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The Land Investor

News and Commentary on Land-based Investment

Hug a Sportsman – It’s Earth Day

John Watson   Internationally recognized “Earth Day” celebrated every April around the globe, arose from the environmental movement of the 1970’s. But from an outdoorsman and sportsman’s perspective, the conservation movement in the U.S. had already been well afoot nearly 100 years earlier, led by the naturalists of the late 1800’s and championed by outdoorsmen at the turn of the century, such as Theodore Roosevelt.

In 1876, the U.S. Forest Service grew to protect and utilize millions of acres of forest on public land. Gifford Pinchot, an early advocate of scientific forestry, along with Theodore Roosevelt led the effort to manage forest for the public benefit. In 1887 Roosevelt, along with Pinchot, founded the Boone and Crockett Club that still today focuses on the goals programs designed to conserve our country’s natural wildlife resources. In Roosevelt’s 1907 Message to Congress, he challenged the nation to “increase the usefulness” of land because it was the key to prosperity of future generations. It was in 1912 when Roosevelt said, “There can be no greater issue than that of conservation in this country.” He had the foresight to recognize that if we want to ensure the hunting grounds and special fishing habitat we must plan carefully today.

Starting back in 1910 the Boy Scouts of America espoused the virtues of conservation and connection with the outdoors.

Ducks Unlimited (DU) got its start in 1937 during Dust Bowl years, when drought conditions and degraded habitat resulted in a shocking loss to waterfowl populations. DU started with a small group of sportsmen who joined together and formed the organization that thrives today, with the mission of habitat conservation for waterfowl recovery and sustainability.

Those of us who participate in the sporting traditions today share a deep obligation to continue the example and conservation ethic set by these visionary sportsmen and outdoorsmen.

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