Letters to the Editor

Opposed to the elimination of American Camp rabbits

Absurd: killing all the rabbits at South Beach in order to protect the artifacts of war (the “redoubt”) is an idea which has been made pointedly absurd by the National Park Service, itself, at its announcement in the Mullis Center July 27.

The Park Service was asked by Sam Buck Jr. to declare whether or not the sudden disappearance of the rabbits, two years ago, was caused by the Park Service. In a firm clear voice, the Park Service denied that it had anything to do with that sudden disappearance of those many thousands of rabbits in a single day, but — wait for it — suspected natural predation had occurred that day.

Thus the Park Service has admonished us all that nature keeps herself in check, but the Park Service must kill any and all returning rabbits itself — in order to protect the redoubt from damage by rabbit tunnels below.

When Pickett chose that open, exposed, indefensible location for U.S. troops in the Pig War, there was probably no more drinking water nearby than there is today.

Water’s a good thing to have nearby for any camp site, military or otherwise, but this, remember, is the same Pickett whose Confederate charge later failed, at a cost of 50 percent of his forces. Which part of this man’s career is worth memorializing? His doing nothing well here? Or his doing badly, indeed, at Gettysburg?

As to worthwhile careers, isn’t the whole purpose, by which the Park Service will deal instantly with the rabbit “problem,” a form of career justification? If the Park Service were not to undertake the work of creating a study in support of further make-work, for what would the Park Service be needed?

If we just got together and explained to the Park Service’s distant management that what’s needed at South Beach is nothing more than its proper name (“South Beach,” not “American Camp”), then, perhaps, most of the expense of memorializing how badly Pickett did could be spent on something worthwhile.

Thom Gray Rome
Friday Harbor

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