More than 50 years ago, Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” began with a fable about a town in which a strange stillness descended as the birds disappeared. We are faced with this fable becoming our reality.
This month, the leading national scientific journal, Science, reported that North American bird populations have declined by three billion individuals or 29 percent since 1970. Imagine a world in which one out of three of your family or friends silently vanished. It’s a tale of fiction straight out of a summer blockbuster.
But it is not fiction, and it is striking at the heart of our community. Some of the most noticeable declines in these last 50 years have occurred in the sagebrush sea. Gunnison is home to an amazing species named after both the place that holds almost 90 percent of its global population and the human community that is key to its conservation.
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