Wednesday, February 06, 2008
Pimping the Resource - Revisited
Yes friends I know that I am kind of cynical sometimes but hey if the glass is half empty then that is the way I see it.
So once again this year I go to the Portland Sportsman show and yes I got in for free. Seems someone actually thought my meager fly tying skills was something to be exhibited so go figure.
The one thing that was different this year was the presence of the CCA. I must admit that I was impressed at their efforts as far as getting their name out there.
Their banners proclaimed "Save our Wild Salmon and Steelhead Join CCA" Hmmmm. One would think that this group is going to be force in anadromous fish conservation. Well , as I have stated before, we shall see.
So anyway back to my day at this outdoor sports extravaganza. Once you get passed the buxom young females hawking archery gear and the seemingly endless array of lodges, guides and outfitters what do you have? Well let's simply put it this way. If you go there expecting to find a plethora of nice fly fishing gear, conservation groups and the intimate camaraderie of fellow anglers you will be disappointed.
What you will find is huge amounts of testosterone, stuffed animals and good old American excesses and oh yeah, a lot of cowboy hats. I mean come on folks why would anyone display a mounted head of an African elephant or an African lion? I found these displays offensive! Then you have the caged up north American predator exhibit. Wolves, coyotes, bobcats and foxes looking miserable as people filed by no doubt many of them wishing they could put a bullet in one of these pitiful captives.
In short I found this "Sportsman's" show to be little more than a chest thumping display of gluttony and greed.
Trout Unlimited was there, safely sequestered in some distant corner of the hall but the lack of true conservation organizations was noticeable and troubling. Instead I saw a lot of wild fish being hoisted out of the water for ego pictures and a lot of dead animals that should not have been dead like a full sized mount of a Grizzly bear.
Even in a depressed economy there was a lot of money changing hands with many poor saps who didn't get a freebie admission like I did having to shell out almost twenty dollars for parking and admission before setting foot in the door.
I found this bazaar to be a microcosm of the state of our natural resource awareness and I'm sure the "Kill the Sea Lions" stickers sold well. The things that really matter like wild fish and responsible conservation practices are not profitable enough to merit much attention.
Oh yes and most of the northwest fishing celebs and guides were there for maximum face time. These are the folks that make their money on northwest hunting and fishing but give little back! A $3 salmon and steelhead lure with a popular NW fishing websites URL printed on it???? How does $10 sound?
To quote one of the few enlightened people from ifish.net when commenting on a well known NW fishing guide who was lamenting on ifish.net about how much money he lost from lack of fish.
"It is all about money, nothing more nothing less. To not express concern for the resource but for the money you did not make, you should be ashamed of yourself.
People look up to professionals for accurate and expert advise on issues such as this, what appears to have happened is it turned into an issue if you do not help I will be broke.
Good luck in abusing your resource wait a minute you are also abusing mine!"
The enlightened poster is describing resource pimping of the worst kind here! I think one of the biggest pet peeves I have is people making money on the backs of our resource and giving nothing back. If you think I might be talking about you then I probably am.