Think Across the Globe and Act Locally

It’s an ongoing conversation, really. It came up again in Hal Holmes during a joint meeting of the Reecer Creek Rod, Gun, Working Dog & Outdoor Think Tank Benevolent Association and the Field & Stream Club. We talked about the importance of large influential organizations such as Ducks Unlimited (DU), the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF). We discussed membership in our local outdoor organizations and ongoing efforts to recruit new members and invite folks to annual social events and our banquets.

Across Paradise, our outdoor interests run the gamut from fishing, hunting and shooting to hiking, wildlife watching and photography. There is abundant interest – yet wide lack of participation – in outdoor organizations here. We share a common concern about our kids and their outdoor futures, and the ways they seem to be losing opportunities to plug themselves into nature, but too few local outdoor nuts are stepping up to help change our kids’ increasingly indoor future.

Thus, RCRGWD&OTTBA homeys have been looking at the impacts of various activities on our outdoor heritage. We support outdoor photography classes, catch and release fishing, development of safe shooting ranges, summer nature hikes and winter ski activities, rock climbing training, firearms safety training in schools and about anything else which might help recruit kids into active, lifelong outdoor interests. Turning a kid on to the earth requires increasing support from more of our family of outdoor nuts. It requires consideration of the greater society while acting locally – one thing at a time.

Involvement in any organized outdoor activity, club or foundation benefits each of us, individually, as we collectively create opportunities for kids and strengthen our heritage. Anything we do to help a kid find his or her place on the physical planet, and build a foundation for a life helping others, will also help us reconnect with our own wildlife and outdoor places.

National and international organizations constantly ask our help. Some make a big difference in our outdoor future, and I support several of them. Still, I always ask this question: how does the work of this large organization translate into my backyard, my playground?

The National Rifle Association is everywhere, but our Friends of the NRA banquets raise funds for local firearm safety training and education. They directly impact the outdoor heritage of Paradise. The next banquet – May 10 at the Fairgrounds – is an opportunity for you to make a difference. Or drop into Brothers N Arms tomorrow between 10 and 2 for a sneak preview and a bite to eat. Contact Eric at 509-312-9378 and go play.

No private group on the planet has put more money and effort into protecting and improving habitat for wildlife of all types across North America than Ducks Unlimited. You can play at any level you like and still help create a forever wild sky over our part of the planet. Start at the DU banquet in Selah on May 3. Call Joe at 509-697-4482.

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation does work on behalf of wildlife habitat all across North America, but a fair amount of the funds raised benefit the ground around our valley. Find out more from Linda Brenden (509- 925-4842) or Bill Wilson (509-962-8448).

Kittitas Audubon is part of a huge organization, but very active locally. It invites volunteers and families to play at the work of protecting our wildlife resources into the future. With local Audubon members, you’ll find terrific programs and many ways to enjoy making a difference.

The long-term, down-home organizations of Paradise have all sorts of opportunities for you to play. The Valley Rifle and Pistol Club offers a variety of safe and enjoyable shooting programs for men and women and boys and girls. Hal Mason (509-962-3002) will help you get involved.

Then there is the Kittitas County Field and Stream Club. Since 1919, members have been involved in habitat and cleanup work and innumerable family and kid outdoor opportunities. It provides great programs, college scholarships, bird food and often the birds themselves.

Now, here we are at Earth Day. Tuesday is its 44th anniversary. All around us, people will be doing their part to inspire earth connections and demonstrate responsibility to the planet. Field and Stream Club members and many others will be out on Durr Road and the Ellensburg Pass Road (head for the hills on Umtanum and turn left on Durr near the top of the canyon) cleaning up trash that knuckleheads have left on our land. It starts at 9 a.m. and will go ‘til 1 p.m. You are invited. It’s one of those “act in Paradise” things we can do to make a difference.

On Durr Road, you will find a number of health food nuggets for your trash-collecting nourishment. Begin with the breakfast doughnuts and flow through barbequed burgers and hot dogs at lunchtime.

Here’s to considering the world and acting in Paradise. Happy Earth Day, 2014.

Written by Jim Huckabay. Posted in Uncategorized