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tv   Water Wildlife of the Early American West  CSPAN  October 19, 2018 11:02pm-12:01am EDT

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>> we will have more on this conference in just a moment.
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>> our topics over the next 50 minutes or so are relating to land, water and wildlife. the nexus between the unique western geography and oncology with questions of american identity, ideology, american imagination. so much of our ideas of who we are, the people are still affected by the idea of the west, the reality of the west over the early history and development of the west. clearly the western landscape, the flora, the fauna and the topography has affected profoundly who we are as the people. even before the west was
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physically explored the idea of the west was incredibly powerful and american imagination. even great writers wrote about the west, the whole idea about what the west represented was extraordinarily important and of course to many of the pivotal figures who actually wrote about the west directly. we had heard a little bit about the concept of the frontier in american history. there had been many books written about the power of the frontier, the idea of the frontier in american history. early reports, settlers were about the west and the context of how this guy is bigger here. the stars are brighter, the horizons are broader, the
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animals are bigger and wilder. all of these things feature enormously in our early history and have a lot of residence. ideas of self-reliance and freedom. we should talk about this now that we are all settled, we have three terrific discussions to share ideas with you. two very distinguished historians, one focused especially on environmental history and policy. one focused especially on the natural history of the west, especially the fauna of the west and also i think very appropriately a novelist, someone who writes beautiful fiction about the west.
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with us, sarah and dan, historians, western historians, environmental historians and a very gifted writer about many of these themes. let me just jump right in and maybe with you sarah. one of the things that we have already heard about that defined the west and still have incredible significance is water. we have heard about how many of the native americans lived along watersheds and rivers and the scarcity of water compared to the rest of the country has had enormous implications and of course still has implications. i wonder if you could just start about your sense of how important water is to our understanding of the west and settlement of the west.>> that
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was one thing a lot of easterners were not really prepared to take into account, was that as they traveled west particularly to settle they were not paying attention to the lessons that many native people had already learned that you better live where there is water and within the carrying capacity of the water of a region. what they were not very aware of is that there is quite a demarcation in terms of rainfall and a much more arid west. it's what really defines the west and powell articulated watch that demarcation line was. he was able to say that basically it's the hundredth meridian and 100th meridian runs up through central texas,
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kansas, oklahoma, the dakotas and watch that segregates is more rainfall to the east and the magic number for what is seemingly called dry farming, the magic number for being able to farm without irrigation is 20 inches of rain per year and typically used of the hundredth meridian that is what you get and west of the hundredth meridian you don't. which means you can't live in the west like you lived in the east and that is going to be a huge problem when you have things like the homestead act. the homestead act is going to try to convey land in the kind of quantity that easterners were used to. in virginia 160 acres a very logical farm plot, that works really great if you don't have it irrigated. in the west if you try to figure out how to irrigate 160
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acres of land that is an exercise in going broke really quick. if you want a million-dollar ranch quickly are down and yet it is not enough to ranch. it is too small to ranch because you can't run enough cows to make a living on that either. one of the things that people began to move from the east to the west had to confront was a reorganization in their mind of how does one live successfully in this new place and it was going to take an understanding of how to deal with the water. the one who try to suggest a way to do this was powell, in 1878 he laid before congress what some have called one of the most remarkable pieces of literature ever to come off the presses printing at government
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office. i know that does not sound like a bestseller but it was called a report on the lands of the arid region of the united states. i realize the title is pretty dry. but what we understood was exactly this, we were going to -- to failure in our settlement of the west if we try to settle with likes of these, if we brought our eastern ideas of agriculture and try to settle in that way. so he proposed an entirely new way of thinking about the west and he divided the west not into nice square states but into what he called watershed commonwealth. it was basically the idea that you have to live where there is water and you have to farm where there is water. which means nobody is going to live in nevada. you have to be thoughtful and exercise stewardship in order
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to be successful, otherwise you might have a colossal failure. the idea that somehow there were limits to how we can settle the west did not go overwhelmed as you can imagine and he got handed out of his government position, dealing with not enough water in the places we want to live.>> we could spend hours just talking about water but that was fascinating. down your most recent book is the american serengeti, the last big animals on the great plains i think is the subtitle. just tell us about that analogy and how, we think of lions and elephants and wildebeests so is that really a fair analogy for the american west and the great
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plains?>> i think it is. 10,000 years ago we had a very precise analog of africa and north america and especially the country east of the mountains. we did have elephants, we had mammoths, camels. we had all sorts of large hunting cats, hunting hyenas and seeing fauna from 10,000 years back which was a close analog of what one would find in the serengeti national park today or in south africa. some of those creatures including the lions and the camels and amazingly enough the horses which 10,000 years ago comprise about 25 or 30% of the biomass of the grading animals
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in the west. if you did not realize that by the way horses evolved in north america, spread around the world, became extinct in north america 10,000 years ago and survived elsewhere for us to return them. which is why they did so well here when we brought them back. many of those animals like horses and camels became extinct 10,000 years ago and left us with an altered american serengeti, still to be strikingly familiar to you if you were on safari on a photographic safari in east africa. you would have bison playing the role of wildebeests. you would have wild hogs lane the role of gray wolves playing the role of wild dogs in africa. coyotes playing the role of jackals.
