Tuesday, June 1, 2010

More valuable than gold

From the Cleanest Line Blog on Patagonia’s website comes a tale about the meaning of Wilderness and plea for rivers like the Chetco and its wild steelhead.

The story begins with fly fisherman Mikey Wier searching for wild steelhead in an Oregon Wilderness and this statement:
“Even if you're not an angler, I highly recommend taking the time to read this story."
It concludes:
“The next morning we packed up camp and started the trudge home. As we hiked back up the hill, again my thoughts turned back to the fish. At first I was upset that I didn’t get to catch one. Then I realized how lucky I was to have had the chance to see those fish in their native habitat doing what they have been doing for thousands of years.
Wilderness is more valuable than any possession I own. I felt so blessed to see them in this environment. Just being there was enough for me. As population grows and climate changes, there is going to be an increasing strain on what remains of the habitat needed for these fish to live and thrive.

As fish populations dwindle, they will become an icon of wilderness. Steelhead will become a symbol of a healthy and functioning aquatic ecosystem. In my opinion, they should be more valuable than gold, platinum or oil. They should be placed in front of mines, roads, timber sales and this year's fiscal earnings.

Water is one of the main elements that form our existence. Most of our body is made of it. If we don’t drink clean water almost everyday, we will die. If we can’t take care of the fresh water river systems that support wild steelhead then we are not working as good stewards of this planet. If we let wild steelhead fade out, we won’t be far behind.”