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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Saturday, February 4, 2017

With the birth of my first grandaughter this past week, I thought that NORTHERN WOODLANDS MAGAZINE Editor Dave Mance's column on what he wished for his daughter on her birthday was spot-on, resonating with me and striking a optimistic note in the Meril household.............Thought you might all enjoy the read

For My Daughter on Her Birth Day: February 3, 2017

For My Daughter on Her Birth Day: February 3, 2017
Dave Mance; Editor Northern Woodlands Magazine

When you get a little bigger your mom and I are going to introduce you to the maples in the sugarwoods. You should know them because they can teach you patience.
We’ll take you to Ginny’s  and we’ll watch her bees haul gold. They’ll teach you thrift.
We’ll go to Andy’s farm and watch him turn the Valley of Vermont. The rich soil will teach you generosity.
We’ll show you the morels where they grow amidst poison ivy vines – together they’ll teach you risk and reward.
We’ll take you to the woodlot and we’ll watch Dat-Dat run his sawmill. The green lumber will teach you refinement and utility. Mimi will show you the pond, where the raccoons will teach you curiosity; the ermine will teach you courage; the otters will teach you joy.
Your uncles and I will take you to the great swamp, where the green heron will teach you to fish, if you’re observant. The sundew will teach you to trap. Run the edges with your bay dog and she’ll teach you to hunt.
Hiya and Jamie and I will take you to the East Mountain and show you the deer we share it with; they’ll teach you caution and grace.
The black trumpets we forage will hone your vision, and the cordwood we cut, your strength. The sunrise will hone your faith.
The trout lily will teach you modesty.
The wood thrush will teach you to sing.
The house cat will teach you rhythm.
The wind will teach you to dance.
When it gets a little warmer we’ll take you to the stream where your mom and I went riverwalking 9 months ago. The boulders will give you a sense of architecture and space; the forget-me-nots on the sandbar an appreciation of beauty. The trout who live here will teach you to be persistent, and the mink, to be cunning.
When you’re young and scared the roiling water will teach you to be brave – we’ll flex our thighs against the current and charge towards the river’s source.
When you’re a self-absorbed teenager, the water will teach you to be humble – we’ll jump from the river bank and study the holes in the water where we land, see just how permanent an impression we leave on the world.
The permanent impression comes later, see. You’ll notice it when you’re my age, standing in the same water with a kid by your side, flexing her thighs against the current. The kid will teach you love, and purpose, and peace.
- Dad

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