No matter who you voted for or how you view the election results, there’s no denying that the United States is more divided now than at any time in recent history. Family members and long-time friends are feuding on Facebook and politicians and pundits are attacking each other like never before. It’s enough to make just about anyone want to take a long walk in the woods.
Out There Monthly is a non-partisan, small family business with writers, readers and advertisers from diverse political backgrounds, and we thoughtfully choose to respect that diversity by keeping politics out of the publication as much as possible. But when it comes to our public lands, trails, waterways, wildlife and quality of our air and water, we draw a line and stand on the side of the vast majority of Republican, Democrat and independent Americans in support of common sense protections that take care of the natural world we all depend on. We have the power to trash the outdoors or leave it better for future generations, and it takes all of us getting involved to influence which way our future will trend.
With the changing of the guard that will take place with the new president-elect come January, many hikers, bikers, skiers, boaters, anglers, hunters, bird watchers and other nature advocates and recreationists are rightfully concerned about what may happen to our natural resources under a Trump administration. It’s reasonable to give the new administration a chance to do the right thing and stand behind the majority of Americans when it comes to environmental stewardship, but the warnings from many conservation and outdoor recreation leaders about what a Trump presidency and Republican-controlled Congress may mean to the outdoor sports and wild places we love raises alarms: “Trump openly mocks science, believes that climate change is a hoax, and endorses policies that would devastate our environment,” reads a statement by the Natural Resource Defense Council on its website. And the more conservative-leaning conservation group Backcountry Hunters & Anglers also warns that “Some misguided members of Congress have wasted no time post-election in pushing bad public land seizure legislation. These bills are aimed at transferring ownership and selling off the lands and waters that American sportsmen and our families have been enjoying this fall.” There are many more warnings like this from all sorts of politically diverse conservation and recreation organizations.
We have too much at stake to let political differences divide us from coming together to support and defend the gifts of nature that sustain our lives and bring us such joy and fulfillment. A clean, healthy environment with thriving natural areas, intact trails, unspoiled rivers and lakes, and wild critters is an American birthright that no political candidate or party can take away from us.
In the coming years, we urge all outdoor sports enthusiasts and nature lovers from across the political spectrum to step up and get more involved in making sure that no elected officials sell out our public lands, trails and natural environment. Support your favorite conservation and recreation organizations; pay attention to how politics are affecting the places and outdoor activities you care about; and get involved to make sure that the Inland Northwest is better off when we pass it on to future generations. //