Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - October 31, 1970, Lethbridge, Alberta
Saturday, October 31, 1970 - THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD - 5 Builders Of The South 14 Margaret Luckhurst One Of Nature's Best Friends WHEN I was about seven " years old, I asked my Dad if I could have a toboggan," Andy Russell, Alberta's famed outdoorsman, recalled the other day. "He went into the matt- only to discover that a toboggan cost five dollars and that was a lot of money in those days. Being a wise father, he gave me some traps instead and told me to earn my own money. As a matter of fact I made quite a nice little bit of pocket money that winter, trapping weasels and mink. I didn't realize it at the time, but it was to be my introduction to a lengthy career associated with nature and wildlife; I can't imagine what it would be like to do anything else." Probably many people in western Canada, indeed all across North America, can't imagine either what fate may have had in store for the preservation of big game and other wildlife if Andy Russell had chosen to enter any other unrelated profession. ? ? ? From the Hawk's Nest, the Russell's ranch home situated on an isolated mountain top overlooking the Waterton area, Andy recently took time both to look back on his years as a naturalist and to look ahead, with gloomy predictions, to nature's place in the future. "Man's lack of respect for his environment has got us into a fine mess," he said wrath-fully, "and there is no excuse for it. For generations conservationists have warned industry, governments and commercial enterprises to use judgement in their dealings with our natural resources. But what has happened? Rivers and lakes are polluted beyond use; mountains are scarified; some species of wildlife are threatened with extinction and the balance of nature may never be restored. But until a year or so ago nobody paid any attention to those of us voicing concern. I'm not sure we aren't too late to make a satisfactory recovery and restore our waters and our lands and protect our animals, birds and fish. We may be too late." Today Andy spends a great deal of his time lobbying for pollution control and conservation programs with solid backing from governments in both. With his first - hand knowledge of the problem he's a logical person to be involved. "Some biologists will say I'm not qualified to make statements on ecology," he stated, "but when a person has spent his life in the open, dealing with nature in all its facets as I have done, I feel I must speak out." His grandfather, an early homesteader, arrived in Leth-bridge in the 1880s. "My Dad was the first white boy born here, at a time when man was just beginning to wonder what he'd done to the buffalo which once roamed the plains," he reflected. "In 1916, the year I was born, my Dad recalled that hunting and fishing for food was still a way of life for many prairie people." From trapping to get enough funds to buy a toboggan, Andy gradually went into the business seriously. "I dropped out of high school in Lethbridge in Grade 10," he said "and for awhile in my late teens I worked with a threshing gang. Somehow this didn't interest me, so I went back to my trap lines, until during the 1930s I was, running about 90 miles a week." ? ? + It was during this time Andy realized he had the potential to become a good naturalist. "A good trapper has to be very observant," he said, "he has to be able to read the vaguest signs indicating the trails of the animals he's after. He becomes trained to their haunts and their habits-if he doesn't, he makes a lousy trapper." In 1938 Andy married the daughter of Bert Riggall a pioneer in the outfitting business in the west. "If I thought I already knew something about wildlife, I realized just how much I still had to learn when I went into the outfitting business with him. He taught me a great deal about big game hunting, botany, and nature in general. Our clientele mainly consisted of wealthy American businessmen looking for adventure. My first job was to chaperone the youngsters of these men; the kids were pretty sophisticated, but they listened when I told them stories of the grizzlies and the big horn sheep. I respected their city life and they accepted and respected mine." In 1946, upon Mr. Riggall's retirement, Andy took over the business. "Planning the trips, which were usually of three weeks duration, was quite a chore," Andy recalled. "We spent long hours calculating the exact amount of food required. Only the best in food was bought and there were no wieners and beans stuff on our menu. No matter how far we were from civilization we always ate well." ? ? ? A good guide on a wilderness trip' is like the captain of a ship, Andy stated, his word has to be law. "Once in a while I'd get some nut who'd think he could take over," he grinned, "he thought just because he'd hired me he could be boss. "I'd lay it on the line right at the start; either he followed my advice and my orders or he could pack off for home. I never had one go home, fortunately. One night out in the wilderness and these fellows would find out how little they knew about it." The horses used on these lengthy trips had to be top quality Andy saia. "I always had about 40 horses, and they were the best trained bunch of horses on the North American continent. Yes, I mean that, so don't look so surprised - go ahead and print it because it's true. My customers were never in doubt as to my horses' dependability." Andy's clientele incidentally, reads like a few pages out of Who's Who: the Pittsburgh MeUons, the Fords, even Johnny Longdon, the famous jockey. Ultimately of course his unique career plus his knowledge of nature were to lead him into the lecture circuit. He was guest lecturer at gatherings throughout Alberta, at private dinners and homes in New York, at the Hall of Arts in Minneapolis under the sponsorship of the Natural History Society of Minnesota; at colleges and universities throughout the northern United States and Canada. ? ? * In order to make his lectures more pointed, Andy developed his interest in photography. "People know what your talking about if you can