A call to action
A recent post on Moldy Chum challenged fly-fishing businesses to step up their game when it comes to conservation:
“I would challenge our industry to use its resources to be even stronger advocates for the environment. If we lend the weight of our industry to the environmental causes that are crucial to the health of our planet, it will also be good for the bottom line.”
That notion was echoed by Sam Snyder on his Headwaters blog:
“The future of our fisheries depend upon diverse communities, diverse fisheries, and diverse thinking. If you cherish your habit, religion, sport, or whatever you want to call it, I am inclined to say that you have no business in this sport if you don’t take conservation seriously.”
Conservation creates recreational opportunity that translates into economic activity. It’s really that simple.
If you work in the fly-fishing industry you get it. You see it every day, whether you are on the water or in the shop or in the factory. Your bottom line depends on the health of the watersheds your customers visit with your products in hand.
Unfortunately, not everyone understands this vital equation. But those in the media who do are laying the importance of protecting the environment at the feet of sportsmen and women who MUST come around, especially if they hope to pass their sporting heritage down to coming generations (your future customers, mind you).
Will you lend a hand or sit back and wait for others to take action?
As someone who has spent 20 years incorporating my love for fly-fishing into my conservation advocacy work, I strongly believe our industry can make a difference in the conservation challenges facing our country and our businesses. If that is going to happen, then those of us in the fly-fishing business are going to have to get involved.
Sure, everybody says “we” need to do something. Problem is, all too often that “we” really means “they.” So I am putting me in for the we this time.
In order to help organize that collective weight of our industry, I am compiling and coordinating a group of men and women in the fly-fishing business who will give voice and personality to local, regional and national conservation challenges.
You understand first-hand the economic benefit that outdoor recreation provides to small businesses, many of them in rural areas where economic benefits are hard to find or come at a high price to the lands and waters.
If you are in the fly-fishing business I want you to be part of that group and one of those voices.
What can you do?
It is really pretty simple, and won’t take a lot of your time.
There are a number of conservation challenges coming our way. It is my business to keep track of them and work with conservation groups to create advocacy messages to respond to them.
When an opportunity arises to author an op-ed or letter to the editor, sign on to an advertisement, speak with a reporter or blogger, or take other action, I will contact you so that your voice can be included in the conservation discussions. It will be my job to create the message—your time commitment will be minimal.
Each opportunity will always be permission-based and voluntary. You will always have the opportunity to decide if you want to participate.
As someone in the business, you offer a unique perspective on conservation challenges and I hope you will be willing to help.
This is a collaborative process; your questions, thoughts and suggestions are most welcome!
If you are interested leave a comment and I will follow up with you.
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