Reader Opinion: Protect the environment


If the past few months of this pandemic have taught us anything, it’s the tremendous value we all gain from having access to the great outdoors. Whether you hunt, fish, birdwatch, hike, cross-country ski or enjoy a slow pontoon trip around the lake, the one thing those activities have in common is easy access to the outdoors and especially to public lands. All around the country fishing and hunting license sales have spiked during the pandemic. That’s great news for our resource agencies who will have more money to do their jobs.

The question is, will there be any place, or anything, left to manage? The current administration has spent the past four years gutting the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, not to mention shrinking national monuments and opening up others to new gas, oil, and mining exploitation. The other question is when will we be able go back to these places before they’re gone? Already the lack of a national strategy for COVID, that has caused irreparable damage to individual and family health, has also canceled hunting, fishing, and camping trips for many, my family and friends included.

Imagine a future world where air is dirtier, water is more contaminated, birds are less protected, and the public access we all love is sold off to the highest bidder and closed. Imagine having national forest boundaries shrunk, pieces sold off and access closed. Imagine a trip to the Boundary Waters where you can’t swim in the water or eat fish you catch. Imagine visiting a national park and seeing timber clearcuts and new oil rigs pumping. We only get one chance to protect the things and the places we love for future generations to enjoy.

Dr. Bill Faber


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