As a retired military
member and former environmental scientist, I
enjoyed Don Lyman’s
description of his return
to Marine Corps Base
Quantico, Virginia (“The
Place Where You Live,”
Few people realize how
important military training lands can be
to wildlife, much of it protected by fences
erected years ago that continue to keep out
development. The U.S. Department of
Defense now manages almost 30 million
acres, including everything from longleaf
pine in the Southeast to Pacific coastal
sage and chaparral. These areas provide
habitat for over four hundred listed
species —about the same number of species found on Forest Service lands. The
Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, for example, is one of the largest remaining longleaf pine habitats in the Southeast, home
to red-cockaded woodpeckers, gopher tortoises, indigo snakes, and many other species. A few bombs going o= now and then
seems less hazardous to wildlife than the
blade of a developer’s bulldozer.
North Muskegon, Michigan
Luis Alberto Urrea’s
column (“Night Shift,”
brought back memories of growing up tent-camping. Unlike the
high-rent RV campers
who slept on mattresses,
I love that I shared the
ground with lakes and
mountains. Having just finished Urrea’s
The Hummingbird’s Daughter, I was delighted to see his voice in Orion. I find his
Glen Ellyn, Illinois
Luis Alberto Urrea never lets us avert
our eyes, does he? What he tells is always
worth knowing. Thank you for adding his
column to Orion.
In his January/February 2012 column
(“Not In My Name”), Derrick Jensen does
well to point out the distracting, patri-
archal, and consumerist mentality behind
“green” ad campaigns. But linking an Earth
First! Journal image of naked revelers at a
gathering of eco-warriors to advertising
gimmicks from underwear companies is
harmful. There is a di=erence.
Derrick Jensen’s latest column seems
to recommend that environmental activists imagine themselves as soldiers. This
might inspire some, but others might
find their senses and spirits quickened by
the wild earth. Others’ souls might sing
when they express themselves through
play— when they paint their faces, bring
their puppets to protests, and, yes, even
perform in the nude. Jensen decries such
revelry, but some activists feel that making art with their bodies binds them to
this creative, voluptuous planet. We must
inspire a variety of people to start caring
for the earth — not only potential soldiers.
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