Lakecaster Online

OF BASS & GALS
By: Sue Crochet

I've been giving a lot of thought to a phrase that's been commonly used lately. Different people begin it in various ways, but it always ends with "because we're just borrowing it from our children". In every case, however, these people are referring to our natural resources. Whether it's hunting, fishing, or simply taking care of your own yard, it's important for us to impress on our children the need to preserve our land, waters, and wild game for the future.

When I was raising my children (all boys), I tried to set a good example and teach them how to keep the house clean and picked up, mow the yard, and pick up trash. This wasn't always easy, but I believe they would all say that they appreciate it now that they're all grown and some have families of their own. However, at that time I never gave much thought to the clean water we drank, air that we breathed, or plentiful food we had to eat.

We've hunted and fished for many years and our fathers and grandfathers before us did the same. I've always enjoyed just being in the outdoors, whether or not I'm doing any particular activity. But it wasn't until I started having grandchildren that I began to give much thought to those words. If we don't take care of our natural resources, what will things be like after we're gone?

Just like family heirlooms are passed on, we must pass on the skills and knowledge our children need to teach their children and children's children how to take care of what is not theirs for future generations to enjoy. If they're old enough to open a candy wrapper, then they're old enough to know how to put the wrapper in the trash. As they get older, things like properly disposing of oil removed from a vehicle or not dumping trash or foreign liquids into our rivers and streams are well within their comprehension.

Through the years, many programs and organizations have been formed for the purpose of protecting our environment and rights. Some are government mandated and funded, but others have been formed and are funded by concerned citizens. Even if we do not want to be actively involved, these organizations can use our monetary support. These days, when most of us throw away at least $25 per week on unnecessary things, it would be so much more worth while to support one or more of these organizations.

The Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana was organized in 1983 to promote responsible management of Louisiana's fishery resources. They are dedicated to the conservation and preservation of our state's marine and animal life. This group is largely responsible for legislation over the past few years that has led to the tremendous recovery of our inland saltwater fishing.

The National Rifle Association was incorporated in 1871 to provide firearms training and encourage interest in the shooting sports. Since that time, they have become very involved in protecting the Constitutional rights of citizens to bear arms. If you like to hunt, these folks could use your support.

The National Parks Conservation Association has been in existence since 1919 and is the voice of the American people in the fight to safeguard our beautiful land, wildlife, and the cultural treasures of our park systems. This organization has been our "watchdog" to assure better management of parks throughout the nation and promotes legislation for public funding to protect our parks.

There are dozens of local organizations similar to those I've already mentioned, and each one needs the involvement of its supporters. As I stated before, if a small donation now and then is all you can do, I'm sure your designated organization would be most appreciative. Won't you do your part to assure our children and grandchildren are able to enjoy our natural resources for years to come?

Sue Crochet - Bass 'N Gal National Champion, member of the Women's Bass Fishing Assoc., Anglers Choice, & the Assoc. of Louisiana Bass Clubs, member of the Champion & Mercury Pro Teams, & member of the Louisiana Outdoor Writers Assoc. Sponsors include: Champion Boats, Mercury Marine, Allstar Rods, Shimano (SW Outdoor Sales), Lowrance Electronics, Delco Voyager Batteries, Bill Lewis Lures, Pradco, Cyclone Baits, Bass Assassin, Jawtec.

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