Tuesday, February 26, 2019
We live in crazy times.
I come to look at the natural world through the lens of a conservation oriented environmentalist. Long title, but it speaks to the thought given to what's going on around us.
Growing up the "enviro" label had such a negative word associations that I recoiled from it.
That wasn't me. That wasn't what I was about.
That word and label gave me the feeling of people chained to trees, endlessly in lawsuits and doing frivolous things about places and species that I knew nothing about and or thought to care about. Climate change...pfff, climate change isnt real
But then...it changed.
Through the lens of a hunter, fisherman and outdoor recreator, I began to see the onslaught our world is under. The more I looked I began to see the ecological web that was being tossed aside for short term gains that in less than a generation would be flipped to become disasters that responsible parties would be held unaccountable
Remember this...Mt Polly Mine, Canada 2014.
Guess what the company responsible for this paid in damages? Nothing.
Guess who's on the hook for the cleanup and recovery?
The thing that I hold most dear is the want to give my boys an opportunity to know the joy of what the outdoor world can bring them. To know that there are places where we have chosen to let mother nature operate as it was intended. To know the engine of good operates in perpetuity and if they choose to do so, go to places like the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Bristol Bay, The Boundary Waters, Smith River, and enjoy the millions of acres of public land that is their birth rite without seeing a screwed up version of what was
I've marveled at stories of yesteryear in both fish and game terms. Upwards of 32 million salmonids returning on the Columbia River system and we're never getting that back. Examples of examples where we've chosen non-renewability over the long term.
Look at what's happening on the Oregon Coast with antiquated logging practices stripping the hillsides of all the trees, spraying pesticides directly into community water supplies....and drastically crushing the ability streams to bear salmon and steelhead.
Look at the increases on oil and gas leases on public land. Up 86% since 2016... and fracturing connectivity and big game migration routes
There's hundreds of examples to choose from. On the other hand we absolutely need extraction. I drive a big truck for gosh sakes. I consume just like the rest of the world. We need raw materials like wood, gas, oil and the like but I am coming more and more to this conclusion
Maybe there's some places that should be off limits.
The Pebble Mine in Alaska, like the worlds biggest zombie has raised from the dead.
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is under consideration for drilling
The Boundary Waters Wilderness area is under threat from a sulfide ore copper mine
The Smith River in Montana is in jeopardy
Public lands are in peril across the country.
The list is long, ongoing and growing.
This should never be a question of economics over the land. Recent reports are showing the might of the outdoor and recreation industries that are coming close if not eclipsing the totals of extractive industries.
So to my call to action...
It's time to hold the line.
If you're not involved in keeping places like this wild and untouched, it's time to join the fight.
If you don't have money, volunteer.
If you have money, give it.
If you have skills that can aide in the cause, throw down.
My lines have been drawn. I hope you can see to draw yours too.
Thursday, February 21, 2019
Free The Rattlesnake: Remove Rattlesnake Dam from Wiwoka Media on Vimeo.
Another logical and practical fish barrier is ready to come down near Missoula, Montana
Take a peek at this collaborative project lead by Montana Trout Unlimited, The Westslope Chapter of TU and others and see if you have the ability to donate to make it happen
Saturday, February 16, 2019
My first real outdoor love was pheasant hunting. From the beginning, I found the wild flushes of the pheasant to be intoxicating and the channeled scablands of the Palouse region in the Washington state was where I spent many a fall day with my dad and friends.
There's nothing like a wild rooster climbing up your nose after your dog has done it's job. Nothing.
Nationally, Eastern Washington's pheasant scene really isn't on the map. Most dream of the midwest, the Dakota's or places elsewhere but really that's fine with the hearty band of brothers and sisters that chase them here
Taking upon that spirit, there's a new outdoor apparel company on the scene that's taking that spirit to hats, t shirts, stickers and more.
Palouse Prairie Co is a new start up from here in Eastern Washington that just seems to have right.
The hat's are unique in their quality and fit and speak the the people who really love chasing birds, casting to rising trout or even spending time in the woods in pursuit of deer and elk
They're a family run business that's putting its roots down on the Palouse to really embody the life they love and I can really appreciate the hustle of a small business doing it right and putting out great product.
With multiple hat designs, t shirts, stickers and many more products on the horizon, do yourself a favor and take a peek at what Palouse Prairie Co has to offer.
Wednesday, February 13, 2019
New experiences. New water. New gear....
Water turns to ice and a whole new world appears for the intrepid outdoors man or woman
Ice shacks. Tiny Rods. Staring at the video game screen of the electronics
The tiny taps of jumbo perch. The new ways to set the hook and all those new lures.
A whole new side of beautiful out there. Go check it out.