Monday, December 28, 2015
Public Lands...Your Property
Beyond this sign is one of the most spectacular pieces of public ground in the lower 48. Spectacular fishing, hunting, hiking and camping. Canyon after canyon and carved by one of the biggest rivers in the west, it is OUR ground.
Public Lands. Our property
But the placement of this sign could seem a bit funny. Where the department of fish and game parking lot is, then to this sign, you have to walk through a very private, locked off community.
Thankfully, the home owners of this area are amicable and don't impede the usage of our lands. Friendly waves with smiles meet us as we walk through to our destination up river.
It could be different. I am always in fear of one bad experience with a hiker, angler or hunter and those homeowners could make it tough for all user groups. You already have to hike down a trail to get to the beach, then cross over a fence to access the road you need to be on but a more aggressive fence could steer off the less than intrepid crowd. Instead of smiles and waves, the proverbial stink eye and mean mugs could dramatically change the mood.
Across this country there are countless examples of public land being shut off to access because they're surrounded by private lands that say no to easement and effectively shut the ground down.
Its a serious issue that is a quagmire of a problem, but there are groups out there dedicated to making sure that we as sportsmen and women have a place in the public commons.
I highly suggest joining both The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, groups who's core mission is to preserve our outdoor heritage on public land. Get involved today with this issue.
Beyond steelhead conservation, land use preservation has become of a pillar of what I believe in an fight for. Without public land, we loose the user experience. Not all of us have private land access, but we all have our land, the public's land to use and be a steward of.