My desire to pursue Natural Resource Conservation and Management may have stemmed from my youth. With my obsession of being outside, playing in the creek and fishing, but also seeing how so many people came to our area and bashed us “back-wood hillbillies” and said we were “tearing up the landscape.” Given, some things that were going on were contributing to detrimental water quality and increased run-off. Its my belief that God created this world for us to utilize, but that comes with a great responsibility. A responsibility that has been perverted by both sides of the aisle. Conservation of our Natural Resources is not a political issue, it is a human issue. And as hunters and anglers, it is part of our history and heritage.
The sportsmen we follow were doers. They were movers, shakers, unapologetic in your face people. They ASKED for an increase in taxes for wildlife. They formed a club in order to have a way of showing people what species looked like because they thought those species would be extinct and we wouldn’t have any record of what they looked like. They also asked to protect and preserve the Redwoods because they knew that area was not receptive of certain timber and forestry practices. From those men and women, we now have some of the most amazing conservation organizations and tons of success stories. Those are the conservationists I want to be like. Not one that can be pushed by political lines. Not one who chooses to be a spectator.
“A conservationist is one who is humbly aware that with each stroke [of the axe] he is writing his signature on the face of the land.”
“There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace.”
Aldo Leopold wrote both of these in probably one of the most iconic books for conservation and wildlife, A Sand County Almanac. Mr. Leopold recognizes that we got to role up our sleeves to survive, but also that WE are the ones that steer what happens in the natural world. Its not a light, or easy task/charge. But it is what we must do for the prolonging of our species, as well as others.