A Special Special Issue
I was thrilled to receive the Everglades
issue [July-August], and I immediately read it from cover to cover.
Thank you, Audubon, for recognizing all the complexities surrounding
the Everglades and for printing the truth about the issues involved. My
family has lived around Lake Okeechobee for many generations. I had the
good fortune of working on a project with the Florida Fish and Wildlife
Conservation Commission, identifying aquatic invertebrates as water-quality
indicators. And I became friends with Don Fox and Paul Gray ["Big
Water Blues"], in addition to numerous other biologists fighting to
protect "our" lake. I am grateful to those who have chosen to dedicate
themselves to this tremendous task.
Karla Scroggin Grimwood
I have just finished reading the Everglades
issue. This is one of the best issues I have seen since subscribing,
and I read it cover to cover. I have never visited southern Florida, but
I remember reading fishing articles about the bass in Lake Okeechobee--those
articles just seem to have disappeared. There is one thing that you failed
to mention in the issue's "What
You Can Do" section: When buying citrus, buy organic. Let your consumer
dollars talk for you; individuals can collectively affect an industry
and how it operates.
I really enjoyed the beauty of the Everglades as depicted in the July-August
issue. The alligator cover was spectacular! I am glad that there are still
places like Big
Cypress National Preserve. Egrets, eastern diamondback rattlesnakes,
and every other creature of this enchanting land needs to be preserved
and allowed to live naturally in their habitats for future generations
to observe and study.
"The Everglades Rises Again" is a wonderful description of the immensely
complex factors that are involved in environmental conservation. The economic,
political, and environmental forces that brought about the steps now being
taken to bring back the Everglades were the same forces that led to the
environmental degradation of the Everglades. However, one of the most
significant economic, political, and environmental activities that negatively
impacted the Everglades was not woven into the tapestry of the issue's
Glades"]. In 1928, when the Tamiami Trail was opened, it was viewed
as an engineering marvel. The trail, now a focus point in the Everglades
restoration project, is arguably the most ecologically devastating event
to have occurred in the history of human involvement with the River of
Remember the Miccosukee
Immediately upon receiving the July-August Audubon, I perused
the articles, looking for mention of the part Florida's native tribes
played in the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP). I found
nothing. In April, when I visited the Miccosukee Tribe near Miami, we
were briefed on CERP and [the tribe's] involvement in it. I suggest a
visit to the Miccosukee Environmental Resource Center to find out how
much the tribe is actually involved and the amount of funding it has allocated
to CERP. You are missing the Native American affiliation to those species
[that live] in the Everglades.
Ode to Okeechobee
Once again Ted Williams has provided us lesser mortals with a piece that
does more than enlighten and educate. "Big
Water Blues" [July-August] touches the soul. I have read the first
paragraph over and over, not just for its surprising information that
the lake was America's last frontier, but also for its poetic use of the
language. I was recently asked which writer's work has influenced my own.
"Ted Williams," I answered without hesitation. This piece is just one
example of why that is so.
From Heaven to Hell?
I was born and raised, lived, worked, and played in the
Appalachian area for many years. I loved those mountains passionately,
and I still do. West Virginia is, indeed, "almost heaven." I've just finished
reading Ted Williams's "Mountain
Madness" in the May-June issue. His revelations of the destruction
of the mountains by the coal companies are absolutely heartbreaking to
anyone who cares about the outdoors. I wish I could thrust this article
into the hands of lawmakers who could stop this--and indeed into the hands
of all of the public who cares about nature at all. I am growing old,
and I will not be here to see the end result of this atrocity. But I care
deeply that my grandchildren (and yours) will never see the beauty that
is the Appalachians.
Mary E. Kuhn
Thank you for printing Ted Williams's "unbalanced"
article on mountain razing in your May-June issue ["Mountain Madness"].
I'm afraid Bill Raney [of the West Virginia Coal Association] will never
get his balanced story, unless it is written by a graduate of the association.
It is perverse that the West Virginia coal industry will only show the
public a reclamation site in May--sorry, Bill, but the plant and animal
world just can't adapt to your 11-month hibernation schedule.
Green House, Too
I have just read the article entitled "Green
House" in the March-April Audubon, and I was pleased to discover
that our family is taking the same steps to reduce energy consumption
in our home as the climatologist in the story is taking in his. While
I am an architectural historian and my husband is a lawyer, we are gravely
concerned about global warming. We, too, are making gradual changes to
reduce our contribution to the problem. Just by replacing our old washer
and dryer with the Fisher & Paykel models you cite and our dishwasher
with a Bosch, we've cut about $40 per month off our electric bill. If
you have children, you are told you have to have a minivan, but
we've also replaced our station wagon with a Toyota Prius, which we love.
I hope some of the steps we're taking can show people that positive change
is within their reach.
I have been a member of Audubon since 1984, and over the
years I've seen numerous changes in the style, makeup, and even the character
of Audubon magazine. I have been most favorably impressed by recent
alterations. I warmly applaud the quality of the articles and photography.
I consider your special issue on the Everglades to be superb. The idea
behind this offering of a special issue is timely and appropriate. [National]
Audubon deserves a warm "thank you" for being one of the partners
in creating the comprehensive plan to restore the Everglades. In the Book
of Proverbs, there is this saying: "Without a vision the people perish."
Your vision of a thousand nature centers by 2020 affords both testimony
and a promise to the quality and timeliness of Audubon's place on the
American scene. Good for you!
Carleton Schaller Jr.