Saturday, September 15, 2012

#258 / Charles Dickens, Conservationist

It will doubtless be news to many that, among the silent effects which our present age is producing upon the animal creation - one of those mighty results which silently and slowly grow from day to day, from year to year, till at last they burst upon our view a stupendous fact, a thundering avalanche composed of thousands of minute flakes of snow - is the gradual extinction of the salmon.
The cry of "Salmon in Danger!" is now resounding throughout the length and breadth of the land. A few years, a little more over-population, a few more tons of factory poisons, a few fresh poaching devises...and the salmon will be done...he will be extinct....And are we, active, healthy Englishmen in heart and soul, full of veneration for our ancestors, and thoughtful for the yet unborn...Shall we not step in between wanton destruction...and so ward off the obloquy which will be attached to our age when the historian of 1961 will be forced to record that: "The inhabitants of the last century destroyed the salmon...."

Charles Dickens in his weekly magazine All The Year Round (1861)
Quoted in Central California Coast Coho Salmon Recovery Plan (2012)

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