The planet you’re standing on looking out at the stars is the earth, the third planet from the sun and the mildest and softest of the nine…

It’s small but it’s beautiful. It’s small but it’s fine like a bubble.”    ~  Lawrence Collins

I’ve been spending time lately by the Sandy River, a tremendous producer of beauty and salmon.  I’m involved with a fish habitat restoration project that involves a LOT of earth moving, log placements, new culverts, and enormous machines.  We are all trying to have the smallest impact to the park where this project is taking place, to the point of digging of plants that are in the way of temporary roads and channel dredging, and then replanting the vegetation out of harm’s way.

Nature is both fragile and delicate.  It doesn’t take much to harm a monarch butterfly.  Wetlands can be drained in minutes.  A forest fire immediately changes and simplifies an ecosystem.

Stewards are acutely aware of how a landscape can be transformed and they are constantly seeking ways of preventing irretrievable impacts, while learning techniques how to restore habitats.

Many species can adapt to slow changes in their natural world; it’s the abrupt flood or clearcut logging or new road that can instantly become problematic.

Governmental agencies have recognized this pattern, so they only allow equipment in fish bearing waters when the finned ones are absent; they may not permit disruptive noise or earth-moving during the spring nesting season.  I remember an eastern Oregon rancher being asked whether he allowed cattle in a wetland during April when the cinnamon teal ducklings are hatching.  The rancher replied that cows were free to muck around and that he had never seen the birds until…Then the next power point slide showed a family of teal in his pond.