Saturday, September 11, 2010

Heroes of Conservation?

We use the title of hero very liberally in this country and when that happens the true heroes get short changed.
My belief is the real heroes in this country are our military forces, police officers and fire fighters. They are the people who make a difference in the lives of the rest of by going into harms way to save lives and assure our freedom. Scoring touchdowns or hitting home runs in the world series are not heroic deeds to be sure and neither is dumping hatchery salmon into streams where wild salmon live.
The outdoor magazine Field and Stream gives out annual awards to people they feel have helped "conserve" our outdoor resources. Two such recipients from Garibaldi, Oregon are recognized for their work with hatch boxes on a north coast stream. These folks seem, from the video on the Field and Stream "Heroes of Conservation" website, to be a very nice retired couple doing what they think is great work to provide more salmon for northwest anglers....very heroic!
I would think the title of "Villains of Conservation" might be a more appropriate title because we all know the affect of a hatchery product introduced into a wild population.
If there are true Heroes of Conservation I would think they would be people who fight hard to protect our wild resources that include wild salmonids and their habitat. I would think the true heroes would be people like Bill Bakke of Native Fish Society, or Tom Wolf of Trout Unlimited. My good friend John Bracke would certainly qualify. John lives along Oregon's Nestucca river and has fought tirelessly for the wild trout, salmon and steelhead in that river. John is an aggressive conservationist who will not spare the feeling of those who intend to exploit our wild resources.
So if you intend to bestow the mantle of Hero of Conservation on anyone it would be wise to be sure that they truly are heroes.
There are a lot of impostors, posers and down right frauds out there.

1 comment:

  1. Shows what a convoluted mess we have on our hands when educated people can still be so wildly misinformed about what's best for salmon and steelhead. We have a LOT of work to do!