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pronghorn's replicating gazelles in africa. so we have this version of an american serengeti that survived down into the historic. this is the fun of the american west that's the earliest explorers coming up from the southwest and later coming out of east america, encountered. so what i want to try to convey to you guys about this, a couple big elemental points about this remarkable fauna that at the time was thought up as one of the great marbles of the world. it was one of the great beast year is known anywhere on the globe. the first thing i want you to recognize about it is while we tend to think of the country east of the rockies today as
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flyover country or do it at night so you don't actually have to experience the great plains, in the 18th and 19th centuries the great plains was where all the action was. when we think about the old west, those of us who are going to go to bill coax ranch tomorrow, what's that portrayal will be is really of the great plains because the great plains if you think about it was where the cattle drives were, it was where a bunch of lewis and clark's famous exploration and encounters with animals like grizzly bears and numerous herds of bison located. it was a place where many of the indian war took place, really configured later western american history. and one of the reasons the
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great plains was the location of all the action is because that is where the wildlife was. the mountains were thought of as wildlife, lewis and clark could not wait to get out of the rockies and back to the great plains where they had abundant wildlife. thinking of the west in that way, we all know that there were many west, there still are. there's the pacific northwest, the desert southwest, the rocky mountain west, the great basin, the great plains. that was all true in the 18th and 19th century as well and the action because of this tremendous abundance of animals that was also unrivaled anywhere in the world except for africa was the primary reason. one of the things i want to do today, i want to read you two quotes. the first one i want to read you, these 19th-century accounts
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, are really a great way to experience a time travel version of what it was like in those days. i want to read you a quote that was written in this journal by the most famous nationalist in america in the early 19th century. he had just written a book called the birds of america, had toured europe and he comes back and decides to go west so that he can write a book about the mammals of north america. he is on board a steam vessel named the omega. he is and what is now western north dakota. i just heard bill marseille every night there should not be to dakotas. that's ridiculous. there should only be one because we all make jokes about the dakotas. the dakotas in 1843 is where the action was.
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he is on the prowl of this vessel, the omega. we passed beautiful scenery and almost opposite had the pleasure of seeing five rounds of big horns on the summit of the big hill. we saw what was supposed to be three grizzly bears but could not be sure. we saw a wolf attempting to climb a very steep blank -- bank and on the opposite of the shore another wolf was lying down looking on is like a dog. i forgot to say that last evening we saw a large herd of flows with many calves among them, they were grazing quietly on a prairie. they stared and then started at a handsome canner producing a beautiful picturesque view. we have seen many elks swimming in the river. these animals are abundant beyond belief.
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if ever there was a country where wolves are surpassingly abundant it is the one we are now in. that's the account of two days on the missouri river in 1843. he closed that with a note to his wife telling her i am so excited i can't go on. he was absolutely stunned by what he saw. i'll read you this other quotes that was written only 26 years later. there is still extraordinary wildlife you was late for breakfast this morning i have a pointing dog and we were walking out behind our house and she went on point and i expected this class to flush and this huge beer came out in front of us, unfortunately run the other way. i don't have that happen to me
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too many mornings in washington, d.c. molly like i think most great writers, there are certain themes or questions that occur repeatedly in your works. you look at them from different angles, different perspectives, i wonder if you could share how some of those questions you keep returning to relate to the idea of the american west and the character we associate with the american one.>> in most of my writing i am trying to fill in some of the missing stories particularly of women in the west, but the reason i am interested in writing about the west at all relates to what sarah and dan have been talking about, the great plains.
