School has ended and summer has dawned. It's time for kids to return to the outdoors! Just this last Saturday, June 3rd, it was take-a-kid-fishing day here in Wyoming. It was also a day when anyone could fish, even those without a license.
Our local Game and Fish Department employees brought numerous activities to our local ponds, introducing kids to the fish they would have the opportunity to catch as well as providing lessons on outdoor recreation, conservation ethic, and basic biology. Having two little ones of my own I can appreciate the youngest of those in attendance finding these activities to be only an impediment to catching the trout stocked for the day's enjoyment. But, for a few, the biology, recreation, or ethics lessons might be that spark that kindles a passion years later, and when added to the joy of fishing, is all it takes to reintroduce a digital generation to the outdoors and their natural resource heritage.
Last Saturday was for the kids, but then again isn't all of it, really? Arguments about conservation, like all things lately, have succumbed to the hyperbole and over-heated rhetoric that dominates today's discourse. And lately things feel very much like they've been turned upside down, and as though the environment could be thrown under the bus for nothing more than short-term political gain. At times like this its easy to forget that, while there's always a sense of gratification that comes from participating in conservation, such efforts are less for us than they are our children. Sometimes it takes a little boy or girl squealing in delight as they reel in a flopping, wiggly fish to remind us of what's really at stake and why its worth fighting for.
Like tales about kids exploring the outdoors? Check out Wyoming Mountains & Home-waters: Family, Fly Fishing, and Conservation!
This blog was posted on the original Conservation Angler blogger page on 6/12/2017 and has been slightly updated for posting here.
Until next time,