By Hal Herring
It is a coincidence that Saturday, September 28th is both National Hunting and Fishing Day, and National Public Lands Day, but it shouldn't be.
American fishermen and hunters are the envy of the world for the freedom we have to pursue our obsessions across millions upon millions of acres of public forest, river, desert and prairie. National Public Lands Day celebrates that freedom, and the heritage it represents, of a free people with room to roam, camp, run rivers, swim in lakes, climb mountains, catch fish, and chase game animals big and small. It's also a day where Americans are encouraged to participate, bring your children, and join the estimated 175,000 of your fellow citizens who repair trails, pick up litter, help maintain public campgrounds, and various other volunteer work, from the sun-baked Florida Keys to cold Mount Katahdin, from the mists of the Olympic Peninsula to the wild heat of the Mojave Desert. Here's a link to the public lands projects where you can join other outdoorspeople, in whatever part of the U.S. you find yourself: http://www.publiclandsday.org/npld-sites.