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when i was a kid my dad was from texas, we estimate these long car trips from oregon to texas to visit his family there. i was addicted to cowboy novels at that time, because that is what my dad read as well, i was sitting in the backseat of the car reading my cowboy novels as we are driving across the landscape of those novels. nearly all of which were set in the great plains, not in the oregon that i knew or california but in the great plains. i remember in one particular instance i am reading a novel that was set on the green river in wyoming and we are driving alongside the green river and i guess that experience at a critical time in my life, i was probably 12 or 13, it really is
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the reason why i am writing about this now. my interest to the writer is to write the novels that i haven't found on the library shelf. stories about the pacific northwest which is a different west from the great plains. particularly the eastern oregon landscape which is very much like the great plains actually. and writing about the stories of women in particular because they are so nonexistent in most of the cowboy novels i grew up reading. the other focus i have in my writing is to try to de- mythologized the cowboy hero.
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shane is maybe our quintessential cowboy hero isn't he? he comes into the valley from who knows what his history is, does not even have a last name. he sacrifices himself to loneliness as he leaves the valley again. his job is to use the weapons and commits the violence that will save us from the bad guys. we don't have big mythology to look back too. we don't have beowulf or king arthur, we just have that 50 year history of european americans moving into the west and as a result our
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mythological heroes who tell us this is the message, tell us who we are as the people and how we should conduct ourselves, what we should value. our heroes are the mountain men, the cowboys. a lot of my own writing is to shift that myth. we need a mythology, i'm not trying to say we should dump the cowboy myth, i want to shift it a little bit. i want to nudge it toward away from the darker side. include the women, show us the heroism of ordinary people. that's what i'm trying to do in my fiction and i want to add that i am surprised i think i am the only novelist here except if we could include virginia.
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it does seem to me that fiction is the way that most people experience the western mythology, either in novels or in film but in fiction. it's not by reading the books of the historians at this conference i think. for most people in america. they are learning about the west through the novels and the films. so it seems to me that it's important for that voice, the voice of people like me who are writing fiction, we are the ones who are reading the historians first before we begin to translate that into new mythology. >> let me just stay with you for a minute on this, before we had this there was a typical picture, i'll just tell you what strikes me. so much of the myth of the west
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which comes from film, i don't know eight or nine men, i think there is a woman over near the wagon. i think that is sort of typical of what the ideas of the west and the mythology of the west are, it's mountain men. it's cowboys. as prospectors. and it is this wild open self- reliant world where people repair their own wagons and guns and take it into their own hands. they don't have doctors, they don't have stores, they don't have churches. typically they don't have women either. just talk for a minute and you can all jump in on this,
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obviously there were women there. they had incredible brave stories. why we have to wait for contemporary novelists like you to tell the story of the western woman? >> i think women's stories have just been ignored for so long and most of the actual women who lived in the west in those early days who wrote diaries kept journals, literate memoirs, there was very little attention paid to that private writing by historians. it was in later years with people like richard white who began to shine a light on that private writing. it was not the women writing the histories of the west and it was not until historians
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turned their attention to the private writing that women's stories became to -- began to bubble to the top. my attention in fact has mostly been on the women in the later home setting. i was telling my mates a little while ago that it is estimated somewhere between 18 and 30% of all clients were filed by women but that would be in the 20th century because in fact there were more homesick claims filed in the first 30 years or 25 years of the 20th century than were ever filed in the previous 50 years that we think of as the settling of the west. it's really more a 20th-century phenomenon. women had a better rate of
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proving up. >> let's stay on homesteading for a minute, what's different about homesteading and the story of western settlement from homesteading and settlement in the rest of the country? >> i did want to add one point, there is a wonderful proverb, until the lions have their historians -- of hunting will always verify the hunter. until you have women that are trained as academics and writers who are writing novels, writing histories and of course the reality is people wants to know about who they are and where is my tractor the past, it's the same reason once we began to see indian people getting degrees, we see much
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more about these american histories, we have a civil rights movement and get more african-american history. a lot of it has to do with who is asking the questions and what kinds of questions they ask about the past and certainly the homesteading question is a good one in part because for people who are moving to the west, part of what you get is this sense of being able to start over, much of what is in the east has been used and reused ever since the colonial settlement so the possibilities of some kind of land that has not been worked or has been worked minimally is what creates opportunity for many in the west, of course it is not vacant land by any means. that was one of the unfortunate consequences of the homestead
