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Not Another Opinion Please

August 30, 2001

Why do we need another opinion page from some self-proclaimed hunter, fisherman, outdoors and conservation expert? Truth is, that's a good question! In fact, I too asked myself that when I was first approached to write this periodic article for the Conservation Resource Alliance's website. One of my favorite quotes is that "the average American is more concerned with his or her opinion than he or she is with the facts". Although we smile at a statement like that, in reality it is somewhat scary. In recent decades we have stressed freedom of speech and individual rights so much that at times I'm afraid we have considered that as important as the truth! That is a lie! Opinion does not equal truth and that includes mine!

This malady has impacted all aspects of society. On some days I think it has impacted most often the area of hunting, fishing, conservation, environment, ecology and natural resources. During the last 40 years, as Americans have left the farms and moved to the urban environment, many have left behind the practical, common sense, down-to-earth approach that farm families have always had.
Kids that came off the farm knew the basics. They understood that you can't put unlimited cattle in a one-acre pasture. They knew that to have meat for supper, an animal had to die. They understood that when you cut a maple tree for lumber, a smaller maple tree next to it started growing faster. They knew you don't put the outhouse by the well!

As we have lost touch with the land, one might think that only impacts the city dweller. In reality it has impacted the philosophy of society, including at times the resource professionals that manage the public lands we hunt and fish on! Twenty years ago it would be unheard of to find a state or federal biologist that didn't hunt or fish. Today we have state and federal biologists that are against hunting. Today we have resource professionals that are opposed to cutting any tree on state or federal land! How can a biologist manage public land and be opposed to hunting deer when we know that if left unmanaged it will eat itself out of house and home.

Every day our newspapers and media are full of opinions that mislead the public from understanding the basics of wildlife, conservation and resource management. "Conservation Corner" is an effort to challenge popular mistruth, using a practical on-the-farm, back 40 acre perspective. This periodic column will attempt to clearly respond, hopefully in a way that the average person can understand, to the mistruth on various conservation issues that we see each day in the local paper and TV.

I look forward to your comments!

A Closing Thought

"Never does nature say one thing and wisdom another." - Juvenal, Roman satirist

  
Copyright 2001 Bob Aslan, All rights reserved.


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