. That we have a herd of wild horses in San Miguel County is something we all need to educate ourselves about and work to protect and nurture.
HEADWATERS 22… That marvelous intellectual ferment of a conference over at Western State College in Gunnison takes place this coming weekend, Sept. 16-18, with the theme “Small Steps, Big Stories: Climate Solutions in the Headwaters” … “To lead us in this conversation,” according to director John Hausdoerffer, “we have gathered a diverse array of influential writers, community leaders, scholars, poets, artists, musicians, farmers, builders, cooks, activists, ranchers, teachers, students, and citizens” … In addition to Winona LaDuke's Friday night keynote address, Aaron Abeyta and I will use poetry to explore the role of story-telling and story-making in the Headwaters, while Alan Wartes will lead us in a sing-a-long of the Headwaters anthem. Dr. Enrique Salmon will facilitate a "Finding the Story" workshop, and director screenings of two films by Melinda Levin and Jack Lucido will be shown … For more info, go to http://www.western.edu/academics/headwaters/headwaters-conference
POLE INSPECTOR … Josh shakes with his gloves on. He’s all business. Overalls, shovel, drill and big wood screw bit. But glad to stop and talk shop. Explain his job … Catching me by surprise at my Cloud Acre sanctuary. Messing around in my backyard, unannounced … Though, with SMPA’s easements and rights-of-way, no property the power company serves is private … Turns out Josh walks his day’s route. Lugs his gear pole to pole. Others use ATVs or trucks but average about the same poles per day as him … Saving carbon. Keeping his waist trim. Going the extra mile for the cooperatives’ member-owners … Now, that’s my kind of public service employee.
HAPA PAPA … What I love most about Hawaii … those islands we & the Japanese fought to adopt & colonialize (pull out our eyes!) … was the vibrant mix of Pacific Rim cultures, hybridized. Portuguese. Pilipino. Haole. Most folks on the Islands were half this, half that – or hapa this and hapa that, as the Native Hawaiians would say … And so, as one proud Pops of a mixed lineage familial clan – some related by blood and some by choice -- I think instead of single dad, I ought to be known as a Hapa Papa. Half the time aging paleohippie bachelor, and half the time patriarch & caregiver. Just call me Shroompa, the Hapa Papa.
TRUTH AND SATIRE … Kevin Haley’s paper, the San Juan Horseshoe, like the Onion, is built on satire and making fun of things. But that’s not to say there isn’t a lot of truth behind the wit … Check out the fall issue’s story Mug Shots: The San Juans’ Finest Felons by Anne T. Soshull, History Specialist. Definitely a case of the real truth masquerading as satire. Highly recommended.
TED LIVELLI … Heard from a Telluride local that since Ted’s mom died, he has two houses to take care of, and so a summer in the mountains may not be his to enjoy any longer … Too bad. Always have appreciated Ted’s company and camaraderie on main street, as well as his unique view on things.
THE TALKING GOURD
teach us humans
what we need to know
to keep the rhythms
of Earth's ancient flow.
polar bear, shark,
remind us to treasure
our precious ark,
with actions that honor
the law of living
not keeping and having
but giving and giving.
Raritan Valley NJ