Point and Click
Mutually exclusive: What an interesting term. To me, it means that you can’t be for one thing without being against another. Funny thing is, the world doesn’t always operate that way. Actually, the world rarely operates that way.Case in point: When I first started off my college career I was an English major (this is the second “Point & Click” in a row that I’m hearkening back to college days – hmmm).At the time, I decided I didn’t want to just know about words and language, I wanted to major in something. So I switched my major to environmental studies, before switching it back to English again. (Ah, the indecisiveness of the naive college student.)I’ll never forget a summer school land management class I took from a crotchety old professor. He’d watch us march into his classroom – us, his young idealistic, Birkenstock-and-bandana-wearing environmental studies students – while he sat on the edge of his desk, his lanky frame outfitted in faded Wranglers, a big old silver belt buckle and a worn, plaid cowboy shirt.One day, a kid walked in wearing shorts and a black T-shirt with a big picture of a wolf’s head on it, with “Save the Wolves” printed in white. That old professor let us all settle down in our seats and then he pointed out the kid’s shirt. “Y’all see this?” he said. “Y’all see this shirt? Save the wolves. Now just what do you think we should do to save the wolves?”He let us think about that for a minute. Nobody piped up. Then he said something I’ll never forget, even now – more than 25 years later. “I’ll tell ya what we do. Right after this class, we all need to go out some place – all of us – and do away with ourselves,” the professor said, obviously trying to hammer home his point. “That’s right. Because our mere presence is what has driven wolves from this land. The wolves need territory. We’ve taken theirs.”All us naive kids sat silent in our seats, awestruck, not sure what to say. We had thought the wolves disappeared and now needed saving because of somebody else. Not us. “Now, you know I don’t really mean that,” the old professor said. “But, on the other hand, I do,” he countered, speaking slowly. “It’s constantly a fight, a battle, over which species will survive and which will fail.”Now, years later, I can still remember that discussion, and how the kid with the wolf T-shirt looked after understanding what the professor was trying to tell us. He looked like a hypocrite. A well-meaning hypocrite, but a hypocrite nonetheless. Wolf lover or wolf hater. It’s not always such a cut-and-dried distinction.Mutually exclusive? In so many parts of our lives, not necessarily.Carrie Click is the editor of The Citizen Telegram in Rifle, and the western Garfield County bureau editor for the Post Independent. She can still remember her head reeling after the class with the land management professor. Contact Carrie Click: 625-3245, ext. 101, email@example.com. Carrie Click is the editor of The Citizen Telegram in Rifle, and the western Garfield County bureau editor for the Post Independent. She can still remember her head reeling after the class with the land management professor. Contact Carrie Click: 625-3245, ext. 101, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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This may be a surprising story. It begins with a working group trying to save the last native bighorn sheep of Idaho’s and Wyoming’s Teton Range. Last fall it reached agreement after years of effort.