Springtime is finally upon us and it is time to head outdoors to enjoy the warm sunshine and the beauty of nature! I decided to ask some experts who spend their lives in the great outdoors how they celebrate spring and being out in nature. I reached out to “The Accidental Ozarkian” (and Publisher & Editor of Women’s Outdoor News), Barbara Baird, and outdoorswomen Kristy Titus of the soon-to-launch digital television series “Pursue The Wild” and Ms. “DIVA – Women Outdoors Worldwide” herself, Judy Rhodes, to find out what this time of year means to them.
Q: Barbara, you strike me as someone who understands stewardship of the lands and nature around you. In your Accidental Ozarkian blog articles we often see you picking up shed antlers as found treasure and you convey a true love of where you live.
A: I am a caretaker of lovely land in the Ozarks of Missouri, and I am constantly reminded of my role as a temporary guardian. Why wouldn’t I want to take care of this touch of loveliness and pass it along to the next caretaker in, hopefully, better condition — through careful timber selection culling, creating more sanctuary and food sources for wildlife and taking time to appreciate it.
Q: Kristy, you are a true outdoorsperson. You have a deep understanding of conservation and the importance of passing along those values to the next generation. Where did this love of nature originate from?
A: My love of the outdoors started from the time I was a small child. My family would pack our mules into the backcountry enjoying camping and fishing together as a family. Today, the culture of our population is ever changing and many find that they are easily caught up in a busy urban based life and lose touch with wild places.
It is up to us as outdoorsmen and women to teach the next generation how Hunting Is Conservation. Hunters are the first crusaders in conservation. The sale of state hunting licenses and fees generate 75% of the annual income for state conservation agencies. The taxation of firearms, ammunition and archery equipment through the Pitman Robertson Act generates $371 million dollars each year for conservation. Hunters are truly leading the way in conservation. Grassroots efforts like those found with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation have conserved or enhanced over 7 million acres and have additionally opened or improved access to over 1 million acres providing the opportunity for families to recreate and enjoy wild places.
Q: Judy, you have raised your children to love nature with a special annual tradition. Can you tell us about that?
A: Every year in April my children and I would plant trees for Arboretum Day! Living in the arid climate of Dallas, TX, and having previously been in the Real-Estate and Interior / Exterior Design Business, I understood the value of trees from several perspectives. Planting trees around our farm changed the atmosphere and even the temperature of our acreage. Trees bring shade, offer a refuge for wildlife, and even clean the air we breathe though oxygen exchange. In Dallas, an oak tree planted in your yard can conceivable increase the sellable value of that home by $10k per tree!
Not many people know that a mature Oak Tree “will intercept 7,261 gallons of storm-water runoff, conserve 188 kilowatt-hours of electricity by shading buildings and reducing the need for cooling, and absorb 110 pounds of carbon dioxide; the latter is equivalent to the amount of heat-trapping CO2 gas generated by a midsize sedan in a little more than a month of driving” (Dallas News, Nov 13, 2013). I also understood the beauty and symbolism of creating strong roots for children, by showing them how to make strong roots in trees. It takes time, patience, and sweat equity – this is what builds character and instills a powerful work ethic in our kids. They are able to watch year after year, through the storms of life, that the tree not only grows, but thrives in any season – whether in the warmth of Spring or in the frigid Winter. My Live Oaks & Red Oaks are over 40 feet tall in my yard and the memories of small boys and saplings have been a great joy watching them grow into strong personalities and deep roots within my life. Now that my kids are grown, they can take those lessons to my future grandchildren. And you can’t put any price on that!
Q: Kristy, how can we be proactive in becoming involved in conservationism?
A: On the ground volunteerism in groups like RMEF is always needed. Our volunteers work tirelessly to remove old fencing for wildlife, improve water sources for wildlife, take part in prescribed burns for habitat and…(READ ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE)
Article originally published on 2.13.17 and has been reposted on Gun Freedom Radio Blog with permission.
To learn more about the author of this article, Cheryl Todd.