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No Way Back

Spotted this young coyote yesterday afternoon during a short pleasure drive down a country road. It apparently had invested a lot of time and energy digging under recently erected tall fence which had trapped its mother inside a large exotic wildlife enclosure a little over a year ago. Being an adventuresome youth, it wanted out to see what it could see on the other side. Now it can't get back in because the landowner laid down wire on the ground just outside the vertical fence. The coyote was somehow able to yank a gap big enough to squeeze through to get out. But it can't manage to repeat the process to get back into the enclosure where its mother and siblings still reside–unless they were all shot or trapped or poisoned to death by the landowner. Regardless, it wants back in, missing home and family.

It was there, in this position when we drove past it as we started out on the pleasure drive, and was still there in this position when we drove back. A couple of other vehicles drove past it, too. It didn't get so spooked by the traffic to flee into the bush the way a coyote almost always does out here. Watching passersby warily, it didn't budge. I can grok its predicament.

Waiting for FEMA to get its damn ducks in a row to begin removing financial barriers preventing victims of the Hermit's Peak/Calf Canyon Fire from restoring homesteads completely destroyed by the fire makes me feel like this poor coyote pup facing an impenetrable fence blocking its return to the only home it has ever known. The landowner built the fence to keep imported species from around the world inside thousands of acres it surrounds, giving no thought to the impact the fence would have on local wildlife. But, then, of what consequence is a single coyote pup's existence in the landowners grand scheme to create an artificial microcosm for foreign lifeforms paying customers will come to shoot in canned hunts portrayed as grand safari adventure? Of what consequence are a few hundred people burned out of houses and homes by their own government through an obscene act of criminal negligence portrayed as a grand process to make forests better and safer for all?

The coyote may be better off out of the enclosure created for fake safari hunters. There are millions of acres outside that space to explore, teeming with plenty of wild food sources its kind has evolved to sustain itself. It may be more dangerous to live inside the fence than out.

Fire victims may be better off never returning to scorched remnants of high forestland their government so irresponsibly destroyed. It's too dangerous to live there now. It will remain dangerous for decades to come. There is no way back.

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