OK, here’s the deal, if you are looking for some positive comments about earth day, you better go read some other blog. I have skepticism and cynicism to offer; a rant I need to get off of my chest. Read at your own risk . . . .
So today is the 40th anniversary of “earth day”. We now live in a world where everyone is concerned about the health of the environment in which they live.
Take a walk along the shoreline of any of our public fisheries and you will be appalled at the amount of litter. It is ridiculous. Now I know that many will “celebrate” “earth day” by going out and picking up some of that trash–THANK YOU and God Bless You. But I would like to eliminate the source of this problem. Do not tell me that we live in a world that is concerned about the environment when you see litter all around. People do not care. People are bigger pigs than pigs are. I do not know how many times I have been sitting at a stop light and watched someone throw a cigarette butt out of their car window; have you ever looked down while sitting at a light and noticed all the “butts” piled up there? I would like to take those “butts” and put them in a more appropriate place. We live in a country where our natural resources belong to the people; we have public fishing areas, but in my opinion there a whole bunch of folks that do not deserve any access to those areas. Litter and you should never be able to use any of those resources again.
By the way, if you are hunting, fishing or trapping with me, you do not want to let even the smallest slip of paper blow away.
Or how about this . . . much of the reason we enjoy the outdoors, hunting, fishing, trapping and other pursuits is because we have the freedom to be on the water or in the field without having someone looking over our shoulders. Even if we are only 20 miles from town, for a least a little bit, we can enjoy a small part of the wild. There are no referees, no umpires to see that we obey all the fish & game regulations and conduct ourselves in an ethical manner. If we had enough conservation officers to referee all of our actions and activities in the “wild” that would ruin the entire experience. So how about it? What do you do when no one is watching over your shoulder? How do you conduct yourself on the water, in the field? Are you looking over your shoulder because you are afraid someone might catch you doing something? You know, what a person does when there is no one else around tells you a lot, and I am afraid we have a lot of behavior in the outdoors that a lot of folks would rather not have someone watching.
For example . . . in the past few months in Nebraska we have had convictions of fish hawgs that harvested at least 249 trout in one instance and at least 150 walleyes in another instance. These poaching incidents obviously occurred on some of the best fisheries the state has to offer; how else could these fish hawgs have been able to harvest so many fish over their legal limit? And you know what kills me about it? These were folks that had easy access to some of the very best fisheries in the state, but instead of savoring and appreciating those fisheries they were out to rape them! Many of us wish we lived closer to some of our best Nebraska fisheries, some of us patiently wait for weeks just to get a few days of enjoyment on some of those resources. It kills me that there are fish hawgs who are there all the time taking all they can from those resources, our resources, my resources!
Did I mention I do not approve of trying to fill your freezer with fish fillets?
It is said that the more rare something is the more it is worth. It really bothers me when folks who have easy access to some of the best fisheries, best resources, value them so little. Again, I wonder if some of these folks would “see the light” if it all was taken away from them. What if they never had access to those resources again? What if they realized just how rare and special those resources are? Sorry to say, these are probably the first folks to complain when the fishing is not as good as it used to be. Wonder if they ever look in the mirror for an answer to that question?
I am not a big fan of promotions and special events, that is why you will get no bells and whistles from me on “earth day”. It would be much more meaningful and much more effective if folks would just, as our fellow Nebraskan, Larry the Cable Guy says, “Get-R-Done”. Get-R-Done every day, take care of your trash all the time, every time, not just on “earth day”. Learn some respect for our resources and practice good outdoor ethics everyday, everywhere. Develop an appreciation for our natural resources instead of just using them for what you can get out of them.
Sorry, I offer no real solutions. I guess I hope that we can keep showing how to “Get-R-Done” by our own actions and by educating others. But there are days when you look around and wonder if anyone is listening? You wonder who really cares?
End of rant, at least I will leave you with a pretty picture.