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act. there was an assumption that the west was empty. it's not, it's full of people that have been living here for tens of thousands of years. but those people who do wants to move to the west are going to nevertheless try to import what they know from the east when they moved to the west so they bring non-native plants and animals and those aren't adapted to the west. they are adapted to the east and it is often a frustrating fix. it creates a demand for water in the west that would be like that in the east only we don't have it here. so people love to have beautiful lawns, what do they plant on their lawns? kentucky bluegrass. it's from kentucky, it should not be growing in phoenix. you have to water the heck out of it to make it go in phoenix but by gosh i want a lawn because that's the marker of
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having established yourself. that's one of the challenges.>> let's talk again about some of the iconic pharma -- fauna, we have this giant buffalo out in our lobby and you reference coyotes, tell us a little bit about the differing natural history of these two species. we almost exterminated the bison and there were serious mythologies about why they came close to being exterminated but on the other hand we try to exterminate the coyotes expired by mark twain and others about the need to be eliminated. yet now, i won't see a bear in my backyard but i might see a coyote. just tell us a little bit about those two classic western
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species and their evolution.>> to get to that explanation let me tell you an aphorism that ecologists have shared with the rest of the world. ecologists sometimes say that if you take a petri dish and put a species of bacteria in it and provide that bacteria with a source of food, if you don't provide a regulatory second bacterium as a predator and simply let a bacteria alone have access to food in a petri dish, they will quickly eat all the food until it is all gone and then they will die. in other words, those bacteria gets the kind of freedom that
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we had in the american west in the 19th century. one of the reasons we love the american west still today, we are all entrance with the image of the old west, i think it's the idea from the whole american story of freedom of action. but let me tell you to build up to an answer to your question, when we had completely unregulated freedom in the american west and had all this wildlife i gave you a sample of, we had something just to give you a quick rundown between 20 and 30 million bison. after they went wild following the pueblo revolt, between 1
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million and 3 million wild horses spreading across the west and re-occupying their old evolutionary background. between a half million and 1 million gray wolves as keystone predators. about 50,000 grizzly bears and something i often tell people when i speak about american serengeti, almost everybody has now seen the remnants of leonardo dicaprio featuring this story crawling to civilization to seek revenge on those companions who abandoned him, that story of course in the movie takes place in the high rockies. that story in reality the place in south dakota. the reason it took place in south dakota is where the
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grizzly bears were in south dakota was out on the great plains where the buffalo were because they acted as scavengers of buffalo carcasses. we had all this tremendous wildlife as i mentioned earlier, one of the great marvels of the world, this is probably where i got the idea of calling the great plains the american serengeti. many of the same people who pioneer the hunting safari in africa starting in the 1830s ended up coming to the american great plains and conducting these grand safari hunts right through the 1870s. given complete freedom to do what we wished with those animals, what we did was essentially obliterated virtually every single one of them. by the end of the 19th century we had about 1000 bison left in
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north america from only 100 years before it had probably been 30 million. we had about 13,000 pronghorn's left out of what had been 15 million. we had only a few hundred grizzly bears, now driven into the mountains. as worthy elk which had also been great animals, allowing the selfish gene to work on the american frontier essentially resulted in the obliteration of this great wildlife that we had. we reduced gray wolf to the point that by the 1920s we had even killed them in glacier national park and in yellowstone. one of the stories i tell is about a state where i live for 20 years or so that used up two thirds of its territorial budget in the 1880s pain
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bounties to kill wolves and coyotes. by the 1890s montana was bouncing about 30,000 gray wolves a year and about 30,000 coyotes. by 1920 montana paint bounty -- paid bounty on 17 gray wolves and coyotes, the number of wolves had diminished to a fraction only a tiny remnant. coyotes were still where they had been and so the beginning of the 20th century, people observing the west realized we push all of these animals to the brink of extinction and somehow we have not been able to eradicate coyotes. thompson wrote a story in 1900
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called tito the little coyote that learned how to try to explain why coyotes had survived this slaughterhouse and he argued that this little female pup who had been captured and chained in a ranchers yard had observed all of the strategies that renters use to try to kill coyotes and she later escapes, then teachers for pups. all the things that humans were doing to try to wipe them out. at the end of the essay basically realize who tito is, she is moses. the coyote version of moses. praise among the egyptians, learning all their tricks and then leading her people to liberation. what ecologists have realized this there was another
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explanation and it is basically that coyotes evolves alongside gray wolves which harassed them unmercifully and they evolved to adapt to allow them when gray wolves were gone and humans replaced gray wolves as their harassers to survive and spread everything that we could throw at them and we threw a lot. we try to exterminate them.>> probably the last question before i open it to all of you although i would like to spend all day talking to each of you, i mentioned that the beginning one of the ideas that has animated american intellectual history is the idea of the frontier. the go yes -- go west young man, the one we have always heard and you now live in oregon. there is no frontier.
