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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Chesapeake Sportsman: Outdoorsmen Must be Environmentalists

By C.D. Dollar — For HometownAnnapolis

It’s a good bet that this year professional resource managers, conservation leaders and sport anglers will again discuss the best strategy to restore native oysters – important for fish habitat and clean water – to Maryland waters.

The geese flew late that frigid morning, and a pause in the blind banter offered a chance for the mind to wonder. How half of January had already swept past the hull remains a mystery, and soon my thoughts mulled over the fisheries and wildlife challenges confronting the collective outdoors community in 2009.

On a personal level, one of this year’s goals I’ve set is to simplify my life, pare down the extras that I probably can do without. That list, of course, is a work in progress, but so far much of it seems achievable. For example, I plan to buy more of the necessary staples that are made or grown locally, or catch, grow or shoot it myself.

What led me to zero in on this was the hunk of smoked goose passed down the bench in the blind. Infused with hints of orange, teriyaki, Old Bay and a few other spices, it was delicious, making the phrase “eat local” have real meaning – that goose was shot over the very field we were gunning. And over the holidays, my family and I enjoyed grilled oysters from the Choptank River, freshly caught Chesapeake rockfish, and plump crabmeat taken from the Wye.

(I could almost imagine being there - Oysterman).

While there is a practical reason for my undertaking – to save money of course – it has a philosophical bent as well. As the world struggles to untangle the financial mess ensnaring virtually every sector of the economy, I often wonder what compels some people to soar to new heights of avarice. What inspires them to squeeze out every extra ounce of resource just because they can?

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