Tuesday, 21 June 2011

The fate of Caw Ridge

OK one more Caw Ridge post. 

It is an interesting case study showing how much little say Alberta Fish and Game has.

The best is when fish and game describes the mine's route as 'directly perpendicular' to the the [declining] caribou's migratory route.


Oh ya, I met with the biologists in charge of monitoring this herd and 'stable' was not the word they used. So I have to retract my earlier statement.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Caw Ridge Captures

Ok, the last Caw Ridge post for a while. My season is done until September when hopefully I draw for sheep up there.

I'll get this out of the way. Here is the 'gored' photo. She weighed 55 lbs and had horns that were 11 cm long - this is average size for a one year old.

Now I know looking at the wound you want to call me a pussy, but it's been 10 days and it's still tender - and I could barely walk the for the first two days after it happened. Her horn probably went more than halfway in. It was a pretty slick move to watch - as I grabbed her shoulders she casually put her horn into my leg.

OK, now onto captures:

I was doing all the weights this year which was pretty awesome. We have 3 electronic scales and we end up getting a tonne of data. For the first group of 25, I got weights on 20 of them. We hide behind a blind while doing this.

When we don't drug them and if all goes smooth, one person grabs the legs and the other the horns. After a bit of wrestling and rope work, we carry them out of the trap

We then (Radio) collar them

And measure them (well only Steeve does this part)

And finally release them.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

The Arab-Jew Caw Ridge Peace Summit

Caw Ridge Cabin: the site of the latest round of Israeli-Arab peace negotiations. On the first morning, in an ill-advised team-building exercise, the mediator took the Jewish and Arab delegations on an expedition to check on the goat traps.

The ease with which foreign interlopers were able to capture, subjugate, and document the peaceful native inhabitants was, for the Arab delegation, an uncomfortable reminder of the plight of the displaced Palestinian people. The summit was off to an inauspicious start.

Another cruel reminder of the universality of the Arab experience came a few hours later, with the sighting of an American Golden-Plover.

Historically, this arctic-breeding species does not breed this far south, but like the Israelis, they are not content to stay in their own ample territory, but instead push beyond their borders to infiltrate and settle the land of other ethnic groups. Peace negotiations began to stall.

The low point of the summit was reached later that day, when the Jewish delegation pointed out to the Arabs one of the armed militiamen hired to patrol the security perimeter.

This thinly-veiled threat was not lost on the Arab delegation.

(The only reminder of a brave goat attempting to make a home in his native territory, as is his birthright.)

At this point, the Arab delegation was only willing to continue talks with its defences ready at all times, preferably while holding the strategic high ground.

An 11th hour breakthrough was the only hope, however dim, for an agreement. A media blackout was put into effect, and all negotiations took place entirely behind closed doors. Although neither delegation revealed what exactly happened during that final, tense negotiating session, witnesses reported smelling cigar smoke wafting from the meeting room, and a source in the hotel’s housekeeping department claimed to have cleaned up several empty Scotch bottles and beer cans the next morning.

Against all odds, a deal was struck and the peace summit was a resounding success.

And on the drive home, we stopped at a friend’s place and they showed us the Great Horned Owl nest on their land, complete with almost-fledged chick. I can’t think of any metaphor for Arab-Israeli relations, but it was pretty sweet.