Without public lands, fly fishing as you know it would come to an end. Without people fishing, my business, Angler’s Covey, would not exist. Without businesses like mine, that depend on outdoor recreation, 646 billion dollars would be absent from the national economy. Beware: The sale of all public land is viewed by some politicians as good policy.
But surely this is not reality?
Could your favorite fishing spot soon be for sale to the highest bidder?
Resolution approved by the Republican National Party on January 24, 2014: “RESOLVED, That the Republican National Committee calls upon all national and state leaders and representatives to exert their utmost power and influence to urge the imminent transfer of public lands to all willing western states for the benefit of these western states and for the nation as a whole.”
In Congress, some representatives have proposed selling off federal lands under the auspices of paying down the federal deficit. Some ideologically-driven attorneys argue that it is unconstitutional for the federal government to hold land, other than in Washington D.C. and military bases. If some politicians had their way, public lands would soon be a problem to manage that no longer existed.
I am a limited government, individual rights, and card carrying republican. However, I also have a strong moral belief that taking care of our planet is paramount. Conservation is not just about the air we breathe or the water we drink, it is good business that millions of us Americans depend upon for a job. There is no room for ignorance on the part of the American people regarding the value of public lands and the role they play in supporting our freedom and way of life. Nor can we ignore the goals of those who want to take them away.
Backcountry Hunters and Anglers has released a timely report, “Our Public Land Are Not for Sale,” detailing how the proposed transfer or sale of these public lands would hurt sportsmen. I would encourage you to become aware and knowledgeable of the issues and spread the word that public lands are important.
We must find ways of working together so that we can balance grazing, timber harvest, off-road vehicle use, and energy development, while still protecting and enhancing some of the best hunting and fishing opportunities on the planet.
So, let's work together to protect our public lands...
I recognize the right and duty of this generation to develop and use the natural resources of our land; but I do not recognize the right to waste them, or to rob, by wasteful use, the generations that come after us. - President Theodore Roosevelt
Orvis 101 Introduction to Fly Fishing
Orvis 201 Streamside