Wednesday, January 6, 2016

My mom has been on my mind the last week, which included the anniversary of her death on January 4th. The Malheur National Wildlife Refuge was a favorite birding place of my mother's, so I was thinking of that place and her love of birds and unspoiled places. Not long ago I read about how invasive common carp have infested the Malheur Reservoir, destroyed much of the wetland habitat favorable to migrating birds, and so reduced the seasonal populations drastically. The carp were apparently introduced into the waters with some benefit to people in mind. Now they have to go, but getting them gone is tricky. Can't just poison them without hurting a lot of other creatures. So the hope is that fisher people will take bait, rod and reel to them and hoist them out one at a time. Hardly anyone likes to eat carp in these parts, though, no matter the claim that they taste like cod. Once, on a fishing and birding outing with mom at Fern Ridge Reservoir in Eugene, she snagged a 12 pound beast on her little spinning rig. She took about 15 minutes to land it, with last second help from me hoisting it to the reedy pond bank. We took it home and cooked up some fillet of bottom feeder, and if that tasted like cod I'm a Beaver. Well since then some folks have made themselves invasive to the habitat. Kind of like carp, they are quiet bulky entities that can't seem to help being what they are. Their reasoning about the U.S. Constitution and Congress's role in land management is terrible, not based on history or fact; but their beliefs override any other view and so there will be no changing their minds. Unfortunately, what they are doesn't fit the context of American life any more than carp fit in the Malheur Reservoir. They probably won't go home if politely asked any more than a bull carp would. At the moment, there are only a few of them and they won't do much damage if let be. But if they reproduce, then we would have a problem. For starters, I recommend rising to the surface where there is light and a clear view of our Constitution. If there is no other positive to be had at the moment, my getting a prompt to read the document for myself was fantastic. It is really quite amazing. I think Captain Moroni and Co. must be reading it through magic glasses that only let them see what they already believe in and feed their minds on, which amounts to stuff on the bottom.