“Now I’m no environmentalist,” the conversation frequently goes, “But we’ve got to come up with some solutions to the problems we’re facing.”
Our country has now experienced yet another even more damaging hurricane. Here in my state, we’ve experienced yet another summer with increasing heat and drought. Canoeing used to be our primary recreational activity, but this has changed as a result of inadequate water levels. More impact on our lives.
In my circles, we’ve gotten beyond the industry-environment divide and recognize that ecological issues are real and not a figment of the tree hugger imagination.
…people at least have to acknowledge it’s hotter now and getting hotter and has been hot for a long time. And this is, you know, this is a new normal for us. And whatever you believe about the politics of this, you have to acknowledge this is something we have to get used to at least and maybe think seriously about, you know, is there a way to put a brakes – the brakes on this?
At least in grass roots sectors, I am personally witnessing conservatives poised to openly discuss what has become a rationally undeniable impact to our quality of life. This is a terrific shift in what has been for decades an inability to sit at the same table and talk to each other as equals with legitimate concerns.
This hunting season, as I sat in my tree stand watching for more no deer, I continued to reflect on this growing commonality of concern across estranged demographics. Like, sportsmen and environmentalists.
High Country News recently discussed the landscape around a conservation bill that didn’t pass in congress despite expectations (read article). Although this news reflects the partisanship that challenges such common ground, it leaves me with continued optimism for what I’ve believe: that sportsmen/women and environmentalists who can actively find their way to the same side of the issues are a potent combination.
I earnestly believe that the most significant contribution both parties could make toward meaningful collaboration on conservation issues would be for environmentalists, on their part, to focus on the environment and divorce themselves from the issue of gun control while sportsmen lobbies, on their part, remove themselves from conservative issues other than conservation and 2nd Amendment Rights. I’m not endorsing single-issue voting but, rather, single-issue collaboration.
We have far more in common that we think.Differences between the two have certainly been exploited, but Environmentalists want to provide a quality of life for their families just as much as conservatives; Sportsmen enjoy the outdoors and arguably support conservation financially more than most. It’s a legitimate commonality, and there’s no reason for alienating ourselves from each another. Not as US citizens. Certainly not as outdoors people.