Fall is not the time for this type of column but as you know
by now, things like that don't slow me down much. I just feel
like bringing it up again. There has been a fair amount of the
subject on the bulletin board lately too. Funny, mostly folks
get all fired up about conservation and stewardship in the
spring, but they are still talking about it. If so, I will
add what I can to it too.
Here is a picture of one of the most widely read books about
being a 'good guy' when you are outdoors. If you haven't read
it yet, do so. It is a great one and you will be richer for
your effort. A pleasant read, no soap-box, no yellin', just
plain talk and sensible ideas. I first got my copy from a
close friend as a gift. Since then I have given away perhaps
a dozen or so. Not expensive, paperback is $12.95 and they
really do make a thoughtful present.
Over the years I have tried to be pretty good most of the time
about keeping my campsite clean and even picking up stuff left
by others, especially things left in a stream, bottles, cans,
tires, pieces of clothing, plastic six-pack thingies and just
plain junk. I think we all have tired to do our part, it seems
to be one of the things that happens when we take up the long
rod in place of just fishing. A sense of responsibility and
ownership actually. These places become partly ours, and we
get protective and concerned for them. We watch over some of
them as a mother hen might. Pickin' and clucking as we go along,
doing this and that. Get darn right fussy, we do. And that does
separate us from some. At least I think it does.
Not that it makes me any better, no, not that at all, just
different. Things are different for me. I look at nature in
a different light than in past years. A type of maturity
perhaps. As much as I would like to claim fidelity in the
great scheme of things I can not with any degree of honesty.
But, mostly I did my best with what I had to work with.
Where I get confused is some of the other folks. The ones that
just don't seem to get 'it' Whatever 'it' is. I don't think
any amount of complaining will do much good either. It's not
information that is required, it's education. There is a big
difference I think. All the ads in sporting goods and fly
fishing magazines and even on here won't do much good. The
ones with the problems don't read them and don't come here.
They aren't really bad folks, just for some reason they don't
look at outdoor stuff like, at least, I do.
Okay, they leave soda and beer cans around, pitch them overboard,
"pack it in and leave it where ever they drop it," and all sorts
of other littering, but how do you explain this. They come around
to the idea that they should not do things like that. They change
how they do things. They quit tossin' garbage around and start
packing out the stuff they pack in. Pretty soon, they are picking
up stuff from others. So, who are these guys?
Well, maybe guys just like me. And you may know some too. I can't
point to anyone with any blame. We all grow and grow up, at least,
most of us do. Then, as we age we do more and more and write things
and talk about conservation and stewardship and the world goes on
and on. I think that is the way it will continue to be. Some will
'get it' sooner than others. Some will grasp responsibility with
fervor and a grin and enjoy the trip. Others will come later and
in a mellow mood just keep the game rolling along. But, in the end,
it all gets done. Every thing works out. The winds of change keep
blowing. Nature happens and we happen right along with it. Enjoy
the ride, even though at times, it may seem to be a one way street,
uphill and not always paved. All roads lead to the same place. I'm
trying really hard to make it a great trip. ~ James Castwell