Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Conservation Blues

I am not sure how Ted Williams does it.

Some of you may have noticed, although maybe not, that I haven’t posted anything about the impending gold mine on Rock Creek.  I meant to, really I did. But I was finishing up an essay on Alaska  and reading about potential felt sole bans in Maryland and Oregon and worrying about HB 309 and wondering what it is that makes Montana legislators lose their minds. And eventually I got kind of bummed out by the whole thing.
Sure I am busy—life is a little nuts right now. But I could have carved out some time to repost WillFishforWork’s post about the Rock Creek issue* with a comment or two. It wouldn’t have been too difficult. I should have done it.

*willfishforwork is a top notch blog, by the way, and should be on everybody’s RSS reader or however you prefer to ingest the blog-type information.

But I didn’t.

And the longer I went without doing so, the more I began to think about why, and then I started to think that maybe the fact I was not posting was perhaps more interesting than if I had posted. So I decided to write about the why rather than the what.*

*Which probably just proves I am a self absorbed jerk.

Writing about conservation topics isn’t really difficult. The writing itself is relatively easy: do some research, summarize that research, cite that research, provide some links for people to direct their outrage, and you’ve got a blog post or two or five. Not to downplay the importance of such posts. Really, the conservation stuff is much better for the world at large than some jerk-off blogger complaining about the hole in his waders. I am just saying that the conservations posts don’t take a ton of effort even though they can (especially if they get re-posted by Trout Underground) do a lot of good.

But lately I just find them rather depressing.

And this, I think, gets to the point of why I never posted about the Rock Creek gold mine.* I just wasn’t up for more bad news.

Its February and the snow is starting to melt a little (though its snowing again as I type). The mercury is hitting the number 30 pretty regular. There are quite a few fish to be caught if you’ve got the nerve and gear to fish in the cold. And part of me can just feel the blue wings preparing to hatch and the fish preparing to rise and, oh man, I love spring fishing.

But it also seems to be the month of bad news. I don’t really want to write about all the things potentially going wrong or ruined or wrecked in the Land of The Eddy and the world of fly fishing at large, even though there are plenty of them and writing about them is certainly the better choice than pretending they don't exist. So, like I said, I am not sure how Ted Williams does it. I don’t know how he spends day after day cycling through many a-story of habitat and access and invasive species problems.  I think I could last about two weeks, maybe, before I decided to ignore all news outlets, sell my house, and go fishing—for a decade or so.

Those blue wings cannot start hatching fast enough.    


  1. Very well said, it does wear you down, though thinking about blue wings and white miller caddis on the Firehole brings a smile every time.

  2. Thanks for checking in, Mark. I hope all is well for you guys in Texas.

  3. It can get pretty heavy at times, and I haven't much covered the Klamath Dam Removal issue in my own county because I simply don't see how I could do so without starting each post with "The freakishly moronic fools running this county are mucking things up yet again, this time through sheer stupidity [or insert other behavior]...."

    There's no end to the yahoos that would mess things up, and the number of issues that require attention are testament to that.

    One blog-based observation; more than once I've been working on some local issue, only to look around the room (or scan the emails listed in the header) and realize I was the only unpaid person in attendance.

    It's a shame so many conservation organizations don't have much of an online presence and don't support the blogs that handle so much of the contact with the public.

    Let's hope that changes.

  4. Thanks for weighing in TC. Its been interesting to watch the response to the Montana access issue, which isn't technically conservation in the traditional sense. Lots of coverage from the online FF community because no one wants to see their fishing options reduced. Many other conservation issues are just as important but not as obvious in their impact on Joe Fly Fisher.

    No judgments on anybody, just an observation.

  5. Like the insurance companies who wear down the family of a sick child, that's precisely what these yahoos are counting on.

    All I can say is stay the course and don't go it alone.

  6. Thanks for encouragement, splitcane. And thanks for reminding me of "The Rainmaker". Underrated movie, I say. Francis Ford Copolla adapting a Grisham novel is a little odd, but it worked.