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A call for defending public lands

Updated: Dec 31, 2019

We live in a time of political and social division. Much of our culture, especially in the West is built around outdoor recreation. However, we are divided, we are fishermen, hunters, photographers, climbers, hikers, skiers, bikers, horseback riders, ranchers and farmers. All of us are part of a unique tribe who is fighting for public land. But we are fighting independently. We must join together in this fight. As important as public lands are to our circles we must realize that the greater public may not be aware of the threats that face all of our lands.

The public according to Aldo Leopold consists of three groups; the first is the largest and it is indifferent to conservation, it has no experience to connect to wildness. The second is the smallest and it thinks with its head it cares for places, but is silent. The last group is intermediate in size it does all of its thinking with or in our generation facebook, instagram etc. We must inspire those thinkers to share their perspectives with the masses. We must not only align our battle but we must pull those indifferent into the discussion.

In our political world we as outdoors people must put aside our political differences and work to encourage politicians to fight for our public lands. We have to put aside our preference for a donkey or an elephant and instead pick politicians based upon their willingness to fight public lands. During the time of Aldo Leopold, when our conservation heroes set out on a grand experiment to rebuild our wildlife and their habitats. Leopold a hunter worked hand in hand with people like William T. Hornaday, an almost radical animal conservationist.

This is our time to come together as outdoors people. We cannot be hunters, climbers or hikers. We must be united as outdoors people! Our legacy will be in protecting that last wildernesses, but we must act now. Thoroeau wrote, “In wildness is the preservation of the world” Our wild places are a barometer to the health of our planet, it is a reset. It reminds us that we are still small in the world and our existence depends upon the health of our HOME. Beyond ecosystem health, wilderness is the preservation of the soul. Anyone who has spent time under the stars knows the renewal found in a sunrise on a crisp frost covered meadow. Or an elk bugle across a canyon at dusk, a fresh dump of powder and the sound of ski’s cutting fresh lines.

Please don't be silent, share your stories, show the uninitiated the wilderness. Be bold for our wild places.

What can you do? Become part of the movement that publicly stands up for what is all of ours! We are blessed to be landowners, no matter your economic status. This year let’s share stories of our public land experiences, in doing so we remind the public that we are all blessed to be part of the American Experience and Public Landowners!

Share your stories under #publiclandowner365

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