Ya' know, when I hear a river or section of river, particularly one I have come to be especially fond of, is declared "protected" or even granted some sort of special status that implies protection of some sort I feel a sense of relief. Management zones requiring a set back along the banks or protections to preserve bird, mussel, or fish species are hard won things that have required a lot of hard work and cooperation of a LOT of people. Its always gratifying, and sometimes a little surprising, to see so many care so much about something we care about.
I, and many others I think, (incorrectly) tend to believe that such achievements are like crossing some sort of finish line - like a job well done. (Never having to be done again.)
That's not how it really is, though. It just buys time, and sometimes not so much of that. (And NEVER very much in the geological sense of time that a river really ought to be considered in.) As long as there is someone who can figure out a way to (maybe) make a buck by trashing to some degree or other what so many have worked so hard for so long to protect... well, they'll sure 'nuff take a shot at it. Muir was right - "nothing 'dollarable' is safe."
What is protected will have to be protected again and again. What is lost once is lost forever.
The hope, I think, lies in those of us who responsibly paddle, fish, travel such rivers. Eventually we truly get to know them, appreciate them for what they are, come to love them, introduce and encourage others (children especially) to do the same. Nobody loves what they've never known. Nobody will work to preserve something they're ignorant of.
But I'm preaching to the choir...
Feel like Roseanne Rosanadana. "Never mind"
BTW, Nice Trip Report bacshortly!
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