A stupid species

Consider the mighty moose, kind of an odd-looking creature. It’s said that after all the other animals were created, God made the moose out of leftover parts. To get a sense of the moose population in Adirondack history, one could start by simply looking at a map. There are more mountains, plains, rivers, lakes, ponds, creeks and streams named after moose than probably any other animal. But unregulated hunting and massive deforestation during the 1800s took their toll and the last moose in the Adirondacks was shot around the time of the Civil War. Over a century later, just as DEC was considering reintroducing them, moose started to wander back into the park on their own. Now there is a sizable and stable population. Moose are marketed to draw in tourists and sell T-shirts. There’s an annual moose festival. But we are on the extreme southern edge of moose territory. Prolonged heat waves like we’ve seen so far this summer may drive moose out of the Adirondacks for a second time, and without a single shot being fired. Just another fallout of potential runaway climate change that we refuse to take seriously. What a stupid species.

Bill Kitchen, Johnstown

About Adirondack Explorer

The Adirondack Explorer is a nonprofit magazine covering the Adirondack Park's environment, recreation and communities.

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