[Tweeters] mixed feelings re new telescope site

vogelfreund at comcast.net vogelfreund at comcast.net
Sun Apr 6 18:51:30 PDT 2008


I see from a message lower down on this thread that the squirrel species/sub-species is endangered up on that mountain. Back in 1969-1970, when I was stationed at Ft. Huachuca, and during that time made outing trips to varrious cool mountain retreats, and during which I was a casual birder, I camped at the campground up there on Mt. Grrahamm once or maybe twice. I recall that a noise behind the tent made me go out and see what made it. It was a small mammal, and I think it was a squirrel - probably that Red Squirrel. But my original notes are not with me here in Bellingham.

There was a pine forest up there, but iit was being logged. I think it was old growth. I don't recall the species of pine, but it probably was Ponderosa or close relative. As for birds, I don't recall anything significant; Mountain Chickadees, a Sharp-shinned Hawk, and I think Golden-crowned Kinglets. But the escarpment of Graham mountain on its west side, rising from the desert floor, is breath-taking. The updraft might attract migrating hawks.

Phil Hotlen
Bellingham, WA
-------------- Original message ----------------------
From: vogelfreund at comcast.net

> Oh, I agree that the new super duper telescope is in the best interest of the

> nation. But I like to be obstinate every now and then. Still and all, a better

> site would have been on a mountain top in Afghanistan, where the atmosphere is

> nice and clear (I assume). Maybe they could move the UN Headquarters there too.

>

> When I was stationed in Korea, the mountain tops were uglified by microwave and

> other kinds of sites or stuctures; and I thought at least in the USA our

> mountain tops are uncluttered and natural-looking. But now that is increasingly

> not the case - at least in SE Arizona. It might be more acceptable if there were

> cocktail lounges up there with cable cars to get there - such as in Europe (ha

> ha).

>

> Phil Hotllen

> Bellingham, WA

> -------------- Original message ----------------------

> From: Mark Egger <m.egger at comcast.net>

> > Wayne et al.,

> >

> > Does anyone have any recent data as to how the Mt. Graham squirrels

> > are doing following the development & construction of the telescope

> > complex? I followed this issue with interest when it was a "hot

> > topic" in the 80's. I wrote letters in support of the conservationist

> > position, but I did feel great conflict, as I'm also very interested

> > in Astronomy, and this complex really is a state of the art facility

> > that will greatly increase our knowledge of the universe. I've

> > "secretly" hoped that the telescopes could be constructed without

> > harming the squirrels and the other considerable natural resources

> > (it is also a valuable area for native plants) on the mountain.

> >

> > As to it being a "sacred" mountain, I'm reminded of a snip from an

> > old Firesign Theater skit (for those who remember the Firesign

> > Theater), in which a Native American confronts a white "settler". The

> > newcomer says something like, "Mind if we put our antennas up on

> > yonder hill?" The Native American replies, "That's our sacred

> > mountain." To which the settler replies, "Well, this is our sacred

> > antenna!"

> >

> > Silly humor aside, though, IF (and I grant this may be a huge if) the

> > planning and construction AND subsequent management of the site were

> > all done well, I think it may not be unreasonable to assume that this

> > major scientific research site might be able to coexist with the

> > natural environment and maybe even with the mountain gods! On the top

> > of Mauna Kea in Hawaii there is a major telescope site, along with an

> > active shrine to Pele!

> >

> > Mark

> >

> >

> > >Richard,

> > >

> > >The Mount Graham telescope complex was built despite the fact that it

> > >destroyed some of the critical habitat for the Mount Graham red squirrel, an

> > >endangered subspecies listed under the ESA. The telescope was also opposed

> > >by local Native American tribes, who considered the site sacred. The

> > >proponents of the telescope were given an exemption from the Endangered

> > >Species Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the National Forests

> > >Management Act, and other legislation to build the telescope.

> > >

> > >NO development is so important that it should be exempted from the ESA or

> > >NEPA!

> > >

> > >Even as a Canadian, I am well aware of the controversy over this project,

> > >which has been going on since the 1980s. Richard, you should stay

> > >better-informed on conservation issues.

> > >

> > >Wayne C. Weber

> > >Delta, BC

> > >contopus at telus.net

> > >

> > >

> > >

> > >-----Original Message-----

> > >From: tweeters-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu

> > >[mailto:tweeters-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Richard

> > >Carlson

> > >Sent: April-06-08 6:13 AM

> > >To: vogelfreund at comcast.net; tweeters at u.washington.edu

> > >Subject: Re: [Tweeters] mixed feelings re new telescope site

> > >

> > >The Chickadees are doing fine, as are the rest of the

> > >birds on Mt. Graham.

> > >

> > >So what exactly is wrong with building the greatest

> > >telescope on the planet to maybe unravel a few

> > >mysteries of the universe??

> > >

> > >RCC

> > >

> > >

> > >

> > >--- vogelfreund at comcast.net wrote:

> > >

> > >> April 5, 2008

> > >>

> > >> I just saw clip on tv news about the new giant

> > >> telescope on Mt. Graham in SE Arizona. That was an

> > >> ideal camping and birding retreat for me when I was

> > >> stationed at Ft. Huachuca, just to get away from

> > >> people up on the cool peak at 10,500 feet above sea

> > >> level (although I didn't get there very often). Now

> > >> I see it's been turned into a global hotspot for

> > >> astronomers and probably public amusement. It is the

> > >> southern most point in Arizona, for example, where

> > >> Mountain Chickadees are normally found. Just across

> > >> the gap to the south, where the Interstate Highway

> > >> runs, the Mexican Chickadee takes over

> > >> (Chiricahuas).

> > >>

> > >> It reminds me of when I was 15 years old and moved

> > >> down to Florida from Wisconsin. Just when I

> > >> discovered the existence of a wild unspoiled Florida

> > >> beach known as Cape Canaveral State Park, the

> > >> federal government confiscated the area to build the

> > >> (now Kennedy) Space Center, etc. Oh well...

> > >>

> > >> Phil Hotlen

> > >> Bellingham, WA

> >

> >

> > --

> > Mark Egger

> > Seattle, WA

> > USA

> > mailto:m.egger at comcast.net

> >

> > _______________________________________________

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>

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