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we don't have a frontier anymore. you are as west as you can go. what do you think the implications of no longer having a frontier, no longer having a place to go closer to the sunset, settling new land, has that been in your mind, affecting american history, politics or the people, so many people move to portland or seattle or san francisco for a new start and at one point it really was the frontier and open. but now it's almost like the east coast.>> i know what you mean and i think that the dream state of the west still exists. when i was teaching literature at portland state i had students come to portland to go
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to college from the east coast. who said in taking my class i came with because i thought out there i could be who i want to be an experience freedom and independence, the place where one can be free and independent. and of course there is disappointment which relates back again to the homestead movement where all these people who came out and homesteaded in the early 1910s, 95% of them failed and the whole history of the west is a history of disappointment and failure. that has not made it into the
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story that we all tell ourselves about the west. it is still a mythical story about freedom and independence and the cowboy hero.>> let me open it up to the audience. >> molly i was intrigued by your comment and i was further intrigued that nine out of 10 versus one woman, my question is is there a way to give us a sense of the homestead area, what was the sense. >> my own background is in later. of the homestead movement so i will turn that part of the question over to them but what
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i do know is that women came west for the very same reason that amended, that the independent women did. these women who filed claims on a homestead came out because they were looking for making a living that was not as a housekeeper, they did not want to be married. there is a lot of history now, escaping from bad marriages, women who came out who were lesbians who came out together and homesteaded together, women came out because they could file a claim on a homestead and sellout that claim in order to have something to do something
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else. those women who were single women homesteaders were not always single. they filed on a claim next door to the claim of the man they were going to be married to. so then they would marry but because you were only allowed to file a claim if you were single, you filed a claim, build a cabin on your property line with the manual are going to get married to, get married and then you have two cabins next to each other and help each other on the land. so there is a lot of that going on as well. >> i wonder if the story of women in the west, seeking justice or lack of representation is exacerbated that in so many films and
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histories the women you do hear about other saloon keepers. >> that's exactly right. it's interesting because the novel lies -- a single woman homesteader i wrote that i was working on that novel in the mid-1980s and i had been reading the literature of the west my whole life since i was 10 years old and in all that time i had not come upon a single example of a single woman homesteader. neither in the fictions or the histories. when i began that novel i was not sure if i was making it up. i thought maybe there was no such thing as a single woman homesteader. it was when i was doing the research for that that i uncovered all these stories about these women who had
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homesteaded but were not present in the fiction. they were not present in any of the fictions and hardly mentioned at all in the history. where i found their stories was in the regional histories that you found if you go to a small historical society in a small town in the west and they always have a regional history that some native son has put together, that's basically the story of everybody that ever lived in that county. there he would find the stories about the single woman homesteaders but not in the larger histories of the west or the fictions of the west. >> my question is sparked by dan's comments, the hue glass story and the fun of that they
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saw. great ecologists natural history in which he follows the trail of lewis and clark and use their journalist to estimate the numbers of animals. in terms of grizzly bears he would stand up on the bank and try to see essentially how far they saw and how many bears they saw at the various places and estimate that there were about four grizzly bears per hundred square miles along the lewis and clark trail through the plains. they get to the forks and start to get to the mountains, they see the last pair and is running away because it has been shot at. today and my question therefore is really going to be today we have recovered grizzly bears to about four per hundred square
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miles. i'm wondering to what extent the mythology of fauna in the american west effects policy today, we recover them if you will in the wrong place compared to lewis and clark but does this mythology, this serengeti vision of the west enter in the policy in a way that allows us or doesn't allow us to make rational choices based on history as to whether bears for example are in danger or not.>> as you point out we have a debate now going on about bears and turning management to the federal government back over to the states and if it happens it will be done the way it has been done with wolves in the northern rockies, not in the southwest because the wolf is not recovered sufficiently but
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in the northern rockies we did do that with wolves about five or six years ago, turned management over to idaho, wyoming and montana. all three of which immediately institute hunting season on gray wolves. essentially every time i would go into a sporting goods store i would have somebody as i checked out try to sell me a wolf tag. we had a six month long season on gray wolves in montana and that of course is the discussion of what we will do with grizzly bears as well. there are people in the northern rockies salivating at the idea that there will be a hunting season and idaho and wyoming have immediately said if the listing happens we are going to create hunting seasons. montana has in this instant stepped back and said we are going to wait to see what
