"The earth is the Lord's and everything in it..." Proverbs 24:1
The Good, the Bad, and the Witless, Part 2
By Carl Pudlo, Colorado
Oftentimes, as I fish, I observe many alarming and
disturbing things. Where the South Platte and Tarryall
Rivers meet, there are several crossings where four wheel
drive vehicles can move from one side of the river to the
other. Both sides of the river have myriads of four-wheel
drive roads that criss-cross the countryside like tangled
fly line. The four wheel drive enthusiasts use the roads
all summer long, as a source of amusement, and as a source
of embarrassment to themselves.
As I was fishing a nice bend of the river just upstream
from one of the major crossings, I noticed several four
wheel drive vehicles descending the road to the river.
The vehicles had the usual extra wide wheels, high clearance,
and assortment of small dents that usually accompany a four
wheel drive vehicle. The drivers had taken four-wheeling to
new levels today. Rather than just crossing the river, the
drivers had to travel upstream and downstream a few hundred
feet to test their skills at driving in water, driving over
sandbars, and spoiling the habitat of rainbow and brown trout.
The drivers spent more than 20 minutes to cross thirty feet
of water. They did their best to muddy the water, pump
carbon monoxide into the river through their exhaust, and
generally make as much noise to disturb anything within a
two mile radius of the crossing. I do not usually complain
about people who want to exercise their right to use the
natural resources of the wild outdoors, but I despise people
who do not exercise the proper responsibility that
goes along with the use of natural resources.
As I fish, I notice the little things along the river, mostly
the debris left by fishermen. Often I find used containers
for night crawlers, empty soda and beer cans, and an occasional
bottle. I would like to say it is not the fly fisherman who
leaves the debris lying along the banks and in the stream.
I would like to say it is the worm dunkers and the lure
lofters that clutter the stream with reams of garbage.
However, I am not so na´ve. It is all walks of life that
leave the banks and the water of the South Platte filled
with unnatural objects, objects of squalor. For every
right to use a natural resource there is a reciprocal
responsibility for protecting the natural resource.
To be continued... ~ Carl Pudlo, Colorado
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