Last week, I wrote about fishing for cutthroats in southern Montana to celebrate Earth Day, and to explore a river whose headwaters have long-been protected by unroaded National Forest lands. Part of the reason for that trip was to discuss the new U.S. Forest Service Planning Rule (a discussion that would fit in under the heading “Boring but Important”). It’s pretty clear after 234 years or so that democracies--and democratic republics--are run by those who show up. And there is still time for sportsmen to comment on the rules that will guide our public lands managers in the coming decades.
We were catching those cutthroats because of some pretty sound management of the headwaters, and a lot of that management, in this case, was simply protecting what was not sundered. Our National Forests offer some of the best hunting and fishing on the planet and we have the opportunity to make sure it stays that way.
Any hunter or fisherman knows that wild game and fish - and the hunting and fishing that goes with getting it - makes for the healthiest food you can get for your family. But probably few of us knew it could build a body and a spirit that could win football games in the toughest arena on earth. This is a great story about Kansas City Chiefs new defensive end Allen Bailey, who comes from a tiny community of subsistence and sport hunters and fishermen on Georgia's Sapelo Island.
Part of the island lies within the Sapelo Island National Estuarine Research Reserve, one of the richest salt marsh ecosystems along the Atlantic Coast. Sapelo is five miles out, separated from the mainland by cordgrass marsh and the open waters of Doboy Sound, charged with fresh waters from the Duplin River, a wild country of redfish and oysterbeds, raccoons and wild hogs. Bailey's life sounds like one of the best outdoors' stories of our time.
From ThePostGame.com: Allen Bailey's secret to reaching the colossal physical proportions necessary to become an NFL defensive end is a protein source unfamiliar to most 21st-century Americans, let alone big-time football players. The University of Miami product, picked in the third round of the draft by the Kansas City Chiefs, sits down to home-cooked meals of slow-roasted raccoon, parboiled possum and hickory-smoked armadillo.
Effective today, the gray wolf in the Northern Rockies and the Great Lakes states will be taken off the Endangered Species List and placed under the management of the states like the rest of our valued wildlife.
The wolf issue has been a long struggle, and a wild ride here in the Rocky Mountains. People in the West have been exhausted by what Montana Wildlife Federation's Ben Lamb once called, “the absolute intransigence of both sides, the wolf huggers over here and the shoot-shovel-shut up crowd over there, leering at each other and making smart remarks while everybody else is left trying to find a solution.”
I made a trip south April 22nd to fish for native cutthroats with Trout Unlimited’s Corey Fisher, National Wildlife Federation’s Land Tawney, and Joel Webster of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. I started out at daylight, and crossed Rogers Pass in a howling horizontal blizzard. At the Cenex station in Lincoln, the first town for seventy miles from my house, I stopped for coffee. A young tow truck driver at the gas pumps asked me, “How’s the pass?” I struggled for an answer that would actually describe what I’d just driven through.
“Ahah,” the driver said. “It’s real bad!” I just nodded. It was Earth Day, and the earth was throwing my rattle-trap Hyundai and me a pretty good thrashing.