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Captain B.R.K

Conservation Groups: Which to be included in?

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Hey all,

I've never been apart of any conversation, fishing, hunting group other than Trout Unlimited when I was in college. Now that I'm out of school, I feel like giving something back, instead of always taking from the environment.
I read daily about conservation, hunting, fishing issues that make me upset or question even why somethings are happening.
Instead of crying and moaning about it, I want to start making a stand.
I want to know if I'm getting myself into deep here by saying "Yes, I want to make a differenct". By doing so, what does that mean?

Does anyone else ever think about this?

Thanks All!

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Hello Captain. I'm a life member of DU and a local organization called Tri county ducks and geese. We build wood duck boxes and goose nests in the off season.Also sponser the early season youth hunts, and get together once a year with many boats to clean areas of our river banks. It feels good to contribute your time for somthing worth while. I never get into the political side of it, too many head aches for me. Take a little give a little ,thats what were teaching the kids.

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Pheasants Forever is another group that does a lot of good habitat work that, like DU, benefits much more than just the pheasants and pheasant hunters.

mm

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Do not take anyone else's word for it.

If you truly want to make a difference and find the groups that are right for you, then you need to do the research to find out which groups believe what you believe.

Are you an Audubon member, a Clean Water Action member, a Ducks Unlimited member, an NRA member, a CWCS member?

You could be a member of all of them at once, because they share common ground. Or you could be member of none of them, because there are many groups who espouse different viewpoints.

All I say is this: Weigh your options carefully, and choose wisely. In choosing wisely, think in terms of commonalities, not differences. For example, hunting/fishing groups often are at odds with so-called "environmental" groups, but the two camps share many more views that unite them, instead of dividing them. Note also that when both groups (hunting/fishing/trapping advocates usually, not always, being conservative and "environmentalists" usually, but not always, being progressive or liberal) unite, they are undefeatable.

Think it through, don't be afraid to make mistakes, and vote with your action, not just your membership dollars.

Enjoy, for you are part of a beautiful American birthright. grin.gif

------------------
"Worry less, fish more."
Steve Foss
[email protected]

[This message has been edited by stfcatfish (edited 01-26-2004).]

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Captain BRK
You put on question in your post that hit me:
Does anyone else ever think about this?

YES! I think about this a lot. I put forth efforts in mainly wildlife, but also fisheries where possible.

As far as wildlife, I am a yearly member of a few organizations. I don't think it matters which ones on this forum, because there are a lot that do great stuff that I am not contributing to.
Fisheries, I don't have any membership status.
Now as far as contributions outside organizations, that's where I have a drive to contribute. Currently, I am in deep with some habitat improvement projects(some funded/cost shared by govt agencies). This includes wetland and forestry restoration.
I am in process of building a bunch of woodduck houses and bluebird houses mainly, but I am going to dabble in a few other bird stuctures this year as well.
For fisheries, I have a deep passion, but not as much areas that I can impact directly. I am a volunteer for DNR Fisheries with a few things that happen on a yearly basis. I wish there was more I could do, but I am a bit limited with what they do, and when they do it. BUT, the few things I do are fun as heck, and it helps them out a lot. Contact the local Fisheries dept around your area of interest, and ask them if they have any need for volunteers for some of the work they do. I think you will be pleasantly surprised. I know the things I do for Fisheries, are more like entertainment for me, versus work.
There is so much people could do, but they just don't realize what is out there that they have available to them to make a positive impact.

Fire me an email if you have any interest in wildlife habitat restoration. I can fill you full of info that you won't believe is potentially available.
[email protected]

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All charitable groups are required to report to the federal govt. their financial numbers so that the use of funds can be accounted for. Of course, not all groups are completely truthful but it'll give you a pretty good look at their books. In this way, the average "Joe Citizen" can look up any particular charity and see what kind of money they are taking in and how much of that money is being used for what the charity is sponsoring. With that in mind, the federal govt. consistantly lists Ducks Unlimited as one of the top ten charities for money taken in versus money paid out. DU typically has a money returned percentage of around 85%. That means 85 cents out of every dollar goes to preserving wetlands and wildlife habitat. Very few other charities (conservation groups and others) come close to that and most are far below. Just one of the many reasons that I have been a DU member for 30 years. I'm a member of other groups too, but DU will get the majority of my support for it's commitment to returning every penny possible to the environment.

