Today's Forests Lack Color

Larry Caldwell larryc at teleport.com
Sat Dec 13 00:27:50 EST 1997


In article <348E3660.2950F97D at uoguelph.ca>,
Jamie Simpson <jamessim at uoguelph.ca> wrote:

> It may be true that people of colour live primarily in urban centers and
> are far removed from from forests, as well as agricultural, landscapes.
> And this may lead to an imbalance in the employment of diverce races in
> natural sciences and ecology.  But there are also alot of people without
> colour (whites, anglosaxons, whatever) that live in these conditions.  I
> agree that these communities should be targeted for recruitment into the
> natural sciences.  But please do not make this a colour issue.  It is a
> cultural issue.  Urban culture.
 
Yes and no.  It certainly is an ethnic issue.  In the PNW, the majority
of recreational users are white.  The majority of mushroom pickers are
oriental.  The majority of tree planters are Mexican.  There is a broad
overlap, with an awful lot of oriental recreational users, and some 
Mexican mushroom pickers.  By the time the Mexicans get affluent enough
to spend their vacations camping, you can't tell them from the anglos
without a scorecard.

There certainly is a shortage of black folk in the forests, at least in
the PNW.  I bet there are more in the South.  About a month ago I had
breakfast in an inner city, and ended up chatting with a pretty little
20-year old black girl who flattered me by showing an interest in me.
I asked her if she had ever been to the mountains.  No.  She had 
never seen a waterfall, never followed a forest trail, and never
seen a wild animal larger than a squirrel in the city park.

I told her stories for about two hours.  I think she thought I was
lying sometimes, but I wasn't.  I drew maps on napkins like crazy.
I hope she gets to see the real world someday.

-- Larry




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