show them some pictures," he explained, "and I got some dandies of big game which urban people will never get to see in real life except maybe in zoos." This talent eventually led to the filming of a story about Big Horn Sheep, one of the prize possessions of the Glen-bow Foundation who contracted with him to do the film. This was followed by the famous film Grizzly Country. For this film, Andy and two of his sons spent eight years collecting data and filming shots while living in the grizzly country in the Yukon and Northern Alberta. "For months at a time each year we lived in grizzly country, in places so remote the grizzly didn't know what man was," Andy said. "We wanted a nice family film with no killing involved so we didn't even carry guns. The film has been shown many times here in Alberta and seems to have been well received." In between films, Andy keeps busy writing articles for various publications such as Field and Stream, Fish and Game, Sportsman and others. His book, Grizzly Country, which is a follow - up to the film, has been hailed as a classic in all parts of the world, and a new book, "Trails of a Wilderness Wanderer" will be published in January. * ? * Now retired as an outfitter and guide Andy is involved in trying to get the public at large to become more aware of the danger our environment is in, and in becoming aware, attempting to do something about it. "I can't understand why you people in Lethbridge aren't raising proper hell down there over the water pollution situation," he stated, "don't you know that during this past summer with the increase in tourists, Waterton park had to resort to the use of open latrines which dumped into the lake supplying the drinking water for Lethbridge? Don't you worry about the scarification of the mountains, the strip-mining that leaves mountains in ruin? Do you really believe that these "tree farms" will be anything but a joke? We might as well face facts - the wilderness country is going, and along with it a satisfactory economy. Look at Natal and Fernie for example; fo years people made a good living off big game tourists. The fish and game were protected through laws so that the balance of nature was maintained. But look at those places now after years of taking the coal out. The economy is gone and so has the game. If we want to see what these big industries do to mining areas all we need to do is take a look at the operations in Kentucky and the Appalachians, surely we don't want that to happen in the Rockies." Along with concerned people on various conservation committees, Andy is constantly at war with government officials to make the local oil companies clean up the messes they create in their surrounding regions. "But it's tough slugging," Andy admits, "and there's a lot of buck - passing going on. The government doesn't like to offend industry, and industry tries to appease the communities they are polluting by doing half - hearted clean - up jobs. These oil companies surely have the know - how to prevent all the lead poisoning they are dumping into our rivers, but they go merrily on their way ignoring the fact that they are responsible for a good deal of the soil pollution which is killing off livestock." Andy feels the kids today will be the saviours of our environment, provided it still can be saved. "That paper which the students at Winston Churchill High School did last year on the Dirty Oldman (River) is one of the finest of its kind I've ever read," he said. "If we could get a crash program of ecological courses in our schools, starting from the first grade, I think the problem could be whipped. Until we do, educators and naturalists like myself will continue to bug local officials, industry and every government level we can reach to get moving and do something constructive to protect all our natural resources." ANDY RUSSELL - photo by Bryan Wilson Prison Director And Reformer "I Chose Prison" by James V. Bennett (Knopf, 229 pp., $6.95, distributed by Random House of Canada Ltd.). nTHE choice in the title of this book does not refer to incarceration but to incumbency - in a supervisory position in the prison system of the United States. For twenty-seven years James V. Bennett ran the federal system and worked for prison reform. He considered it to be a calling on a par with the calling his father felt for the Episcopal ministry. Although the jacket of the book says it is an autobiography it is only incidentally that. The main concern of the author is to tell about prisons and the reform he influenced and would like to see extended. It might come as a surprise to find the director of a prison system so fundamentally opposed to much of the philosophy behind locking people up. His whole attitude during his time in office was diametrically A Solemn Survey "Survey of Broadcast Journalism, 1968 - 69," edited by Marvin Barrett (Grosset and Dunlap. 132 pp., $2.50, distributed by George J. McLeod, Ltd). "pOR 12 months following the troubled U.S. summer of 1968, six distinguished jurors, aided by the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and DuPont funds, sifted the calibre and quantity of American broadcast journalism. The results of the duPont-Co-lumbia survey, published in this preliminary soft - cover study, make for objective and muscular, if depresing, reading. The book gives nine chapters over to alternate praises and pans of news coverage, but nowhere do the jurors wax so lucid as in a five page introduction, damning in its indictment of broadcasting in general. Into the six hours daily Americans spend on television and two -to - five hours on radio, broadcasters pour a "hideous waste," a torrent of "situation comedies, adventure - detective-westerns, soap operas, ball games, variety, audience participation and talk - talk - talk shows. "These along with radio's endlessly repeated headlines and pop tunes are punctuated in staccato clusters of messages lovingly fashioned to recommend the unnecessary to the un- witting, the superfluous to the superficial . . . Shallow calls to shallow, morning, noon and night." Into the midst of this, news-straight and investigative reporting, editorials, public affairs - sneeks in