turkey tale 03
dispatch from hemlockman:
When I was a kid and had just started hiking and backpacking, I generally found myself deep in the woods in the middle of what had been, at one time, prime wild turkey habitat. This was the heart of the Southern Appalachians. This was where I did 99% of my wilderness exploring.
I knew from various history books that, in days long past, wild turkeys had lived throughout the forests I found myself enjoying. But since the days when these lands were part of a great Cherokee Nation, the big birds had found themselves on the shit end of the stick. The forests in which they had grown fat and numerous had been leveled by timber companies and by invasive species and by blight and by mining operations that slathered poisons in amazingly hideous swathes across the rugged mountains.
There was a point during which there were almost no turkey at all in the hills that stretched from Alabama to Virginia. If one was lucky enough to spot a wild turkey in some part of this vast land, then that’s what you were: lucky.
And, then, something amazing happened. Regulations, strict ones that were enforced by the rule of law and the backing of government money and legislation, were put into effect. Forests were placed off limits to the bite of the axe. Places were made free of the stench of motors. The poisoned lands laid bare by mining were repaired by virtue of forcing corporations to stop poisoning the streams and the earth.
Forests came back. Denuded mountaintops were once again green.
The turkey returned.
Now, whenever I go hiking in the mountains of Georgia or Tennessee or North Carolina or South Carolina or West Virginia or Virginia or Kentucky (or even in Maine!)…I almost always encounter turkeys. Big flocks of wonderful, stupid turkeys.
All due to socialist regulations that have, in some small measure, put things to right.