Until the formation of Lesbian National Parksand Services we, Founding Rangers Shawna Dempseyand Lorri Millan, were not unlike many of you readers: avid woodswomen with apassion for biology.

However, despite our boundless outdoor enthusiasm, we had long experiencedfrustration in the bush. With each dogged step intothe wilds it became increasingly clear that, withoutthe support of scientists or conservation officials and,in fact, ignored by wildlife professionals in general,lesbian Flora and Fauna had been left to wither anddecline, surviving mainly in isolated communitieslargely invisible to the casual observer.

This officialindifference frustrated us. We knew well the rewards of careful observation and patient tracking,and had uncovered hidden worlds of lesbian activityin even the most inhospitable environments. Thesecommunities were particularly vulnerable to changesin political climate and unnatural disasters such asreligious fundamentalism and assimilation.

Sadly,lesbianism was operating far from its peak potential.Even when confronted with this problem, most conservationists responded blankly. Try as we might,we could not prevail upon park wardens or wildlifeofficials to act.

Impassioned concern often kept us awake longinto the night. Warm in our camprolls, serenadedby the haunting call of the loon and the lonely, greyshe-wolf, we were plagued by basic questions ofspecies survival. Surely something must be done.But what? If only the fragile lesbian ecosystem wasgiven the attention required to encourage proliferation! If only a force of trained professionalscould turn its vigilant gaze on the plight of the lesbianwilds! And if only, in doing so, these do-gooderscould inspire tidiness and good grooming amongsttheir followers!

These thoughts fermented in our minds, like ayeast culture growing into feverish bloom. By thespring of 1997, it was an itch that demandedscratching!

In June of that year, we embarked upona fateful bushwalk. In many ways it was like otherforays into lesbianism, although on this occasionthwarted desire transformed the junket into afountainhead of change. We were particularlyunsatisfied, having spent a long day tracking theelusive lesbian moose through the dense forests ofthe Great Canadian Shield. However, our disappointment did not sour our spirits and, indeed,seemed to have the opposite effect.

In the waningfirelight our eyes glowed, radiating steely resolveand indomitable courage. “What if,” we wonderedaloud, “we were to form an organization dedicatedto lesbian wildlife?” The time was nigh, we realized,to take matters into our own hands.

With vigour and excitement we set about creatinga service entrusted with the stewardship of all lesbian life forms. This needed to be a force strong enough to stand up against species tyranny, while atthe same time imbued with sufficient leadershipqualities to promote the lesbian way. The rank andfile of the organization would have to be more thanmerely scientifically curious. Their involvementmust be a calling, answered with the same passionwith which we replied to the call of the errant bull-dyke Moose that fateful night in the Canadiannorthland.

Only the finest woodswomen, driven bya desire to right wrongs, to help others and to touchand be touched by a plethora of needy lesbians,would embark on a mission so wide-ranging and soall-consuming.

The task was daunting but, like allgreat movements, it began with a single gestureborn of great conviction: the donning of a uniform.

As we buttoned ourselves into crisp shirts andtrousers of tan, we understood the pride of being aLesbian Ranger, and the joy of dedicating ourselvesto the betterment of all lesbiankind.

Hence, Lesbian National Parks and Serviceswas born.

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From “Mammals and You,” in the Lesbian National Parks and Services Field Guide to North America:

beaver drawing

The Beaver
(Castor canadensis)

The Beaver lives in extended-family dwellingswhich block watercourses and form ponds. Called“lodges,” these split-level habitations are made fromlogs and sticks, gnawed into desired lengths bythe rodent’s razor-sharp dentata and packed withmud. A lodge is so well-constructed that not even abear can penetrate the Beaver’s private realm!

Constant renovation is necessary and keeps theBeaver active long into the night. The industry ofthese dam homeowners, though detrimental towoodlands, raises water levels and improves theneighbourhood for amphibians and waterfowl. TheBeaver also provides warning against intruders bydeftly slapping its paddle-shaped tail upon thewater. Whenever you hear a “slap, slap” in the wetlands, a frisky Beaver will be close by!

This clever and mischievous animal is not only“busy,” but also “eager.” The fun-loving and frolicsome Beaver revels in watersports. She will swim togreat depths of depravity to get her needs met.However, she is also highly selective. This, thelargest of rodents, is monogamous.

Happily, Beavers abound; you need only look.Although once threatened with extinction by trappers,this wily creature modified its behaviour fromdiurnal to nocturnal and, as a result, populationshave swelled. Those of us who hail from the greatnorthern land of Canada are proud to be represented by this furry beast and all that she signifies.