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

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.

Wild and Scenic Rock Creek. Make. This. Happen.

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It starts with deep pools and log jams in its lower reaches and ends curving through meadows beneath cliff faces hundreds of feet tall; the section of Rock Creek that is being proposed for Wild and Scenic Designation has every type of water you could possibly expect.  Rock Creek hosts not only, rainbows, browns, the odd brookie, native cuts and bull trout and whitefish it provides habitat for deer, moose, goats, bears, pikas (meep!), foxes, coyotes, wolves (probably) , various species of pocket gophers, voles and moles, beavers, otters, the occasional wolverine, mountain lions, countless bird species, mayflies, caddisflies, stoneflies and terrestrials.  It is an awesome place.

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Take a moment to learn more about Rock Creek and why it needs protection here then sign the petition over here.

 

Free the Collect!

“On the lower end, two fair-sized streams drained the interior. One rose from a series of springs that poured forth from hillocks around today’s 20th Street and Fifth Avenue. The Saponickan band living there called it Ishpetenga. It flowed southwest into the Hudson near the mouth of another trout stream. This one had its origins in a deep, fair-sized pond where Worth and Centre streets now cross. It flowed northwesterly, almost in a straight line, and became the course for today’s Canal Street. The pond was known as The Collect. The Dutch name for this trout pond was derived from one of its beaches, which they which they called Kalk Hoek – Chalk Point or Chalk Hook. It was given the name because the early Dutch settlers came here to collect the shells of freshwater mussels, which were ground and added to the mortar used to build their homes. When the English took over management of Manhattan in 1664 they assumed many of the Dutch words already in use for geographic features. Their inelegant pronunciation of Dutch turned the monosyllabic word “Kalk” (or “Chalk”) into the dissylable “Kal-leck”- hence, “Collect.” The pond’s name had nothing to do with collecting water in the area, as some writers have suggested, although it did have two small feeder streams. For decades, in the 1600s and 1700s, it was the source of drinking water for all of lower Manhattan’s residents. The Collect and its associated streams contained brook trout as late as 1740.”

– from Brook Trout by Nick Karas

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…and a shovel and a fly rod!

Sanctuary!

A long cold hinterland winter here in Freestonia doesn’t mean that the fishing stops entirely, but it does slow down, and that means increased exposure to the noisemakers. You know, the ones that force-feed us the narrative of our lives, that thin clammy broth of postures and judgements and cheap shiny plastic crap that we can’t live without. The noise comes from the tubes, the mailbox and the halls of power in 30-second sound bytes and bumper sticker platitudes, telling us what’s important, what should be dismissed with scorn, conveying our targets for rage and humor. Even the goddam Olympic Games, something that’s supposed to celebrate the hard work of dedicated amateurs, shows up shrinkwrapped in disposable computer-animated bubble packaging that’s obviously been designed and focus-grouped years in advance, complete with instant blowdried celebrity hero toys ready for tomorrow’s water cooler worship. Collect ‘em all, $14.99.

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Fully Articulated Flying Tomato

(Haha see, Shaun stowed away on Tuesday’s delivery and stocked all this sk8punk stuff in the dead of night, because he’s a subversive nutty scamp®. What can we do? On sale now.)

The noise is the anthem of the Transnational Lizard People, who purely through the power of cash have erased the importance of place, allegiance to country, recognition of borders, and necessity of breathing, eating, drinking and being of this place where we plant our feet. They recognize no law, no neighbor, no change of season or migration. They experience no hunger or sickness or fear. No disaster matters, except as an opportunity to pad those numbers. Their decisions and actions bear no consequence, aside from possibly being hauled before a Congress of their own creatures for an afternoon show trial, let’s get it over with so we can all go get drinks. With any luck they’ll soon have cash-powered spacecraft so they can all lift off and blast each other with beams of numbers that used to represent something of worth, and be free of the bothersome bounds of the human experience. Man, we’re all such a nuisance.

But here’s the thing: we’re not all where we’re supposed to be, fretting over today’s manufactured outrage on one side of an aisle or another, shaking our heads about who’s fucking whom and oh how could he do such a thing? Sometimes we very deliberately dash out of the pasture and do things that the handlers never counted on. See, there are no blue lines on their demographic maps. They can’t conceive of a shade of green in winter-dormant cedar and water that’s deeper than the one in their veins. Eventually we’ll probably be rounded up and put down for the greater good of the herd, but we likely won’t hear them coming.

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You say something?

The Extra Stabby Fisherman

The last couple of days of the grind before a long-anticipated trip to a tailwater full of big wild trout during the green drake hatch are good for nothing more than slowly wearing down your teeth from chewing through the restraints. Meetings should be avoided until the return (if the bastards are lucky), and the TPS reports might as well be written in Vedic Sanskrit. The gear is piled and the launcher is primed and more flies should probably be tied but, as Howard Beale would say, I’m out of bullshit.

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I’d say you were nothing but a scurvy little spider.

I wish I had a million dollars. Hot dog!