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happens. your question which is how has the mythology of the west affected the way we are thinking of wildlife management today. this obviously plays a central role because just the statement i made about hunters who can't wait to replicate teddy roosevelt in north dakota, shooting a grizzly bear in the 1880s, people are very anxious to do this. another way that it manifests itself is in the form of an organization that is also in montana called the american prairie reserve. if you folks did not hear about the american prairie reserve i want to make sure that you understand this organization is out there and what it is trying to do is redress the historical
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mistake many of us think happened in terms of preserving the american serengeti on the great plains. if you think about where the public land ended up and where our national parks ended up like yellowstone with large animal populations, they all ended up in the rockies. or the cascades or the sierra nevada. the place where all the animals were, the great plains ended up with virtually no large parks of any kind at all. we have two or three national parks on the great plains, pretty small, try to get a couple back in the 20s and 30s, never could quite pull it off. american prairie reserve is attempting to create what will ultimately be a park or preserve on a great plains in central montana that they hope
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will be almost twice the size of yellowstone national park. yellowstone is 2.2 million acres, they are thinking about something around 3.5 to 3.8 million acres were not just bison get recovered in large numbers but we also allow wild horses, and ended up all being slaughtered for pet food in the early 20th century. also wolves and grizzlies can become a part of this natural ecological mix and they are hardened by the fact that every spring now grizzly bears as they emerge from hibernation, their instinct is to go out on the great plains. as far out as 125 to 150 miles east of the rockies and last spring the got within about 50 miles of where the american prairie reserve is trying to combine private and public land
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into this conservation program. as soon as they get there and find buffalo there will be a grizzly bear population back out on the plains. that's obviously colored by this romance that people have of leaving all these others who wrote about this certain expression of the natural world in the american west in the plains.>> thank you, sarah, so this week we have been talking about water and the water rights and what is happening with water. today they focused on planting so that tucson gets recognize you don't take grass and talking about artificial grass if you have to have grass you can get the artificial kind and
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so that is another thought. i'm also going to say last sunday in the new york times was a major article on ecology. water shortage, that whole condition of where we are ecologically. and the warming of the earth, it is very depressing. in that article it mentions that the colorado river will be down to a trickle within 30 to 40 years at the rate we are going. yesterday i heard that utah wants to put in a pipeline to tap into the colorado river. would you like to comment on that?>> we are going to cancel the next three sessions.
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>> [ laughter ]>> let's see. i think let's start here. climate changes water change and as you have seen this year and in the past couple years in colorado as we are seeing throughout the interior west as we experience this climate change that has at least in colorado calls about a two degree rise in temperatures, much more quickly than anybody else. we are looking at the consequences and the colorado river in particular is the lifeline of the american west, you have seven states in particular dependent on it. so the problem is when we moved
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here as europeans we came with this idea that was different from what we had in the east. in the east you have english common law which allows common access to the water, in the west we have prior appropriation, first in time, first in red which means if i get there first the heck with everybody else downstream. that sense of i use it or lose it has really unfortunately dictated this strategy of grabbing as much water as you can get rather than focusing on the issue of conservation. it should not surprise us that utah is doing something my proposing this great piping scheme, many of the states have done similar proposals because they are trying to get as much of their share as they can, especially because the upper
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basin states, colorado, wyoming, utah and mexico provide all the water and its lower basin states, california that suck it all up. we all want hours before they get theirs and that is just not going to work. when we allocated the river in 1922, something called the colorado river compact, we allocated a river that actually didn't exist and has never existed. the water amount we allocated has almost never existed and as climate change and drought have diminished the supply of the river, those figures have gotten more and more unrealistic but you have someplace like california where it's agricultural industry drive, they are not willing to negotiate a lot on water. that is just not going to be an option long-term. we have to talk about reallocation.
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you have not seen anything yet until we talk about how to allocate that. the colorado river in particular is the barometer of our water situation in the west and the barometer is bottoming out. i'm happy to talk about that for the next three or four hours. >> there will be opportunity to continue to talk about it among all of our tables but we can't right now and i would just like to think sarah, dan and molly for a wonderful conversation.>> [ applause ]
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