Unfortunately, two ballot initiatives that the fly-fishing industry supported have apparently fallen short in yesterday’s election. In Montana, I-186, which would have made the mining industry responsible for the waste it leaves behind, fell short, as did Ballot measure 1 in Alaska, which would have offered stronger protections for salmon.
The good news is that fly fishing fought the good fight. Outspent, outgunned by the deeper pockets of the extraction industries, outdoor voices were indeed heard, and I suspect the other side will be hearing more footsteps in the future. Heartfelt congratulations and thanks to all the people who worked on behalf of these initiatives. Thanks to the businesses that supported them publicly. This was still a landmark for our industry.
The bad news is that extraction interests were able to frame these initiatives as anti-jobs, which wasn’t really the case. I liken it to the neighbor walking his/her dog… dog stops and takes a crap in your yard… neighbor says, “not my problem,” and when you go to voice a concern that maybe that person should take responsibility, you’re painted out to be “anti-dog.” It’s one thing to be anti-dog and another to be anti-dog crapping in your yard and having to pick it up yourself.
Until we’re able to frame these debates just a tad more effectively, we’re still going to be doing the picking up.