------------------
Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati (When all else fails, play dead)

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In addition to becoming a member in conservation groups, also please consider becoming an active volunteer in those groups as well.

I am a board member of the Brainerd Chapter of the MN Walleye Alliance and although we have a good number of members paying dues, we have the same 6-10 guys doing the planning and volunteering for most of our efforts. Of course we realize people are busy but if you can go the extra mile and volunteer or become a board member in addition to paying membership dues, it would be greatly appreciated and needed in any conservation group.

ccarlson

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Be very careful as has been stated when choosing a so called Conservation group. They sound like a no loose situation, promote hunting/fishing, care for the land and develope habitat. I used to belong to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation here in the Black Hills. They eventually built up such a nest egg, they began turning back the property to the State Game and Fish Dept. that had been given to them through Memorials and Estate sales and through strait out buying land at auction from dues and fund raisers. This took the land off tax rolls and also inflated land prices for agricultural property in our area. Not to mention giving land back to the Gov. which will never see private ownership again. Once we loose our land to the Gov., we are their servants. That's why my Great Grandad left Ireland and started this ranch.
So just a warning choose wisely. I'm not a fan anymore.

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I was actually thinking about this very topic the other day. It came about as I saw information about PETA and other animal rights groups...they seem to be well funded and organized, and I was wondering if there was an organization that promoted fishing; even to the point of lobbying government entities.

I know there are a lot of good hunting orgs out there, but what about fishing? Just curious.

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I definately want to get involved, instead of letting the membership due do the talking. I might not have A LOT of time, but I do want to start helping in the things I like to do: fishing and hunting.

How about the Isaac Walton League?

I want to be in a group that doesn't conflict with issues and doesn't bump heads with other groups. This might be an oxymoron as I'm sure all of them buttheads at some point in time.

Thanks everyone!

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Captain B.R.K.

I'm going to make the assumption that you live in Minnesota, if so, you are very fortunate, as there are countless groups dedicated to stewardship of our natural resources. A thorough web search should turn up a group that both shares your philosophy and works in your neck of the woods. You should try to search for directories. Once you find a HSOforum, email them, or call the contact # and ask them some questions.

I will give you some GENERAL advice that was hinted on above. If your personal philosophy seems to be conservative (by this I mean one that emphasizes use of the resource with good stewardship and enhancement practices), look for the word 'conservation' in the organization's literature and mission statement. If your personal philosophy tends to be more liberal (by this I mean you are interested in preservation, restoration, and limiting use in sensitive areas), I suggest you look for groups that use the word 'environmental' in their literature. I would personally beware of groups that wave their politics in your face because there are often few volunteering opportunities and I would be concerned that too much of my money was going to lobbying and literature (instead of on the ground work)--but if you really believe in their mission, by all means check them out.

In my personal opinion, I think that some areas and resources can be used sustainably (therefore should be enjoyed) and others cannot withstand a lot of use, so I would explore both conservation and environmental groups.

I actually work for a non-profit organization that does natural resource work in partnership with other conservation/environmental organizations, so I might be able to give you information about a specific group, or contact information if you email me, Captain. [email protected]

If you don't want to go to all of the trouble of researching the literally hundreds of organizations in MN, I think that the posts above have made some great recommendations. I particularly like Ducks Unlimited's work on preserving wetlands which benefits lots of wildlife as well as waterfowl (I'm a bird nut as well as a fisherman). If you are looking to do volunteer work, the projects you can get involved in through the DNR (contact the regional office, not the area--there are more divisions available to work for) and Pheasants Forever are a lot of fun. In my area, Fisheries, Wildlife, Parks, and Ecological Services use many volunteers, Enforcement, Lands and Minerals, Waters, Forestry, and Trails & Waterways usually hire all of the people they need for their work--but check if you're interested in that type of work.

Good luck! Supporting environmental/conservation groups with your money, and especially your time, is intrinsically rewarding and you can see the direct results of your support all around you.

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