Thoughts of Past and Future

I felt, while hiking out of the Baldface Mountains at the northern reach of the White Mountains near the NH – Maine border, that strangeness of our artificial period we call the 20th century. I want a vision of at least 10,000 years, perhaps 100,000 years or about half the time of modern humans on the planet …

The geologic structures took so many millions of years to form, then were shaped by the glaciers into the surface visible to us today. The latest shaping was rather recent, only 10,000-15,000 years ago, as the Indigenous peoples were arriving on the continent.

The problem with biodiversity preserves, as Aldo Leopold said, is keeping humans out …

It takes human beings to give a voice to the other animals and plants, that cannot speak …

You can’t trust anyone as a custodian. The Forest Service is dedicated to cutting trees … the same with the custodians of the Canadian forests, that are all owned by the provinces.

If you set aside a large remote tract of land, perhaps under some special ownership or use provisions, it may last longer. For example, the Quabbin Reservoir land in Massachusetts.

The trick is, to set aside the North Woods before global warming encourages people to move north. Then they will have to live more densely in the southern parts of New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine while the northern part remains a biodiversity refuge for changing species mix.

1992

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