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155Re: Michael Fay on MSNBC

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  • jonathonwithano
    Sep 3, 2002
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      I don't think Gabonese villagers cause that much damage to the forest.

      Yes, they cut down a small section of forest each year to plant their
      plantations. Yes, they kill an occassional gazelle or pangolin to feed
      their families. But, I honestly believe that those actions of survival
      hardly have a real effect on the forest.

      On the other hand, I would suspect that one logging company probably
      cuts down more trees and disrupts the environments of more animals in
      one day than several villages of people do in one year.

      --- In gabondiscussion@y..., "bobutne" <bobutne@a...> wrote:
      > Fay took a lot of heat, after initially sending back daily messages
      > posted on the Internet, for often calling his trek crew, "boys". His
      > crew must have thought him crazy but for about $7 a day, and no other
      > jobs to be had, they joined. He appeared a little "nuts" to me, too.
      > According to Fay, he never wore a shirt, long pants or boots. Just
      > shorts and floppy sandals. Maybe he thought that it's the pygmy/macho
      > way and not how the rest of the world treks through deep, insect-
      > infected bush. Yelling and waving arms at elephants is rather bizarre
      > behavior, too. I know, from personal experience, better to just leave
      > them at peace and if they charge, run like hell and hide.
      > I take issue, also, about his condemnation of all logging and hunting
      > within the virgin forests.
      > Where once there were thousands of small villages throughout the
      > forests, there remain few today. Practically everyone in Gabon,
      > including most pygmies, has migrated to the towns or near the main
      > roads leaving old villages to disappear back into the bush and fauna
      > to replenish. Forests that were harvested for Okume and other
      > valuable trees over 20 years ago, have fully regrown with the old
      > logging trails spreading new forms of plants and trees. This is the
      > case in Mikongo/La Lope that was harvested over 20 years ago and
      > elsewhere in Gabon.
      > Hunting has been a way of life for hundreds of miillions of years for
      > the forest dwellers. There are still hundreds if not thousands of
      > pygmies within the Gabon forests who hunt for survival and villagers
      > of all tribes who hunt for their village's dietary needs. Where it
      > makes sense to stop hunting are the poachers who sell for export to
      > Libreville and other urban markets since these markets have an
      > abundant supply of alternatives meats. Heavy fines could be imposed
      > on anyone selling bush meat outside of their village and to
      > restaurants in Libreville and elsewhere that feature bush meat.
      > Looking forward to what others think about these issues.
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