Ask any sportsman an opinion on how he feels about an issue dealing with an aspect of his favorite type of hunting or fishing and you will get his answer without any hesitation.
It will be from the heart, sincere and be the result of his personal experiences, and those of his family and friends. There will be a sprinkling of his philosophy of life and a hint of how he views nature, government and his thoughts about his freedom to exercise his rights as a citizen.
This summer with a tough economy and uncertainty about the quality of governmental decisions, sportsmen are asked to review several changes in policy that could effect the outdoor world as you know it for a long time to come. We owe it to ourselves and to our friends and families to take some time from our busy lives to sort out our feelings and opinions on several issues. The timing of this is not the best, nor will it ever be, but it's happening now and its now or never if we really care. Not only do you need to need to take some time out to make some decisions but you must let your sportsmen's organizations know your opinions, inform state Department of Environmental Conservation and relay the message to your state legislators. Here are a few of the issues.
If you add to these three categories the problem of the stocking program of our hatcheries discussed in last months guest editorial you can see the need to take "stock" of our situation. We need to do our homework (each one of us) and make our voices heard by putting our comments into DEC early. We must spend our time looking at the big picture of uniting the sportsmen across this state in a mass effort to educate our state leaders to the economic engine that outdoor recreation creates for all the citizens of this state when it is properly managed.
Robert E. Brown is from Saranac Lake.