The sound of silence
There are few places left in the world where you can experience the sounds of nature uninterrupted by planes, cars, off-road vehicles. Scientists are now working to quantify the impact of all that noise on the natural world, and to monitor how soundscapes -- the collection of sounds in a landscape made by critters, wind, water, people -- change over time and space. That, they say, can be a good indicator for how well, or poorly, ecosystems are faring.
In this episode of West of 100, High Country News' new monthly podcast, we talk with scientists and recordists with their ears to the ground in the great outdoors. And we visit the Great Hoh Rain Forest in Washington State, where one man is working doggedly to protect "one square inch" of silence from us noisy humans.
Recordings of Muir Woods and Lincoln Meadow courtesy Bernie Krause. Recording of Yellowstone dawn chorus, licensed under Creative Commons, Western Soundscape Archive. Recording of stream, licensed under Creative Commons, mistiscool. Recording of jet, licensed under Creative Commons, digifishmusic.