What I See
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.