I posted a survey on the Oregon Fly Fishing Blog about the biggest threats facing our fisheries in Oregon. It was a request from a contact at the Sierra Club, part of its campaign to bring hunters and anglers into the organization’s fold. It’s part of a broader trend I’ve been watching over the last couple years — enviro groups bringing in the hook and bullet community to fight for wildlife.
Recently, I’ve watched groups like Sierra Club, National Wildlife Federation and The Wilderness Society tap into these communities to find some strong allies. And I think it’s the most interesting thing to happen to the conservation movement in a long time. Hunters and anglers have the politicians’ ear. We spend money, we’re activists and advocates, and we have a history in these organizations as the first conservationists — as you’ll surely notice each group trotting out Teddy Roosevelt. I don’t expect GreenPeace to come knocking.
I do think these orgs are having success with sportsmen because the old-school hunting and fishing social clubs are dying, or worse, clinging to life and planting a few trees and calling it good. Most of these groups don’t have the spine to stand up for their favorite species and places for fear of political backlash.
And when you’ve got Web sites like Moldy Chum rounding up steelhead fly tyers to raise money for the Steelhead Society in BC, who really needs the guys sitting around the local clubs, bitching about how good the fishing used to be?
I don’t remember the clubs in their heyday. I wasn’t here. Anybody have any input — is this just ageism on my part?
Oh yea, fill out the survey on the Fly Fishing Blog if you want to contribute.