Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Beast in the Garden

In grad school, I took a class on federal land politics. Being from the south, where there aren't many federal lands, it was something I'd never really thought of. The course covered a wide range of topics from Frederick Law Olmstead (of Central Park fame) to Margaret Sanger (birth control advocate) to mining on BLM (Bureau of Land Management, I had no idea such a think existed til I moved to Wyoming) land.

The Beast in the Garden touches on some of the issues covered in that class. As people move into areas that used to be wilderness, all sorts of situations present themselves. One of those situations occurs during interactions with wildlife. We frequently see wildlife near our house. Evan saw a moose this summer in one of the city parks. A moose swam in the pond across the street from our house last summer. Some antelope ate my pansies last year. However, antelope are thankfully no mountain lions. Mountain lions are scary bastards.

The Beast in the Garden is the very interesting story of mountain lions near the town of Boulder, CO. Historically, mountain lions had been hunted throughout Colorado and the west, but by the 1980s they had returned to the Boulder area.

As incidents between humans and the lions escalated, there was growing concern about an eventual human death. The Colorado Division of Wildlife response to the problem was interesting (no changes were made until after a human death, despite numerous pet deaths and lions in downtown Boulder). The book showed the political atmosphere in Boulder (at one meeting about the lions, people show up t
o make sure the lions rights are being protected).

I read this book in about a day. I couldn't put it down

This view is out our front window. Hopefully you can see the antelope by the tree in the front middle. You can also see the pond where a moose swam.

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