Dear Future President,
I am a 31 year old married millenial woman and I hunt and I fish. These are the facts. But I’m one of the lucky ones. I grew up with an over 30 acre backyard where I explored our outdoor world with family, friends and on my own. I sat in the duck blind with my dad alongside our family dog – me in training just as much as our beloved black lab Duff. And now with my father gone, I work hard to pass on these experiences to my husband, nieces, nephews and friends as we learn how tricky trout fishing really can be.
I write today for the future. Not just for the millenial future but for our children’s future and what can be. In an ever expanding concrete jungle, I watch as there are fewer children playing outside and more children with smartphones before the age of 10. What world are we passing on to future generations? Where will kids learn from their own outdoor adventures?
Access to public lands is paramount. Protecting public land is not about retiring working acres from farmers and ranchers, it’s about conserving the best of the best, collaborating with communities to balance various interests while ultimately leaving the landscape better off. The fabric of America is built on these places – whether its the Bob Marshall Wilderness where my family has hunted for decades or less remote locations like the George Washington National Forest outside DC.
Decisions and policies surrounding our nation’s lands and waters should meet a simple test – what will ultimately leave our lands and water better off?
Whether you’re addressed by mrs. or mr., Future President you have the fate of our outdoor heritage resting on your shoulders. It’s up to you what places our country chooses to treasure and how. I implore you to continue our country’s strong conservation history and pick to protect trees, grasslands, mountains, rivers, lakes and streams for our kids, their kids and the critters that depend on them. These places need funding for conservation itself but also to facilitate access for millions of Americans and maintenance to ensure these places are around for future generations. I’m pleased to see Secretary Clinton’s public lands proposal would do this and more, and I hope whomever takes office in January models their public lands plan in such a manner.
It’s 2016, we cannot afford to be short sighted. Our country is only growing in numbers and without creating certainty for our natural resources, we will lose what makes America great.
Yours in conservation,