Reader's Casts
June 1, 1998
Who Cares?

by Dave Salamone

Recently the Department of Environmental Conservation of New York decided they would improve access to the area of a creek utilized by local anglers. The section of the creek is not an exceptional fishing spot by any means, but it has in the past given our citizens who normally cannot travel very far a place - to spend some some on a weekend alone or with their children. Casting line and bobbers, occassionally catching a panfish, rock bass, or carp.

What the DEC did in this case, is build a beautiful paved access road to the creek, provided parking spots and landscaped the area with boulders, trees, and shrubs - money well spent and in plain sight. Not only did the DEC do this, but they also brought in equipment to make access to the creek easier for the elderly and children by clearing and grading an area so a person can walk down to the stream and not have to push through bushes and high grass. They improved the "path" worn by many years of traversing the banks, by widening and laying down a layer of sand, removed some shoreline bramble so that access would be easier.

A sign was placed at the entrance to the area mapping out every area of the creek for anyone wishing to traverse the creek in a canoe - an extra, important little feature that really did not have to be done, but the concern of the DEC really shows through thoughts and actions such as these. There are more people utilizing this area than ever before!

So, you wonder, what is the point of this article entitled, "Who Cares?" Just this: It took exactly one week to destroy the beauty of what the New York DEC took such pains to accomplish. Garbage strewn about the parking area and stream banks, food wrappers, empty cups, cigarette butts, small piles of discarded monofiliment fishing line along the banks, empty packages from fishing lures and supplies, and oh yes, much, much more.

What is wrong with people? Why are we so stupid? How difficult is this to understand? What does it take to make everyone care about taking care of a gift like this?

This is a subject that raises the "hackles" on the back of my neck. It saddens me to see this happen. What is the answer? Education? More fines? What do you think should be done?

Who Cares?

~ Dave Salamone

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