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?

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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.

Wherein Buster gets a new Mop-Boy.

Buster goes Un-American. Or Semi-American. Or…Whatever.

Born into a posh, genteel life in the Irish countryside, TheUglyMerican decided at an early age that there was more to life than harassing peasants and yelling at the help. After the fiasco in Kedai Mulong, the Malaysian government’s subsequent banning of all things Irish, and the refusal by the Irish to let him back in the country, he settled in Alaska where he took up the distinctly American pastime of harassing fish and wildlife.

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He might be a bit reclusive due to his habit of hassling marine mammals during the summer, but deer, elk, goose and coho bullying season is just around the corner and I’m sure he’ll have a few things to say about that.

Very Seriously!

The very possibly alien minds at Bentley’s Mulliner coachbuilding division have produced – no, I’m sorry, painstakingly handcrafted a fly-fishing edition of the Bentayga, which Bentley describes as “the fastest, most powerful, most luxurious SUV in the world,” and the world describes as “a middle finger to the people and their fish, built for obscenely rich asshats who purchase their investments from a coachbuilder because they couldn’t possibly do something as plebeian as shop for a fishing car.”

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Argyle! Adjust my cap to a jaunty angle, and make this fly thing work.

My word, the excitement. Over at Autoblog, they’ve declared that “This Bentley Bentayga takes fly fishing very seriously”. Hmph. Bully. Indeed. Let’s see what Brandon Turkus has to say.

“Mulliner’s upholstery and trim expertise is on full display – everything in the kit is either covered in saddle leather with white contrast stitching or finished in Burr walnut.”

I don’t know. Is it Corinthian? If it’s not Corinthian leather, then you’re sure to get burrs in your walnuts.

“The four leather-wrapped tubes on the underside of the tonneau cover house the fishing rods, while the master tackle box, refreshment case, and a box for stowing waders and boots sit on the cargo floor.”

At least that’s what you can tell Pater so that he doesn’t discover that you’ve packed it with Peruvian blow for the weekend’s canned snow leopard hunt. Is this really what constitutes luxury? An insanely expensive Subaru Outback with some boxes in the back? WTF is a “master tackle box?”

“Mulliner loaded down the tackle box with tools, cotton, hooks, and feathers to tie flies, and it includes four reel cases milled from solid aluminum.”

A very seriously serious fishing coachbuilder would go on at great length about hook bends and hackle grades until I wandered off to get coffee. I’m fairly sure that “cotton” is thread, but not for the proles. And aluminum reel cases? To protect the Bogdan until Nigel drops it on a rock?

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Nigel Incubator-Jones

Is that solid Corinthian al you minium?

“The best thing about this kit is the lengths Mulliner went to in order to keep the rear of the vehicle dry and fresh – the floor is waterproof and there’s an electronic dehumidifier to keep things from smelling funky.”

Oh heavens no, not funky, we’ve been splashing in water with fish, we must smell like flowers. Do the windows go down? Can they throw in a towel, or maybe a solid gold box of baking soda?

At Edmunds, they make a very clever “hook luxury buyers” joke, and go on to say…

“For the first time with Bentayga, the SUV features Mulliner “welcome lights” that project the Bentley and Mulliner logos on the ground when the doors are opened. But fussy buyers can also have any personal logo or graphic added as a custom option.”

IT COMES WITH A BAT SIGNAL FOR DOUCHEBAGS!

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Robb Report adds…

“With a 6-liter W-12 engine that allows a top speed of 187 mph, Bentley’s luxurious all-wheel-drive fish-finder will help ensure its owners are the first at their favorite spot while landing bragging rights to boot”

Atomic batteries to power! Turbines to speed! Blast off for Douche Planet fishing holiday!

jc

Yeah. Anyway, Bentley is taking fly fishing VERY VERY SERIOUSLY, YOU GUYS!

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Florida is a burning trash heap, but it doesn’t have to be

It should come as no great shock to anyone that the state of Florida, is well, a state of disgrace. We’re not just talking about my good buddy Florida Man lobbing alligators through drive-thrus, or leaving his kids in the care of strippers at Thee Brass Flamingo while he goes on a meth binge; rather, we’re talking about the governance, or rather, malign negligence of the state government when it comes to enforcing, or even just giving more than a passing glance to critical issues like water quality.

The three main pillars of the Florida economy are agriculture, tourism and real estate development. Basically, 2/3rds of the state economy depends on attracting people to the state temporarily, and then convincing them to stay. What’s been going on lately is that entrenched agriculture interests, like Big Sugar and the muck farms around Lake Okeechobee, have been royally fucking the Florida Coast. And by royally fucking the coast, Big Ag is not doing the other two pillars any favors. Normally, issues like water quality should stand on their own, but being Florida, you’ve got to screw with the Mouse and the Developers to get any attention.

The Lake is basically an agricultural sewage system now, and due to decisions made, christ, like 75 years ago by the Army Corps of Engineers, the outflow from the Lake doesn’t pass through the somewhat cleansing system of the Glades. Giant canals are dumping fertilizer and runoff contaminated water directly into rivers and estuaries, causing algae blooms, fish kills, and making life in those areas miserable. Peruse social media and images of algae rafts and fish carcass choked waterways are more common than they ever should be.

It doesn’t have to be this way, and there’s something you can do to help. Go to http://gladesdeclaration.org/ and sign the petition. We’re joining up together to help get state funds to restore natural water flows out of Okeechobee through the Everglades.

Helping Florida out, well, it helps all of us out.

 

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.

 

All Hail The Jökulhlaup!

Suicide Basin is at it again…

Pretty sure a 63 foot water level drop in 48 hours is gonna wreak a little havoc.

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From the NWS –

AT 522 AM AKDT...BASED ON REPORTING GAUGES 
A GLACIER-DAMMED LAKE OUTBURST ALONG THE 
MENDENHALL LAKE AND RIVER IS CONTINUING. 
THE ADDED WATER FROM THE GLACIER-DAMMED 
LAKE INTO THE RIVER SYSTEM WILL RESULT IN 
CONTINUED RIVER RISES THROUGH FRIDAY EVENING. 
THE RIVER IS CURRENTLY RISING AT AROUND 
2 INCHES PER HOUR. ESTIMATED SUICIDE BASIN 
LAKE LEVEL PRIOR TO RELEASE INDICATES THAT 
MENDENHALL LAKE AND RIVER COULD SEE SIMILAR 
LEVELS TO THE 2014 RECORD EVENT OF 11.85 FEET.

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Better go put away the lawn furniture and get the livestock to higher ground, Larry.

 

 

The Old Man And Pete Dexter

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Early morning, Seeley Lake, Montana. The sun has touched the lake, but the air is dead still and cooler than the water, and the fog comes off the surface in curtains, hiding some of the Swan Range three miles to the east. And in doing that, it frames the rest. It is the design here, I think, that nothing is taken without compensation, except by men and fires. They leave all the holes.

Originally published in Esquire in 1981, just one year before Dexter and his pal Randall “Tex” Cobb got into that infamous bar fight in Philly, Pete Dexter’s interview with Norman Maclean The Old Man And The River.    It’s a sort of nature piece wherein Maclean is observed in his own habitat and is revealed to be a cranky old SOB, insightful and cynical, like everyones grandpa used to be.  Good stuff.