By Bob Ferris
|Engaging in River Watching on the Blue River in Oregon |
|The Ragtag Collection of Camouflage I Wore Before the "New" Coat|
This whole situation puts me in mind of a rather ridiculous short parody I watched the other day on Facebook that asked the question of how Mahatma Gandhi would react if he visited a modern day yoga studio and tried to take a class. The costuming and production were a bit cheesy but the Gandhi character’s reaction to the bastardization of what was essentially his religious practice resonated and felt familiar to me. Certainly this is partially a product of age, but it is more too.
I strongly believe that hunting and angling have to be embedded within a substantial matrix of personal ethics not only about these endeavors but about life as well. I rather crudely, but appropriately, argued recently that hunting and angling are not the arenas where you allow yourself to be an asshole, but rather where you learn not to be an asshole. I am not sure that this always is the case now, but it should be.
These endeavors should also act as important supplements to a pathway of life-long learning. This should be where you learn about the complexities of nature and the value of wilderness, not where you dig yourself deeper into a narrow pit of specious opinion and paranoia. Getting to know the species you hunt and harvest means digging into their life histories and understanding not only where they will be when the season permits their taking but what they need during other times, how they interact with other species and what external factors or pressures affect their abundance.
Moreover, true hunters and anglers (again in my mind) need to be people of action. Long gone are
|Carlene Collecting Trash on the Nooksack by Paul Anderson|
And the politicians involved in the above that are poised to sell off our public lands (1, 2,3) , emasculate the EPA(1,2,3), greatly extend grazing leases(1,2), and essentially give away access to our natural resources (1,2) are desperately trying to hide the clanking of this sorry and deceptive political engine by liberally pouring heaping cups of distracting sawdust into the oil pan. This sawdust comes in the form of 2nd Amendment rhetoric and talking loudly about “rights” that will mean very little in a world subjected to this damaging and in many cases irreparable litany of insults.
Corrections or adjustments to most of the above can happen in the way of evolution or sea change—in steps or gradually—but the latter need for activism has to happen right now as we cannot afford to stutter. Many groups are working to correct the above situation and deserve both activists help and financial support. In addition, there are a number of outdoor writers who are stepping up to document the peril that we and our precious fish and wildlife face in the coming two years and beyond. I have provided some lists below. Get informed and get active.
Those Groups Focusing on What is Important to Hunters and Anglers
Back Country Hunters and Anglers - Bull Moose Sportsman Alliance - Conservation Hawks - Ducks Unlimited - The Izaak Walton League of America - Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership - Trout Unlimited
Outdoor Writers Covering Issues of Importance to Hunters and Anglers
, Cristina Eisenberg, Hal Herring, Ben Lamb, Ben Long, Bob Marshall, Jim Posewitz, David Stalling, Todd Tanner, Kevin Van Tighem, Todd Wilkinson and Ted Williams
Note: I see both of the above lists as living lists. If you think your group or favorite writer belongs up here let me know and I will make it happen.