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Re: Dealing with the real fish? problem

On Wed, 24 Jun 1998, Herb Harris wrote:

> You forgot to respond to the part of my message that takes up your
> reply:
> >      I don't want this to misconstrued here. I am all for appropriate
> >control measures being in place. But they need to be effective even >when "big dude" has his back turned. The control agencies can't be >everywhere all the time. What is well in hand today might very well be >out of control by this time three years from now without either large >sums spent on enforcement, or cooperation of the states in at least
> >considering educational proposals.

I didn't respond to this section as I had pointed out several times that
education is the key to overcoming this.  That is the only way to get people
to "behave" when big brother is not around.
> If more people are given
> opportunities to have personal contact with native fish, they will start
> to care, and as you say, we have to start somewhere! Ask any teacher, as
> you yourself know full well, its hard, if not impossible to get someone
> to learn something they don't care about.

Sure.  Changing laws won't make the slightest bit of difference to this
though.  You need someone to educate the kids.  I would very much doubt any
serious teacher who tries to bring native fish into the classroom would be
refused a permit.  I know of at least one school in Phoenix that has pupfish
which are presently extinct in the state.  That's part of the idea of
permitting, so the folks who regulate things know what is going on around the
place with threatened species.

> Next fish kill YOU run across, ask yourself
> could this have been prevented by someone that cared?

Care is a very subjective term.  The guy who built all the "modern" dams on
the Colorado River cared a whole bunch which was why he was extremely
passionate about building them.  He couldn't care less about fish though.  Get
Cadillac Desert next time you are at the video store, it is a fascinating view
of water development in the west.  The guy who stocks sport fish cares too and
so on.  What you are talking about is developing an environmental ethic in the
community.  It's a great plan and I fully support it.  But, we are a long ways
from getting there and also from being where you can remove all the laws too.

Peter Unmack

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