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Bear witness

Subject: Bear witness
From: "Rich Peet" <>
Date: Mon, 13 Jun 2005 15:56:58 -0000
Since the group is quiet currently and busy off recording I will take
the time to make a personal editoral comment (without spell check as
usual for my posts).

It has become apparent that the scientific community is inadequate in
preservation of our natural resources.  Although competent in pure
research and the accumulation of knowledge, the process of bringing
that research to a beneficial result or process within any governing
body has been a failure. Thus, we have the current situation in the US
where environmentalists are considered extreme, odd, and have been
rendered ineffective.  At best it will take a lifetime to undo the
environmental damage done in recent years both on a policy basis and a
practicing basis.

What I perceive as the most viable way to invoke changes to preserve
habitats and the wilds remaining must be inspired from the general
population, the layman.  But the general population has little if any
knowledge to assist.  As a general rule even our most abundant species
are never identified and taught anywhere in the educational system.
Without any knowledge or exposure to what is common let alone rare,
how can we expect the political process to save anything?

Each within this group holds a tool that can activate large groups of
people.  The sound recorder.  The process in which to have this tool
useful is to simply bear witness.

Pick a sound or sound field that is important to you and share it.
Share it often and with as many people as possible.  If the location
needs protection don't share the exact location but share the sound.
Share information about that sound and get interest in the sound.

Four years ago I started searching for the Northern Cricket Frog.  A
frog that is endangered, having been reduced to only one remaining
pond in MN.  The experts would not give me the location of this pond,
fearing that it would be loved to death, so I searched for and found
it.  In this area the local city was continuing to dump debris and in
my first year just one frog was found calling. Then the state who
really did not want to protect a pond located within 5 miles of the
largest shopping mall in the country, did a dna testing to try and get
off the hook of protecting them.

Each year I now return to these frogs and make a historical record by
recording and share it as broadly as I can.
Last year a friend and fellow recordist found a second pond some 100
miles from the first with this frog.  Debris dumping at the first site
has been reduced dramatically and the frog population is increasing.
The dna record came back supporting the continued protection of this
frog and pond.  My sounds of this frog have been played on radio,
published on CD's, played at audio presentations and distributed to
anyone that may care to listen.

This is what I can do and although bearing witness may seem unfruitful
most of the time, it may be the most powerful tool in the
environmentalists tool box today. Next? Well maybe a Cougar in that
the last one seen in my area was shot on sight by the police.

Current status of the MN Northern Cricket Frog see:

Sound of this frog:

Rich Peet

editorial now off.


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