"W" Doesn't Stand for Wetlands

Blush bashing, a fond farewell, and the pantless hunter.

Field & Stream Online Editors

Kudos to Bob Marshall for "Ducks Out of Water?" (F&S; Report, August) pointing out the devastating environmental policies advocated by the Bush administration. The Republicans' pledge of "no net loss of wetlands" is about as reliable as the now infamous 16 words used in the State of the Union address. For too long, the GOP has received the "hunting vote" and failed to deliver on its promises. We have options, and it's time to start considering them.

Ramsey R. Poston
Denton, Md.

I find myself in a quandary. As a duck hunter and a DU supporter, I recognize the importance of the American "prairie pothole region" as a critical component of duck habitat. However, as the son of a son of a farmer, I also understand how difficult it is to ask these landowners to plow around such large tracts of prime acreage. Farm bills are often necessary, and Swampbuster is a truly worthy one. However, it's a shame that its funding can't match the simple economics of production. The North American duck population is hardly endangered, and today's farmers can ill afford to give up [BRACKET "crop"] revenues in the name of sport.

Kevin Little
via e-mail

I'm pleased to see that the Bush administration's attitudes toward the environment are finally impacting the future of hunting so that sportsmen can see clearly what the president's priorities are. It's ironic that outdoor magazines such as Field & Stream popularized Bush during the 2000 election, paying attention to only gun control and forgetting about the environment. When the prairie potholes are lost, they will be lost forever-which is much longer than a presidential term lasts.

Kevin Lutz
Robesonia, Pa.

Absent Friend
Datus Proper's passing on a Montana trout stream [BRACKET "see page 5"] is a great loss to his family, his many friends, his wonderful wife, Anna, and to those who have followed his elegant and insightful writings on flyfishing and bird shooting. Our friendship dates back to 1969, and we hunted and fished together in such diverse places as Pennsylvania, Ireland, and Montana, in addition to collaborating on a little foreign policy work at the State Department, where he was a career foreign service officer of great dedication and integrity.

There is a certain amount of humbuggery in today's flyfishing scene, but Datus Proper was the real thing, and a lot of us are going to miss him.

Richard McCormack
U.S. Under Secretary of State 1989¿¿¿1991
McLean, Va.

Public Service
Thank you for keeping me sane. I'll begin high school in mid-August, the humid South Texas weather is keeping me in my underwear all day (not that the heat has anything to do with that), and most agonizing of all is waiting 93 days until whitetail/turkey season begins. Keep putting out that great magazine, and don't forget to add a dash of sarcasm in those letters.

Thomas Campbell
via e-mail

Tom, it's obvious you have a lot on your mind, but is there anything we can say that will get you back into your clothes? -The Editors

I wish to compliment you on your good work! Keep it up, and call me a fan.

Mary Manion
Ottawa, Ontario

OK; you're a fan. -The Editors

Missed the Boat
In your June 2003 article "¿¿Mucha Trucha Grande!" author Jonathan Miles stated that the Cuban government purchased Triton boats for bass fishing on Lake Hanabanilla. This is incorrect; when our clients fish the lake they do so from our Nitro boats, which we bought. We hope you will correct this error.

Brian Quinsey
President
Reco's Global Bass Adventures in Cuba
via e-mail

In "Rating the ¿¿¿Reality' Fishing Shows" (Field Notes, August), we mistakenly identified a wilderness skills competition program as slated to apppear on the Outdoor Channel. It is actually an ESPN show. -The Editors