Nature For Sale

“The care of the Earth is our most ancient and most worthy, and after all our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it and to foster its renewal is our only hope.” – Wendell Berry
A while back I visited The Wilds for an ongoing project I’m working on about the reclamation of coal mining land. The old strip mine was turned into a zoo-like conservation park. It’s an amazing site to see if not just because of the landscape. Strip mines, like their name says, strip the surface of the land, or top soil, and dig deep enough to get at the coal seam. When they’re done they leave fields of hard-packed clay behind. In the reclamation process they plant grasses. Trees won’t grow because they won’t take root in the hard clay. What results is grassland over rolling hills that stretch like a moving ocean into the horizon. It’s pretty; pretty bizarre.
I left the main building of the visitor’s center, where I neglected to buy stuffed zoo animals or elephant key chains, and then saw these soft drink vending machines on my way back to my car. It seemed like a reminder of the value we place on the natural world.

Posted January 17th, 2008 in Uncategorized.


  1. Lau:

    Zoo’s, apart from the fact that they do help preserve certain species, are strange inventions indeed. I only started realizing this after having visited Africa and the Pantanal-region in Brasil. Keeping animals in a place where they dont belong is weird. Natural instincts are suppressed. Cheetah’s that keep walking around in a cage, rather than run hundreds of meters to grab an antilope for dinner, to me is a sad view.

  2. pops:

    I am with you on this one Lau I never could understand Zoos.
    The poor polar bear doing time in some zoo(in 90 dreg. heat?) I would rather see a photo of these animals in there natural environment.
    We try to save some of these species but should really be focusing on saving there Habitat!

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