White Goats, White Lies

ePUB-file by R. Lee Lyman

White Goats, White Lies ePUB ebook download Although Mountain Goats are native to the Cascade range, they do not appear to have been present in the Olympic Mountains during historic times. Wildlife managers introduced goats in small numbers in what-became Olympic National Park in 1925 and sporadically thereafter for the next twenty years. Because of its protected status, the goat population burgeoned. From the 1950s through the 1970s the goats were one of the features the Park Service used to attract visitors.Then the values of the Park wildlife managers shifted. According to a 1981 statement by the National Park Service (NPS), the mountain goats in Olympic National Park "appear to be significantly altering the alpine ecosystem the park was designed to protect and preserve. As a result, park managers have argued that the goats must be eradicated". An eradication program has been in place for several years now. The surrounding controversy has made for strange bedfellows: archaeologists, animal rights activists, and politicians vs. the Sierra Club and National Park Service.

White Goats, White Lies does not argue for or against eradication of "exotics" in Olympic and other national parks. Rather it examines the science used to justify the current park position and questions the extent to which science is an afterthought to NPS decisions. Author R. Lee Lyman questions the notion underlying current park management philosophy that posits an edenic, prehuman condition in nature by which wilderness and park health can be measured. Lyman asserts that it is both difficult to know with certainty what the "pre-goat" ecosystem was and that such static, pristine models fail to take into account the role of native human populations or evenclimatic variation. In the face of proposed "active rehabilitation" by the NPS, he counters that this is yet another example of god-playing, as questionable as the original introduction of the mountain goats.

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