with an average time of 10 per cent for an 18-hour day. According to the jurors, if journalism itself displayed aberrations, the situation, thanks to persistence and occasional brilliance, was not quite hopeless. But it certainly was not encouraging: �TV magazines and extended newscasts increased, but had a rough time breaking into prime - time hours; sponsors shunned controversial shows; broadcasters suffered too high a pliancy to government influence; election coverage was poor; and "black news was reported from a white man's point of view and the real story was lost." A solemn, readable book survey's conclusions are edged. "Broadcasters must bear a larger responsibility to the society in which they live than they have thus far discharged." Perhaps even more lamentable is the juror's suggestion that the public may be getting paltry broadcasting in answer to its own uninformed, hedonistic taste. JOAN BOWMAN. the two- opposed to that usually expressed by J. Edgar Hoover, chief of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The "get tough" approach he thinks is singularly unproductive and unattractive. Reforms effected since 1937, when Mr. Bennett became federal prison director, have resulted in a remarkable drop in recidivism. In 1937 more than two thirds of the men released from federal institutions were returned whereas in 1964 only one third came back for new offences. Humane approaches, educational opportunities, and wall - less institutions have been contributory to this improved picture. Mr. Bennet pays tribute to all the U.S. presidents beginning with and following Hoover for supporting prison reform. Oddly enough, reform has had1 to buck public opinion all the way. The author of this book welcomes the change away from capital punishment but admits to perplexity about what to do with mass killers. This is not necessarily the best book on prison reform that has been written but it is a valuable book because it comes from a man with a wealth of direct experience with an instrument society uses to try to curb crime. His suggestions for reducing crime - made in the last chapter - appear to run counter to most of the proposals now being advanced by law and order advocates in the United States. Car thefts, forgery and false pretences-which account for so much of contemporary crime - could all be greatly reduced by some changes in the way things are made and done. It would be so much better and cheaper to prevent crime than to apprehend criminals but apparently we prefer to play the game of cops and robbers. Participants in next weekend's "Crime, Correction and You" conference to be held in Lethbridge would find some valuable material in this book for then- consideration. DOUG WALKER Focus on the L Iniversity By J. W. FISHBOURNE Heresy II 1^0 SOME of you, this may seem a strange time to be rocking the boat. With universities in trouble on so many counts, I expect a lot of well - intentioned people believe that this is the time for defensive, stratagems and diplomatic ma-noeuvrings, or, to use more current cliches, for keeping a low profile and playing it cool. I happen to think otherwise. I believe this posture of long suffering patience and virtue is really a manifestation of a collective fear of change, a clinging to the known and comfortable. This comes very close, in my view, to an abdication of the responsibility I believe all educators have, to the public, their students and the institutions they serve. The necessity for change is glaringly obvious, and it must start at the universities; whatever else may be said for them, they are the single most important influence on the educational system. They constitute the shining goal to which (far too many) youngsters are pointed by the system for which they alone train the teachers. They are the experts, to whom all must turn for answers to questions concerning education. If the universities err, the error ripples down the entire educational spectrum. So it is important that all - including the universities - understand what they should be doing, and try to ensure that they do it. There isn't a universally accepted definition of what universities are or should be. We do know something about them, however. We know that a university is not a trades school or a business, or merely an extension of the monolithic organization the educational system is fast becoming. We know, too, that university education is not simply a talisman to ensure opulent living and the right to look down upon others. As to their role, we know that it has to do with knowledge. Their primary purpose - perhaps the only real purpose - is the acquisition, preservation and extension of knowledge. Because they possess knowledge, and are a part of society, they have accepted an obligation to impart this knowledge. There may be other things they should or could do, but surely this alone justifies their existence. The point I tried to make last week, in dealing rather ungently with current matriculation policy, is that knowledge should be available to whoever can use it. However you may think about access to university education, surely you cannot believe that people should be divided into those entitled to knowledge and those who are not. No one who has looked seriously at this proposition subscribes to the notion of a formula based on age and the capacity to memorize that, magically and infallibly, will separate those who can learn from those who can not. The Alberta matriculation system is no such formula, believe me. But discarding our silly notions about matriculation would be only one step towards a rational educational system, an immeasurable boon to the high schools, no doubt, but one that would take a long time to benefit the entire system. Universities must make some radical changes, too. The first I would make, had I the power, would be to forbid, at least at the undergraduate level, any evaluation whatsoever. That means no entrance requirements (other than a degree of maturity), no quizzes, no texts, no examinations, no records, no transcripts, no degrees. Perhaps you think that's a bit extreme. If so, please tell me what business the universities have in the evaluations