Trout Unlimited (the other, less-famous TU) published an interview with Underground Fav Environmental Writer Ted Williams — a man famous for his uncompromising takes on today’s environmental issues.
He and John Gierach are the reasons I still subscribe to one of the Big Three fly fishing magazines, and while you should read the short interview in its entirety, I’ll excerpt one of the questions here:
It has to be frustrating and depressing at times being a conservation writer in this age of widespread habitat damage and loss—what keeps you going?
What keeps me going is that I’m old enough to remember how far we’ve come. When I went to work for the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife there was no Clean Water Act, no Clean Air Act, no Endangered Species Act, no Environmental Protection Agency. I recall arguing with a fisheries biologist about DDT. “It will never be banned,” he proclaimed. Two years later when it was banned he said, “The ban won’t make a difference.” Since the 1920s my family has had a camp on a New Hampshire Lake. Eagles and loons had never been seen there by any of my relatives until about 20 years ago. Last week two bald eagles spent most of the morning in one of our big pines, and we heard loons all night.
In the face of invasive species, dewatering, access issues and an energy development free-for-all, it’s sometimes hard to remember just how bad things had gotten before they started getting better.
I’d suggest that’s a healthy perspective, at least if you want to avoid burnout.
Finally, I’ll leave you with Williams’ always-provocative thought about the incredible growth in “canned” hunting (where often semi-tame animals are hunted in enclosures):
Real hunting is to canned hunting what holy matrimony is to prostitution.
See you fighting the good fight, Tom Chandler.