Welcome, Artemis

Women are the fastest growing demographic in nearly every outdoor recreation, so it makes sense the National Wildlife Foundation would launch Artemis, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit designed to share outdoor experiences and advocate for conservation-oriented policy, particularly the protection of public lands throughout the west.  I’m looking forward to seeing them succeed.

 

Fish fights Zika.

One of the most ubiquitous little critters on the planet is the western mosquitofish, an inch-long animal native to the central United States but introduced to every continent save Antarctica to control mosquitoes and the diseases they transmit.  Turns out mosquitofish eat about as many mosquito larvae as native fishes and they’re aggressive little bastards, out-competing endemic fish species and altering food webs in the process.

Arizona’s introducing the Gila Topminnow , a native species whose populations have been declining due to a host of issues including invasive mosquitofish, as an alternative method of bug control.

I have no idea what the male (the smaller individual sucking on the larger (female) individual) is doing in the photo, but I wish him the best.

New York I love you, but you’re bringing me down.

New York state assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal has made a name for herself fighting animal cruelty and puppy mills in the state, both laudable goals.  She’s set her sights on the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation, which requires its board members to have held a valid state hunting, fishing, or trapping license for three years prior to their service.

On the one hand it makes me glad I live in flyover country, and even more glad my state legislature has vanishingly little control over the fish and game outfit.  But she does have a point- state fish and game agencies are beholden to all public users, not just the hook-and-bullet crowd.  On the other hand, if those users are footing the bill for conservation through license fees (and matching federal funds) should they have a stronger say, and isn’t it just generally good policy to make sure your board members have some skin in the game?  I dunno- what do you think?

It’s not all doom and gloom.

Everyone’s understandably bummed about Paris, but there’s a silver lining to this turd sandwich.  Two Democrats and two Republicans were able to get together and agree on some legislation, initiated by the Obama White House, to protect most billfish in U.S. territorial waters.  In an almost head-scratching moment of clarity, legislators realized the economic benefit generated by tourism and sportfishing outweighs that by commercial harvest.  Using both science and mathematics, politicians crafted policy which benefits not only their constituents or their donors but the resource, too.

If only it were always that easy.

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