By David Starkey
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Additional resources for Living Blue in the Red States
It is land that belongs to all of us, but land that most will never set foot on. It is hard country and not particularly welcoming. So it is easy to think of it as expendable. ” As it happens, I have been to the Refuge. When our Cessna broke through the clouds above Schrader Lake, I could not quite make out what I was seeing. There seemed to be clumps of bushes scattered all around the lake. I knew enough to understand they could not be trees. We’d left trees behind on the other side of the Brooks Range.
I ask because the spring at Fox is only a few hundred yards up the road from the intersection of the Steese and Elliott Highways. Looking north from that intersection, looking if you could all the way to the Yukon River, you would see a giant pie-shaped piece of public land, land we all own together. A person can hike on it, fish its creeks, ski or snowmachine to its cabins. Or a person could mine it or timber it even, though the timber is nothing to speak of. I ask because the powerful engine that drives our wants and needs requires constant fueling, and that fuel has to come from somewhere.
He and the sanctuary staff had helped these bears feel comfortable around humans by teaching people how to behave calmly, predictably, without fear or aggression. It had worked. Bears nursed their young within view, ambled past people, even napped beside the platform. We ourselves had watched bears mating twenty feet from us, or eating fish within our reach. Staff biologists have never once fired their shotguns at McNeil. Away from the river, some bears would flee the moment they spotted a person—but some would not.
Living Blue in the Red States by David Starkey