Monday, March 3, 2008

IN MOURNING


My very first post on this blog (my very first blog!) discussed the fallow and axis deer herds that have lived in this area of the Point Reyes National Seashore since the 1940's. The park has gone forward with their plans for exterminating the non-native deer, and have been unwilling to work with community members and the Friends of the White Deer to arrive at a solution that involves input from the People of the Community. And who is representing the People of the Community in this so called Democracy? Certainly not our Federal government, nor its representatives in the National Park Service.

At this point, the axis deer herd has been wiped out, and fewer than half the fallow deer herd remains. White Buffalo, Inc.-the para military goons hired by the park to do the killing, are roaming at night in their helicopters, baiting the deer and shooting them. The park's initial statements about the procedure was that the deer would be killed humanely and their carcasses would be donated to shelters to be used as food. But witnesses to the killings have stated otherwise.

I personally am mourning the loss of these gentle and beautiful animals--------seeing them in the park was a treat and a delight. But I am also mourning because of the huge rift that park administration has created with the community by closing down discussions and research, by acting in secrecy and allowing hired killers to be roaming around at night shooting in the park---making a killing field of blood and terror for all the animals (and people!)in our beloved parklands. It is a sad time indeed.

I would like to include here a quote from a post by Miriam & Liam on their blog for Solas Web Design. They are fellow members of Friends of the White Deer, and this post was written about the end of the Axis herd:


"I have listened to Park officials say that the Fallow and Axis Deer destroy the environment by pawing the ground.
I have listened to those not paid by the Park say that all signs of this pawing disappear within a couple of months, and this is why no one can ever show the ‘damage’.


I have listened to Park officials say the Fallow and Axis deer are eating all of the vegetation in sight, leaving nothing left for the Black-tailed deer.
I have walked many of the 150 trail miles of the Point Reyes National seashore, and have seen the almost inconceivable abundance of vegetation - plenty for everyone to share.


I have listened to Park officials claim they are dedicated to returning the seashore to a Pre-Columbian paradise.
I have wondered when they will tear up their concrete roads, remove their toll booths and trucks, take away their power lines and leave. I am sure the Miwoks would be glad to have their land back.


I have listened to the Park’s head hired killer, Anthony DeNicola of White Buffalo Inc. say that his unit of gunmen will kill all deer with one swift shot to the head and donate the carcasses to a homeless shelter.
My friends have found the corpses of gut shot deer on their lands, left to rot after the agonies of a long and painful death.


I have listened to the Park explain away these brutally killed deer as first not having anything to do with their killers, then blaming the deaths on poachers, then turning around and saying that yes, they are leaving some deer in the fields in order to feed vultures.
I was not aware of a federal program to feed vultures. But I do know when someone is not speaking the truth.


I have listened to the Park’s paid biologist say that these deer are scary and aggressive.
I have stood amongst these deer unharmed and in great wonder at their quiet and beauty. It has been a privilege to know them.


I have listened to my government say that they are here to serve the people.
The Humane Society of the United States, State Senator Carol Migden, Representative Lynn Woolsey, In Defense of Animals, the Wildcare foundation, Dr. Jane Goodall and the taxpayers of Marin County, California have all made it abundantly clear that we would like our government to serve us by caring humanely for these deer, not by massacring them."
Image: "Our Lady of the Mountain" original gouache on paper in private collection. Giclee prints available

4 comments:

Deb Kirkeeide said...

I am saddened and outraged and mourn with. It is hard to fathom these actions and the reasoning behind them. I mourn with you, what beautiful animals.

Christine DeCamp said...

Deb,
Thanks for sharing your sentiments. I am trying to be thankful for the encounters I have had with them in the past. They are truly magical animals & seem to be much smarter than our native black tailed deer. The white fallow deer are quite small & have these big palmated antlers that look too large for them. They almost look like goats with horns. They remind me of the images of unicorns in medieval tapestries.
Christine

Cestandrea said...

Christine, this is a very sad story. I wonder if there is anything that can be done to stop them doing this. Sound like another great example of human stupidness. Arrrg. Make you want to kick those people.
Andrea

The Cunning Runt said...

Few things disgust me more than liars and hypocrites, and it sounds like your "park officials" fit both bills.

As a committed Naturephile, I want to thank you for caring so deeply about the fate of these animals.

"God" made us in no way superior to the rest of creation. I just wish we could all understand that.