ethel’s words

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URBAN LANDSCAPING, SALT LAKE CITY: ADD WILDLIFE

To the thoughtfulness of landscaping with fire threat and water limits in mind, we should add “urban wildlife in mind”. In many places, in the U.S. and abroad, wildlife in the urban scene has been protected (and enjoyed) for decades. (If we count pigeons, say “centuries”.)

In Salt Lake County wildlife is not protected, and indeed, there was a report in the Salt Lake Tribune some time ago that raccoons trapped in Salt Lake City (or County?) will be killed, not re-located.

Why either?

I like raccoons. I like them better than dogs, far better than cats. I’ve been tolerating the sacred dogs and cats for well over three-fourths of a century, but I’m not allowed a raccoon.

I speculate that some government butcher decided, probably unilaterally, that raccoons have no right to life. We hear (appropriate) shouted outrage at killing of pets, but there is little concern about other animals. Even the disappearance of bird populations--in the cities or on the migration flyways, gets little media attention. City birds have been (maybe are) shot, even though it is unlawful to fire a gun in Salt Lake City (some exceptions).

There is some regulation of poisons, but the major killers-by-poison are the always-inept several governments. (Butterflies and Hummingbirds are more likely killed by poisons callous gardeners put on their flowers.)

Equally important is the provision of habitat for birds and small animals or, where possible, larger wildlife. They all need cover, nesting opportunities and supplies, varied natural foods, and, above all, water.

I think Salt Lake City could protect urban wildlife, even though the state of Utah has always seemed to have a motto: If it is alive, kill it.

Ethel C. Hale