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Public Lands and Why they are worth Protecting

Photos via Cody Assman

How do you create the future you want? Look to the past. As American outdoorsmen we must learn from our past to protect future generation’s right to hunt, fish, trap, and enjoy the outdoors.

Nothing lasts forever. The world and its inhabitants are constantly shaping and shifting through time under force of pressure. Our current moment of self-absorbed glory is a flash in the pan of history. Life today is much different than it was 50 years ago, and will be even more different in another 50 years. If history teaches one lesson, this is it.

Not that this little bit of philosophy is news to anybody. We notice it all the time. We reminisce about how simple and pure life was back in the good old days. We talk about the transformations that occurred during our grandparent’s era, from automobiles to the Internet. As we grow older we can look back on our own lives and identify moments of change and realize we are not who we were in our youth.

With that being said, why do we constantly act as if everything we love and cherish in the current moment will last forever? Like somehow time will suddenly stop and all the good things in life will last to eternity. Our moments of apathy can be dangerous, if not disastrous, for ourselves and future generations. One issue we cannot afford to ignore is the fragile situation of our public lands in America.

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Public land in America is the greatest gem of the common man. When our forefathers set aside huge tracts of land in this country, they did so out of the conviction that although America is a land where the sweat of your brow determines your destination, some things are too grand for the private enjoyment of the few.

They understood their history and knew that Europe had long been a continent where a few wealthy citizens had privilege to use their forested lands, while the vast majority of common men had no access at all. If you recall the tale of Robin Hood, you’ll remember he was initially accosted for shooting “the king’s deer.”

Is that an America you want?

Would this kid get to opportunity to fish this lake in an America without public land? Doubtful.

Right now in the United States Congress there is a large body of politicians who want to sell off public lands out of budget concerns. Seriously, budget concerns? The current federal expenditure doesn’t even show up as a blip on the overall federal budget. With the way our bureaucracy functions today, it’s likely savings could be made by simply reevaluating the structure of the departments that oversee land management.

Another scary bit is how certain politicians see the issue. One prominent politician Rand Paul says, “State ownership would be better, but even better would be private ownership.”

If you are an average Joe like myself, and have even taken a passing glance at the price of hunting leases and properties, you realize why the government should own so many acres of public lands. Common folks will no longer have access to places to hunt and fish without this.

Another thing to realize is that we own the land, why would we sell it? Why would common men and women who love to get out and experience the wild places of America sell off these places only to see them skyrocket to prices they couldn’t possibly afford in two lifetimes.

As American outdoorsmen it is imperative we do not sit back idly and think our public lands will always be sitting and waiting for us. We must realize the gift we have been given by previous generations and work to preserve it for the upcoming and unborn generation of outdoorsmen.

Camping on public ground is a great way to raise a family.

I can guarantee you one thing: if public lands are sold they are gone forever.

Why are public lands important to preserve? Without them average guys and gals won’t be able to enjoy our beautiful country. Our hunting, fishing, and camping traditions will erode to the point where we cannot fully enjoy them. Part of the American heritage will be lost, and the idea that some places are too precious to lock up will be a thing of the past.

Public lands

Take the time to contact your representative in the House or Senate to let them know you don’t want your public lands sold. That is unless you want your children and grandchildren to grow up hoping for a chance at “the king’s deer.”

Photos via Cody Assman

NEXT: 8 INCREDIBLE SIDE EFFECTS OF AN OUTDOOR LIFESTYLE

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Public Lands and Why they are worth Protecting