Recent Bozeman Daily Chronicle articles on the Obama Administration’s ‘Protecting The Great Outdoors’ initiative, controversial wildlife management strategies, Opinion letters on eliminating ‘Entitlement’ programs like parks, and kids going bonkers in the classroom w/o recess to play… are all reminders of how important the outdoors is to Montana’s livelihood and lifestyles.
Whether you were one of 3.6 million visitors in Yellowstone last year, enjoyed a local trail, drank from a Bozeman city water supply, or fished on a blue ribbon trout stream, our local economy and personal well-being are intricately tied to the health of the environment. Montana’s pristine natural resources bring in $3 billion a year from out of state tourism alone.
How can we make informed collaborative management, conservation and preservation decisions without personally understanding and connecting to our own backyard? Local and international efforts alike need to keep the health of the environment a priority.
Developing personal connections to the environment we all share and depend on helps establish appreciation and understanding, from which we can take action to make informed management decisions. Key word here- INFORMED. As we get engulfed in our daily hustle and bustle, the ‘connection’ we make to the outdoors is all too often from behind a windshield, window or electronic screen. Our personal, community, environmental and economic health depend on us taking that extra step and reconnecting with the outdoors.
With plans underway to offer a local ‘Let’s G.O.!’ (Get Outside) month in April (part of the national ‘Get Outside’ campaign), our children, families and decision makers will have even more opportunity to reconnect with the ‘great outdoors’. If you are feeling a disconnect, now is the time to plug back in- to the outdoors that is. Information on upcoming ‘Let’s G.O.!’ activities can be found at www.learningbynature.org.
Take the time to reconnect. Your health, the economy and the environment stand to benefit. Let’s G.O.!