I’m not a huge outdoors person by any stretch of the imagination.
My idea of enjoying the outdoors is sitting by an open window and taking in the cool breeze. A cool breeze in Arkansas only happens sometime between the conclusion of the Arkansas-Oklahoma State Fair and Valentine’s Day.
I consider "roughing it" going a week without cable. I can survive not turning on a computer or linking up with some wifi. Which I have accomplished with no major withdraws.
I did take the bold step and actually camped out one night over the recent long weekend. It wasn’t a horrible experience, and I’m even willing to try it again.
I may not be an outdoors person, but I can appreciate, admire, respect and honor nature and all of its wonders.
I spent nearly two weeks traveling to 11 or 12 national parks (with a handful of state parks and museums along the way) early this summer. My travels took me through Oklahoma, the Texas Panhandle, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Montana and South Dakota. I think I even made into Idaho.
What struck me is how protective some of those states are about their natural resources.
It made me think: Why isn’t Arkansas more protective?
The state bills itself as: "The Natural State", but it seems to me very little it done to protect it.
Recently, Arkansas hosted the Big Bass Bonanza and according to one report there were fishermen in boats from nearly 30 states.
Since there’s no standard procedure, I don’t think any of the boats from out of state were inspected before they hit the Arkansas River.
By some off chance someone accidently brought an invading species (fish or plant) along with them and it flourishes in the water. It may not be until the species in question becomes a problem before anyone notices. By the time we get around to addressing the issue, the damage to the river and possibly the land near the river will be damaged and it may take months or years to recover from such incident.
Another thing I noticed, and it had more to do with Yellowstone National Park than I saw at the other natural parks was the forbiddance of bringing in firewood from outside the park. You had to use the firewood provided by the park.
At first I thought it was rather ridiculous or some sort of scheme, but looking into it, I saw it was something else. Yellowstone is trying to prevent disease-carrying or wood-damaging insects from invading the park.
Arkansas has already had problems of this sort. I don’t know if using this sort of measure could have prevented it, but it could have helped.
I’m a prepare-for-the-worse-hope-for-the-best kind of guy. I would rather see that measures are taken to prevent such things rather than dealing with the problem as it occurs.
However, this sort of thing may have to be mandated from Little Rock. The sycophants who comprise the bulk of our legislature seems to be more keen about gun waving and rolling back medical health care for women and children to the 1940s than actually doing something that would (A) help the majority of the state or (B) help the majority of the people.
Sadly, something bad may have to happen before anyone takes action. The tragedy would have been that we could do something now, but failed to act.