Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Wilderness Ethic

In our post "More valuable than gold" we provide the link to a post on the Cleanest Line, one of the blogs on Patagonia's website. The post from 2008 is titled: Kalmiopsis - Fly Fisherman Mikey Wier Searches for Steelhead in the Oregon Wilderness

Wier went to catch one of the Chetco's wild steelhead in one of the wildest wildernesses in the West, the Kalmiopsis. On that count he failed. On another he found riches beyond his expectations and beyond what most of us will ever experience. He wrote:
"Then I realized how lucky I was to have had the chance to see those fish in their native habitat doing what they have been doing for thousands of years."
The trail in to the Chetco was covered with deadfall.
Wier and friends has tried twice before to reach the Chetco's Wilderness reaches. On the third time they made it. It was a grueling winter trip, with trails in the Wilderness unmaintained for more than a half decade since the Biscuit Fire and choked with deadfall. It rained off and on and no wild steelhead were caught but that was okay he wrote:
"Wilderness is more valuable than any possession I own. I felt so blessed to see them in this environment. Just being there was enough for me. As population grows and climate changes, there is going to be an increasing strain on what remains of the habitat needed for these fish to live and thrive."
Mikey Weir - Fly fishing on the Wild Chetco
"As fish populations dwindle, they will become an icon of wilderness. Steelhead will become a symbol of a healthy and functioning aquatic ecosystem. In my opinion, they should be more valuable than gold, platinum or oil. They should be placed in front of mines, roads, timber sales and this year's fiscal earnings."
There's no need to say more.