• Pitch In or Stand Back

    This is a strange decade we live in, the stresses of modern society, so we are told, are responsible for road rage, aircraft rage and very little tolerance for people of different beliefs. Iíve even heard of river rage, temper tantrums thrown by people supposedly relaxing and enjoying themselves. The theory is that times are tougher than ever before.

    I wonder. The baby boomers lived under a nuclear mushroom cloud growing up, with the constant threat of human annihilation and they seemed to cope not too bad. The generation before them had a world war, a worldwide depression and no financial cushion to be had from social services. The kids growing up during 1939-1945 wondered where all the grown men had gone; they had food rationing, gas rationing and the older ones lived with fear that uncles, fathers and brothers would be killed on land, sea or in the air.

    The Second World War vets came back, rolled up their sleeves and went to work. Some suffered from post-stress trauma but because it hadnít been named yet, they had to suffer with little sympathyÖthe ones that made it back whole.

    But the young adults of today have problems with their society too; Gas is expensive, fishing and hunting isnít what it used to be, taxes are high, etc. Too many people are fishing ďourĒ rivers. Outsiders are hunting ďourĒ game and those city people should stay away and let us live in peace.

    Maybe itís time for some of us to give our heads a shake. The world is getting more crowded and even a few of the lucky ones who live in a top recreational area like Bruce and Grey Counties think they have an exclusive stake in natural resources, the remaining public lands and our waterways. This country is big enough to share, and people buying fishing and hunting licenses are paying to help maintain the fish and game that may be in dispute. Many areas, including this one, depend on agriculture and tourism for financial health. The input from outsiders is essential for jobs and businesses. Shut off the tourist tap and see how many supermarkets, gas stations, banks and small businesses would remain.

    Thereís a better way than grumbling; pitch in and help volunteers improve the health of our natural resources. Put up birdhouses for bluebirds and wood ducks; limit your catch instead of catching your limit. Plant a tree or two; help fence cattle off from spring streams. Join a club or group of individuals trying to improve our heritage instead of complaining about what you canít change. However, if you canít find the time to pitch in and canít afford to help support those who do, stand back and make room for those that are trying to make a difference.

    Grant Ferris
    Grey/Bruce Outdoors
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