Leave ‘Lost World' alone

Published 10:02 am Monday, February 13, 2006

By Staff
My mother seems to think it's in her best interest to travel to Indonesia and experience the newfound &#8220Lost World” recently discovered in Indonesia.
My reaction? Typical environmental destroyer. That's all we need – another extinct habitat.
I've been pondering this discovery for quite some time and I am irritated by the nagging feeling that the release of this new lost world was one of the biggest blunders scientists could have made.
There is a reason why there are so many &#8220new” and untouched species in that area.
Our notion is that it's in our best interest to explore and dissect these wonderful discoveries by taking them out of their natural habitat to learn more. Scientists will back their theories up by saying they do this to understand exactly how the animals and plant life existed without anyone everyknowing it. If we must fully understand it, then they should remain in their natural habitat.
Pretty soon, tourists or others will travel to the area to see the new discoveries. Officials in Indonesia will decide that it's the best money maker they've had in decades and take it upon themselves to thin out the area to make way for &#8220nature trails.”
Then, those tourists will crowd the forestland with their man made materials, feed the animals, pluck the plant life as a souvenire, or worst case scenario, kill the wildlife and sell the meat or plant for an outrageous price.
Does this make me a naturalist? Not necessarily.
I know there are things we need to survive, but at the same time I realize that there are things these wonderful discoveries need in order to survive- and humans should not be in the equation.
What's it going to take for us to realize we're doing more harm than good? Look locally at the beaches in surrounding areas. The dunes are becoming scarce because greedy builders, contractors and officials have destroyed the area to make a quick buck, all while saying it's in our best interest.
It might be in our best interest to take several steps back, and take cues from some of the world's most famous naturalists.
Take Henry David Thoreau – who valued his life on the naturalism of life. He once wrote &#8220I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”
And, an excerpt from Walking, while describing wilderness he had this to say:
Mary-Allison Lancaster is the Managing editor of the Brewton Standard. She can be reached via e-mail at mlancaster@brewtonstandard.com

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