We should maintain that if an interpretation of any word in any religion leads to disharmony and does not positively further the welfare of the many, then such an interpretation is to be regarded as wrong; that is, against the will of God, or as the working of Satan or Mara.

Buddhadasa Bikkhu, a Thai Buddhist Monk

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Small Victories

"Ike's Creek, Bloomington, Minnesota
Although the world continues to stand on the edge of ecological catastrophe with the oceans dying and rain forest dwindling rapidly, there are success stories and victories, some larger and some smaller.  The Minneapolis Star Tribune website carries a posting entitled, "Trout return near MOA," MOA referring to the Mall of America.  The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has recently removed a 1920s dam from the creek, restored its original course, stocked it with brook trout, and created a series of steps that the trout can pass over as they move up and down the stream.  The posting notes, "The clear water flows through a verdant ravine bordered by watercress and wildflowers to the Minnesota River. The creek is less than a mile long, but pure enough and cold enough to offer a rare opportunity: restoring native brook trout that flicked through the water decades ago."  The stream doesn't have an official name evidently, but those involved have started calling it "Ike's Creek" in honor of the Izaak Walton League, which formerly owned the property along the creek.  DNR officials are not sure whether or not the stream will ever be open for fishing or just how the restoration of the creek is going to turn out.  Still, it the stream in future years will be more like nature intended and probably house brook trout again as it once did.

The restoration of little Ike's Creek is a small victory, but not unimportant for that.  It reclaims one tiny corner of the planet for nature, offers a bit of nature to city dwellers, and it reflects the fact that in many places in North America restoration of natural habitats, especially forests, has been going on for decades.  So, it is a small victory but a victory nonetheless.