HIGHLIGHTS of the Winter 2016 Lateral Line
• Second Call for Papers and Registration
• Chapter Business Plan:
• Utah AFS Officers:
I hope all of you have enjoyed the beautiful fall and winter seasons. If you enjoy the outdoors and outdoor activities, you live in the greatest place on earth. I am convinced there are few other places that offer a comparable range and quality of outdoor experience. As a fishery professional you often get to experience the great outdoors up-close and personal. We should be grateful our jobs allow us to enjoy the outdoors and natural resources along the way.
As I meet members of the Utah Chapter of the American Fisheries Society and get acquainted with them and their work, I am impressed by the dedication and commitment they show to this work. However, most of the effort directed toward conservation of fish, providing quality fishing experi-ences, and preservation of fish habitat is unappreciated by the general public. Not only is it unap-preciated, but fishery professionals, and other natural resource professionals, are often maligned and made scapegoats for circumstances outside of their control. When there is not enough water, not enough fish to catch, or some threatened native species in a pond on private land, it somehow becomes the fault of the fishery professional. This attitude is fueled by the anti-government rhetoric of small, but vocal extremist groups, and resource management personnel become easy targets. Re-cent events in Oregon and Nevada show the inane nature of these people, and unfortunately, sev-eral of our local and federal political representatives act and talk as if these actions are somehow jus-tified. This sort of thing drives me CRAZY!
Amidst all of this stupidity and misinformation, how can I keep from being depressed? The best prescription is to go out and enjoy the great outdoor opportunities available to us here in Utah. For me, going fishing with my children works wonders. In addition, the friendships and professional support provided by the members of the Utah chapter of AFS keeps me informed and adds to my un-derstanding of the complex issues associated with natural resource management and conservation. So, keep up the good work, don’t let the crazies get to you, and en-joy your choice of outdoor antide-pressant.
Mark C. Belk, President, UAFS