Kahn2007 - Children, Youth and Environments 17(2), 2007 The...

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Children, Youth and Environments 17(2), 2007 The Child’s Environmental Amnesia— It’s Ours Peter H. Kahn, Jr. University of Washington Citation: Kahn Jr., Peter H. (2007). “The Child’s Environmental Amnesia—It’s Ours.” Children, Youth and Environments 17(2): 199-207. Retrieved [date] from http://www.colorado.edu/journals/cye . I was 17 at the time. My two friends and I headed northeast on horseback aiming for the edges of the Yolla Bolly Wilderness in Northern California. By the afternoon of the first day, we were in what to us was new country. We crossed a river, and traveled trails heavily overgrown with brush. We managed perhaps 15 miles. That night we were surprised by a torrent of rain and our cheap plastic tube tents allowed our sleeping bags, which were meager to start with, to end up as wet feathered clumps. We figured we could make do without sleeping bags. So we continued east, up onto a high ridge in the Red Mountain area, and then we looped south as the snow began to fall. We had seen on a map that an old guest lodge, owned by the closest thing this area had to a land baron, was somewhere further south by a lake. We kept our horses pointed that direction, and at a pretty steady trot we arrived by late afternoon. We then found our way into a small rustic guest cabin, locked up though it was, and I’d prefer not to mention more about our method of entry except to say that the light snow had mixed with cold sleet and we were frigid cold, nothing mixed about it. On the third night we camped beneath the summit of Castle Peak. Huge forests, primeval. No rain, just cold. We collected a night’s worth of wood, built a large fire, and lay beside it, half of our bodies burning from the heat and the other half freezing from the cold. We knew this was good living. We also knew it wasn’t so shabby back at the ranch. The next day we rode 25 miles home and called it a trip. I came of age in these mountains. I lived in these mountains. Now, at best, I can say I am a man who lives on 670 acres. ____________________________________ © 2007 Children, Youth and Environments
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The Child’s Environmental Amnesia—It’s Ours 200 I consulted for a few days at a zoo. During a lunch break, they showed me their new DVD, titled Born to Be Wild . They were aiming for the youth, they told me. The music was fast and a little catchy and the lyrics repeated the title, “born to be wild, born to be wild,” with footage of happy kids and zoo animals in the background. I hadn’t a clue how anyone parsed it: wildness with animals in captivity. The zoo was also proud of their new leopard exhibit which had water in front, like real habitat they said, such that the leopard could cross the tiny channel and look into the depths of the water, and I was asked to pay attention too to the fake dead trees that the leopard could climb. The entire compound was heavily fenced. Perhaps 1,500 square feet. In the wild, how far does a leopard travel in a day? A week?
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Kahn2007 - Children, Youth and Environments 17(2), 2007 The...

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