OK, so I am better at drafting action plans than rallying the troops to implement them… Nevertheless, thanks to some help from Jarrett Lambright, we did get a Conservation page initiated on the TRPC website. This page includes a few links to some of the conservation groups protecting watersheds many of us frequently paddle. The hope is to expand this to include a few more organizations. Seems like we are always waiting for that rainy day to get this done…and then, well, low and behold it finally does rain and we got to scramble to the local creeks !! Priorities !
But seriously, the theme I wanted to reinforce for Conservation at TRPC is that we are not trying to BE a conservation group…we are a paddling club ! …and there are plenty of great grass-roots conservation groups already organized. However, we should actively SUPPORT those volunteer organizations, by being members, donors and/or volunteers. So, the objective of our committee is to raise awareness and appreciation for the environmental/conservation issues related to the water resources on/in which we recreate as club members. Many TRPCers are actively involved in these groups…and we congratulate and thank them ! But many other TRPCers are new to boating and have been attracted by the joy of paddling itself…and that is cool…but maybe now they might be ready to start looking around between boofs and loops to see just how integral the natural ecology is to the holistic whitewater boating experience. Not everyone will ever “get” that, but I have found that most do.
Paddling down the Upper Yough last Sunday with Jeff Macklin and Sue Melbourne I had a cool experience. I had seen mink and even river otters before, but this time a startled mink popped up like a submarine only 6 feet from my orange WaveSport ZG …I bet that made him nervous! He swam to the bank and scrambled and disappeared. This sort of experience doesn’t happen on our more polluted rivers, and it isn’t a coincidence. Most major watersheds in PA have a conservation group aimed at protecting and restoring environmental health of their waterways. Hopefully more and more TRPCers will be become members of those groups as well. The first step is joining and it doesn’t cost much. Try the links on our website or google your favorite creek!
In 2008, hopefully we can make progress on the goal to have 90% of TRPCers also members of at least one such watershed/conservation group. If members have a conservation topic they want to have discussed at a club meeting, please share it with me. We can research it and shed some light on it for folks. There is no shortage of challenges ! As an example, right now New Enterprise Stone & Lime is on the verge of obtaining a permit to begin a huge, deep quarry in the headwaters of Indian Creek…the same creek the PA DEP has granted millions of dollars to fund water quality restoration projects spear-headed by the Mountain Watershed Association. Does this make sense to you taxpayers ? Geez. …stopping now before the rant gets out of control. Thanks for your support and let’s enjoy the 30th birthday party !