For Whom is Bell Bowl?
On eve of March 1 deadline, new video shows how advocates accidentally discovered construction site, Rusty-patched Bumble Bee.
At the core of the dispute over Bell Bowl Prairie is an old question of whether land should be for people or left to nature. The conservationist and philosopher Aldo Leopold wrote this in the middle of the last century:
“Conservation is getting nowhere because it is incompatible with our Abrahamic concept of land. We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.”
In this fight, what’s been astonishing is how everyday people at the grassroots level—those with that love and respect—have come together so quickly. Perhaps that’s often how these things play out, but if not for a couple of area residents Bell Bowl Prairie would have been lost entirely by now.
Here’s a video that shows the roles played by Dan Williams and Zach Grycan. If not for their actions, the prairie may already have been lost.
Tomorrow is the day that has been targeted for the resumption of construction on the prairie. If that indeed happens, it won’t be for a lack of effort from a wide range of advocates locally and nationally. The power of these efforts are the opportunities they present now but also in the long-term—so that an ancient prairie isn’t lost again.
Last week’s piece drew a couple of great comments, and I wanted to highlight them. First from radio host and advocate Mike Nowak of The Mike Nowak Show:
The 60s were also a time when ordinary people, through collective action, believed they could influence public policy for the good of society and the planet. Some of us remember those days as a time when almost anything seemed possible. But as with all social movements--civil rights, feminism, environmentalism, democracy itself--there is always backlash from the powerful and moneyed status quo. These battles must be fought over and over and over again. Unfortunately, it’s possible that at some point we will have lost too many natural areas and our fate as a species will be sealed. THAT is why people still march with banners and disrupt meetings. The protesters were polite and civilized compared to the machinery that will lay waste to the defenseless animals and plants in Bell Bowl Prairie.
Also, from “Monty and Rose 2” animator and artist Bill Fogarty:
Bob, your story shows how industry and politics, when left hidden from the public eye, do as they please regardless the consequences to these dwindling natural habitats. The threat could be minimized by rerouting the road connecting their warehouses around this modest plot of land. The cost relative to their profits would be infinitesimal. Not one job would be lost. They could demonstrate how they can make loads of money and still respect nature’s minimal needs to survive. But apparently they just don’t care about endangered species and the vanishing lands that are forever lost due to negligence of people like Mike Dunn and our political representation who we expect more of. Please keep up the fight. Simple compromises could avoid this permanent and careless action on their part.
On the lighter side, there’s the photo in the above tweet. It’s interesting to contemplate how this could be—is this photo doctored?—or might someone actually live in a place where Bald Eagles perch on their porch? Where might this be? Why would eagles perch on a porch? And there are ravens there, too, which is interesting. Nevertheless, an amazing photo and one that brought a smile to this author’s face.