As the new year is getting under way, and we have a new direction for our country, it is important to keep in mind what we outdoor enthusiasts have in common. While I try to keep from political dialog on this website, sometimes I do let my political beliefs come through in certain articles, but I try to avoid that. But the fact that Trump was elected as president really does have a significant impact on all of us, and I only hope that despite the political environment, we remain in tune with what is important as far as wildlife conservation.
Wildlife conservation is not about gun control, the two topics are totally unrelated, and it is important that we don’t lose sight of that fact. Whether you are a Republican or a Democrat, it is important that we stand together on the conservation of our wild places and the animals that inhabit them. As a hunter and conservationist I will be the first to say that I contribute very much to the wild places and all that inhabit them, I do so because I want those places and animals to be there for my grandchildren. I contribute by buying hunting and fishing licenses, I contribute through donations to several wildlife organizations, I contribute by volunteering for projects to improve habitat, and I contribute my time as a volunteer for the Colorado Parks & Wildlife organization to help educate people.
My point to all of my readers is this; what will you do to preserve our wild places and the species that inhabit them? Leave guns out of the conversation, and whether you hunt or fish or not, do you enjoy our wild places? If you do enjoy our wilderness, educate yourself about the issues that surround what it takes to support those wild places, and help support what it takes to keep those places available for you to enjoy. Too often gun violence becomes correlated to hunters, and that couldn’t be farther from the truth. And too often wildlife management is portrayed as killing animals, which is also not accurate in any way.
For all of you hunters and fishermen out there, this is not news to you. But for all of you that are not hunters or fishermen, educate yourself before you form an opinion. Understand the details of wildlife conservation before you condemn a person who harvests a deer or catches a fish. Understand what wildlife conservation is really about, and understand the difference between a hunter and a person who commits an unbelievable crime with a gun. And finally, ask yourself, what are you doing to preserve the wild places and the animals that you enjoy?