What I See

Brad Pil­low
June 7, 2022

Since the new guide­lines have been imple­ment­ed at the Nation­al His­toric Park by Park Super­in­ten­dent Elex­ia Fredy, and the Fox Brigade is busy edu­cat­ing every­one vis­it­ing about these new changes, life is return­ing to nor­mal on the prairie. This deci­sive action has large­ly kept peo­ple off the prairie and allowed the fox­es to raise their kits in piece, as can be seen in this pho­to. I am glad to play a small part in the suc­cess of this pro­gram, but for the record, I am not an actu­al mem­ber of the Fox Brigade but dur­ing the kit­ting sea­son. I spend most of my avail­able time like a free safe­ty, fill­ing in when the Brigade is stretched to thin or iden­ti­fy­ing new or mov­ing dens around the park to keep the Brigade up to the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion. As a pho­tog­ra­ph­er myself, I find it nec­es­sary to edu­cate oth­er pho­tog­ra­phers about the guide­lines for respect­ful pho­tog­ra­phy. It’s not that hard to fol­low, just takes more time and patience.

I am notic­ing now that those well worn trails all over the prairie from the last few years of peo­ple tram­pling all over are grow­ing back in. The only down side is that folks the weren’t sat­is­fied with fol­low­ing the guide­lines sim­ply moved their chairs and tripods out to the BLM prop­er­ty where the Cape light­house sits and there are no incon­ve­nient guide­lines or juris­dic­tion. In addi­tion to the huge influx of pho­tog­ra­phers, bad mat­ters are made worse by two neigh­bors across the street that insist on feed­ing the fox­es. This has gone on for three gen­er­a­tions of fox­es that I know of, and besides being bad for the health and hunt­ing skills of the fox­es, it makes them asso­ciate peo­ple with food which gives the pho­tog­ra­phers  greater avail­abil­i­ty for close­up shots and lim­its the par­ent fox­es from active­ly hunt­ing. I can only hope that Brie Charti­er, the man­ag­er for the San Juan Islands Nation­al Mon­u­ment, takes the same kind of deci­sive action as the park administrator.