game. Explain to me, please, what the process of evaluation has to do with the acquisition, preservation or extension of knowledge. Who acquires knowledge in the process of writing or grading examinations? Who extends their knowledge by all the examining and marking and grading and sorting and rubber stamping that goes on throughout the entire educational experience? Certainly not the pupil, and not the teacher. I dare say that a third or more of all the money spent on education goes into some aspect of the evaluating process, when you consider the time all teachers are obliged to spend on composing, administering and marking quizzes, assignments, tests and examinations, and the enormous apparatus that exists solely to deal with and record the results. And this produces not a nickle's worth of knowledge. There may be some profit to the individual who enjoys the feeling that he is superior to some one else who has lower marks, and there may be some convenience for employers. But I cannot accept either of these points as justifying the spending of millions of dollars of tax money; I have no use for snobbery, academic or otherwise, and I resent the spending of my tax dollars on grading and certifying prospective employees for industry and business. So, there are two ideas for the renovation of the educational system, and I suggest you don't dismiss them too lightly. They are likely to be very much with us, within the next decade or two. The Voice Of One -By DR. FRANK S. MORLEY The Roots Of Violence pROFESSOR of Government at Harvard University, Dr. Edward C. Ban-field, in an article in the New York Times (October 12), points out that there is an inner district in cities among the small lower class which defies reform. Its members live for immediate bodily gratification and the slum is their natural habitat. They like it, prefer it, and, if slums were demolished, welfare payments tripled, new schools built, library and art facilities made easily available, the members of this class would soon turn their dwellings and living area into a slum again. This has been amply demonstrated in Britain where housing reform has reverted quickly to the previous sorry conditions. Such realism is new to starry - eyed social reformers. Jesus recognized it when he told his disciples that some places would not receive them and in such cases they should "shake the dust off their feet" and leave. Nor have social reformers had the realism to recognize that there is something wild and anarchic in human nature so that all men some of the time and some men all of the time are possessed by the devil. Of such stuff are the great novels and dramas made. The profound writers, especially the Greeks and Russians, have this tragic sense of human sin. The roots of violence are not, therefore, to be found in the incorrigible lower class alone, and it is very wrong to confuse the lower class with violence. Part of the problem may well be that many of them lack aggressiveness and violence! One finds the slum-like gravitation and desire in many young people of socially prominent families. Moreover, as Konrad Lorenz points out in "Aggression" (Methuen) the aggressive drive is species-preserving, natural and spontaneous in a healthy personality. The Greek who claimed that "war is the mother of all things" would have been closer to the truth had he said "conflict" instead of "war." Society would be healthier and social reform wiser had the instinctive nature and need for conflict been more clearly recognized and understood, developing consequent methods of redirection or sublimation. Note how happy a man is when he can commit violence in a cause which his conscience wholly approves. One sees this in Ireland, the guerrilla war of the Middle East, and the FLQ terrorism in Canada. Many people try to justify violence from Christ's teachings. He drove out the moneychangers with whips, and said, "I have not come to bring peace, but a sword . . . I came to cast fire upon the earth and would that it were already kindled!" But Jesus drew a sharp line between the teachings of the violent John the Baptist and himself. "The least in the Kingdom of God is greater than be," though he had profound respect for John. Jesus spoke of the spiritual warfare, even as Paul did later, the violence of love, whose weapons are prayer, faith, patience, and goodwill. While it is absurd to say that violence Is always wrong, it is very difficult to distinguish between good and bad violence. Violence breeds violence, hatred breeds hatred, and neither brings reconciliation or justice, but indeed the very opposite of cruelty, vice, and crime. The way out of violence is to realize what spawns it. One source of course is such inhumane conditions as those of Latin America. Another is the psychological vanities and resentments of race. Another is the dehumanization and alienation of modern man in the technological society, which includes self-hate projected into social hostility. The roots of violence can be found in the teaching of history which glorifies war. Generals and battles are significant, more than saints and scientists. War games and war toys for children do not help. But only as man comes to self-understanding will he understand others; only as he comes to self-love can he love others. Megalomania, the exaltation of power and the lust for vengeance will never create the beloved community, but is this what man wants? Surely he does. There is a primal instinct in man which makes brotherhood and reconciliation the most blessed and necessary facts of life, to which all man's other drives and instincts should be directed. What Did He Mean? By Dong QN his first day back at work after a tliree week holiday, District Editor D'Arc Rickard showed that he had not become rusty with the quick retort. Late in the afternoon when nothing was pressing, Jim Maybie asked D'Arc how he thought he (Jim) would look in horn- Walker rimmed glasses. "No better," was the immediate response. That could have meant that D'Arc thinks Jim is already the acme of handsomeness or that he is so far from it that nothing would help. Jim has known D'Arc long enough that he did not risk asking for explicitness.