by Henry Collins
Though the concerns had been voiced for some time, it was during the Eighty-sixth Jurassic Council that the discussions became widespread. It was apparent that the environment was changing.
It was a Tyrannosaur that spoke most vehemently on behalf of his kind. The number of small mammals was declining. In certain regions of the Pangaea, hunger was widespread due to the declining food supply. It was his researched opinion that the decline was the result of the ever-shrinking natural habitat afforded these fragile creatures.
That same research indicated that dinosaurs themselves were at fault. Dinosaurs were generally enormous creatures with huge appetites. This famine was to be blamed on the plant-eaters of the species – for example, the Brontasauri.
After all, a descending herd of Bronts would clear-cut acres of Conifers in a single day. It was obvious to the Tys that ingestion of the forest must be managed. Without such management, the ecological balance would be lost, the endangered mammals would become extinct, widespread famine would plague meat and plant-eaters alike. The very existence of the planet hinged on saving the forests.
A Triceratops retorted. He agreed with the major premise. Dinosaurs, the predominate world inhabitant, were the culprit. Their seeming insatiable appetites for the planet’s resources were the root of the apparent pending ecological disaster. Though only a small percentage of the planet’s land population, they consumed 90% of the world’s natural resources. The ecosystem was out of balance. A Management Plan must be instituted.
But as a plant-eater, he took exception to the castigation of blame. Over-hunting of mammals by the meat-eaters was at fault for the famine. Conifer consumption and the natural regeneration that followed was as much a part of nature’s ecosystem as the changing of the seasons. Developing a more diverse source of mammalian fodder would eliminate the dependence on endangered species and in turn bring nature back to its natural balance.
An Apatosaur offered a different theory on the loss of the Conifer Forests. More Conifer acreage had been lost in the last ten years through fire than by vegetative consumption. The Conifer Forests are ripe for wild fire due to an increasing abundance of deadfall on the forest floor. Much of the deadfall can be attributed to the damage wreaked by mammal hunters as they stalked and pounded amongst the Conifers, seeking prey. The swipe of one great dinosaurian tail can ravage as much if not more damage than the munchings of a vegetarian herd.
So the Apatosaur also proposed the Council adopt a Management Plan. But the priority be for management of hunting and its related practices, with a parallel program to manage forest fires, generally the result of lightning strikes and lava flows. Though, he acknowledged, the management of naturally occurring fires would be difficult, the results would be worth the undertaking. After all, the survival of the planet rested in the balance.
Amongst the Council, there was little agreement as to who or what was at fault, what plan or plans should be implemented. And, of course, there were those amongst the Council that did not agree that there was a problem at all.
And so it was that the Eighty-sixth Jurassic Council adjourned in disquiet. Each member pledged to consider all proposals with a promise to return the following year to the Eighty-seventh Council and again attempt to hammer out the program of management of the world’s environment that would ultimately save the planet.
Eleven days later, the planet was struck by a meteor of enormous proportions. The existing eco-systems all were devastated. Dinosaurs, as were many other species of animal and plant, were dashed into extinction. The planet, however, survived quite nicely and is now the home of other species who walk – mostly unknowing – in Jurassic footsteps