It’s Not All Bleak

Hat tip to Moldy Chum, this brought a smile today-

Today, Congressman Peter DeFazio introduced a bill that would protect roughly 100,000 acres in Douglas County, Oregon. The legislation was introduced by Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley in the Senate in May, 2015, and passed out of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources in July, 2016.

The Frank Moore Wild Steelhead Sanctuary Act (H.R. 6129) would permanently safeguard a tributary of the North Umpqua River that contains some of the best wild steelhead spawning areas in the Pacific Northwest. Named in honor of Frank Moore, a World War II veteran and a legendary steward of the North Umpqua River, the act would protect drinking water, critical wildlife habitat, and cultural resources in the Steamboat Creek watershed, identified as one of the most important ecological areas in the Pacific Northwest. The area provides more than 50 miles of high-quality river and stream habitat for summer and winter steelhead, Chinook and coho salmon, rainbow trout, and other native species.

Linkage

Birthright

The threat of losing our public lands looms large. That threat grows, passing like wildfire through halls of Congress and state capitols, spreading its invasive rhetoric in our communities. People with soft hands and expensive suits tell us “It’s just transfer. It’s not like we’re selling them.”

It’s not just transfer. And it is a big deal.

 

Raise Your Voice for America’s Public Lands – sign the Trout Unlimited Public Lands Petition

Check out the stories of TU’s “30 days of Public Land” Here

Celebrate the Wins

If you fish flies and surf the web, you might have noticed a lot of recent focus on protecting our public lands. Buster’s done a bit of mouthing off about it too, and we know it’s easy to let the bastardos get you all down in the chops.

So pick your ass up, get your Muir on, and celebrate the addition of 400 acres to Yosemite’s western boundary.

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Ackerson Meadow was part of John Muir’s original plan for Yosemite

via Luke Hunt, Ph.D. for American Rivers:

Through this addition to Yosemite National Park, Ackerson Creek – which flows through the property before flowing into the Wild and Scenic South Fork of the Tuolumne River and the greater San Joaquin River – will have its water quality protected from threats for years to come.

Aw hellz yeah!

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Gone, Gone, Like the Snows of Yesteryear

“The ugly fallout from the American Dream has been coming down on us at a pretty consistent rate since Sitting Bull’s time — and the only real difference now […] is that we seem to be on the verge of ratifying the fallout and forgetting the Dream itself.” – Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail ’72

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Turn around, puppy, she’s standing right there.

If you’re lucky in 2016, maybe you’re better off than your parents or grandparents. Maybe you got a better education, or are able to own a home. Maybe you’ve got a pension (ha, Google it). Maybe you’re simply able to negotiate a stroll without being harassed, beaten, tazed, or straight up shot dead. And maybe your own kids will be better off than you are. That’s what most parents hope for, anyway, but look at the rising costs and disappearing opportunity for nearly everything, and that hope might feel increasingly desperate.

Those of us lucky enough to be U.S. citizens have a heritage that’s the envy of the world. Millions of acres of wild land and clean water are bequeathed to all of us as a happy accident of birth, or the fortunate benefit of negotiating a long and costly immigration process. And in the absence of property or money or opportunity, we can at least pass this inheritance along to our kids, as long as we’re vigilant and the well isn’t poisoned.

And, you know, if it isn’t stolen by greedheads like the American Lands Council and their pet politicians, who are attempting to force the divestiture of our public land and water to the states, where they can be, or in some cases must be sold off to private interests who can keep your kids’ dirty feet from soiling it ever again.

Screw that. Start here, and here, but don’t stop there. Raise hell. Don’t be forced to tell the kids that you’re sorry, but you just didn’t do enough. It’s easy to type words about heritage and the home of the brave, but that doesn’t amount to a hell of a lot when they’re willing to set the dogs on you.

Better Enjoy It While You Can.

The divestiture of public land to the States makes me angry. I mean really damn angry and the question is why?  Superficially I don’t fit the demographic that supports the “let’s keep the Fed’s managing the land” side of the argument. I’m a forty-year-old white male who’s married with no kids. Instead of writing this post I should be abusing my male privilege, sitting back mulling my lack of genetic legacy and letting the place burn. Because when it comes to the future I’m guessing my knees have got just enough cartilage left in them for another twenty years of stumbling through steelhead creeks and carrying dead ungulates up and down mountains. After that, the chances are I’ll be done. And there’s no way there will be enough environmental degradation in that time frame to impact my hunting and fishing in any meaningful way.

But here’s the thing, I’m an immigrant. I chose to come to the United States and became a citizen. For me, the idea of Freedom is synonymous with public land. Where I grew up in Europe there is no concept of public lands for hunting and fishing. Private landowners control not only access but also the animals and fish that live on their estates. Hunting and Fishing are the purview of the aristocracy, merchant bankers, and hedge fund managers. If you can’t pay then you can’t play.

In the United States things are different. We, The People, own millions of acres of pristine wilderness. Wilderness we can all legally hunt and fish without having to glance over our shoulders for some irate blunderbuss wielding aristocrat. It’s a unique situation. But times they’re a changing. There’s some major fuckery going down in the Senate. The crux of the matter is a Republican move to sell off public land to the States. No big deal, right? Except it is a big deal. Land held in a State trust doesn’t guarantee public access. In fact many States forbid access without the user, that’s you,  purchasing a permit or a lease. Don’t believe me? Here’s what Colorado’s State Land Board’s has to say on the matter:

“State trust lands are not open to public use except when leased to a specific party (private or public).  Any interested party may apply for a recreation lease on state trust land. Common uses include hunting, fishing, hiking and horseback riding.“

It doesn’t stop there. Once the land is transferred to the States, they are compelled by legislation or their constitution to manage it for profit. If they can’t do that then they are obliged to sell it. The amount of land that has been sold off by Western States, land that they received in their Enabling acts, is staggering. Nevada alone received 2.1 million acres at statehood and has sold over 1.9 million acres. And Nevada isn’t an outlier, all the Western States have done the same and there’s no reason to think that they won’t keep selling the land they receive in the future.

So the questions shouldn’t be why the hell am I so angry about the transfer of public lands to the States? The question is why aren’t you?

Back Where It All Began

If we know anything here, it is the power of a bigfoot sighting.

Patterson scrambled across the uneven ground, waving the camera in one hand, the film blurry as he ran. He stopped to crouch and steady himself, then trained the lens on the strange figure, the camera shaking from his breathing. “Bob! Cover me!” he yelled over his shoulder to Gimlin, who rode toward the creek, dismounting his horse and drawing his rifle.

The picture steadied as the creature, mid-stride, turned to look over its right shoulder—just a glance—before it disappeared into the forest. A skunky, rank odor hung heavy in the air. The whole affair was over in less than a minute.

The Man Who Created Bigfoot- Outside Magazine

Mikey Two-Shoes and His Groove

Buster has some cool pals. You can find Agua Fria Alchemy in the blogroll.