I returned to my Fall Creek farm in Oregon a week ago after a Danube River trip that included visits to cities and villages in Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania. Deciduous bands of forest along the river and fertile-appearing fields throughout the area were easy on the eye.
However, I saw no wilderness there, and I realized how special Oregon is for its wilderness and wildlife, little of which exists anywhere in Europe anymore. I asked a Romanian villager if there are still bears in the Carpathian Mountains. He said their numbers are dwindling and he feared they would soon be extinct.
Once back in Oregon I read of the horrific terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday. Three of the four children of Danish businessman Anders Povlsen and his wife where killed in one of the explosions.
Some years ago, understanding the value of wild places, the Povlsen family became Scotland’s largest individual private landowner, holding more than 220,000 acres in the Scottish highlands. The Povlsens developed a plan they called their “Re-Wilding Project,” which would return Scottish lands to their natural state.
The family has also acquired land in Romania’s Carpathian Mountains to create a wilderness reserve for the surviving wolves, bears and lynx — a poignant memorial to the massacred Povlsen children.
Oregon, please honor and protect our invaluable wilderness and its indigenous animals. Clear-cutting and use of toxic sprays in our forests should be banned.