Sunday, March 28, 2010

Very Nice Time Last Nite at the RGS banquet...

Around the late 1970's... finishing up my studies
at UW-Green Bay, a returning student from my stint
serving in the Navy and on the
benevolent wisdom of a city alderman and the Army
Corps of Engineers, it was decided that Atkinson's
Marsh would be drained and turned into an industrial
park and the Tower Bridge built to divert traffic

I was personally outraged...and together with a
some lifelong hunting friends of mine loving the
outdoors and knowing what was about to be
destroyed...lost ...we helped amass an attempt to
thwart this disastrous plan. Meetings at the WBAY
channel 2 building where hundreds ofsportsmen
showed up. Working with help of the DNR fronting
information, and speaking on the Kathy Hall
Program on television out of Kentucky, aired in 29

I posted example after example where destroying the
wetlands in the lower state's Mississippi river
valley were causing major flooding, sand bagging.
How Lake Okeechobee in Florida created a wetland
for the purpose of saving their lake's purity. On
and on. That it takes 5,000 years for nature to
create a marsh, and that these are nature's natural
filtration system for purification.

The end judgment on the city council was that marshes
are only good for crazy duck hunters, ducks, muskrats
and the breeding of mosquitos!

In finding a picture of the Tower Bridge above, I
tried googling for a picture of Atkinson's Marsh, and
sadly...couldn't even find a reference for such. In
looking for a picture of skies darkened with ducks
so that the light of day was over taken, I could find
no pictures...and yet, this is what it was like as a
teenager in Green Bay.

In those days...looking up the major flyways of
migration flights, the bay of Green Bay and Great
Lakes was a major flyway. From nearly 4.5 million
ducks per year, reduced for a long long time to a mere

Think I didn't laugh when shorelines were flooded for
a number of years, and sandbagging became common?
Now...the whole area is built up...vast shorelines
developed. Private communities built up around man
made lakes...and long gone the sign that once what
was wild, once what held awe, the gone.
Forever gone.

I am not against the free market...nor am I a tree
hugging touting save the planet type, but I am for
responsible good science stewardship.

So...what that experience did for me back now several
decades made it apparent that as my part of "WE the
People"...I could make a difference. Even if it is
small. By using my talents...donating works of art
to raise money for Ducks Unlimited, Whitetails
Unlimited, Trout Unlimited and the Ruffed Grouse
Society...I can in someway slow down this trend of
modernity to destroy.

I am glad to say that a very fine family partnered
with me in that effort last night as I was once
more honored and privileged to be the attending
guest artist for the Ruffed Grouse Society.

By their winning bid on this work, greater opportunity
for the survival, the health of ruffed grouse, woodcock
and a song bird is assured. Habitat improvements,
needed tree cuts, management.

Bad science and fringe mania would prevent the cutting
of forests, however old growth tree forests are less
efficient in purifying air (for one), and prevent life
sustaining light from hitting the forest floors, meaning
that the floors become barren...not providing the foods
needed for thriving wildlife.

We're not talking clear cutting here...we are talking
controlled managed over-site, creating new growth of
aspen, popples...and fruit bearing trees that support
many wildlife species.

It is not my intent to boast when I say over the
years my contributions have raised tens of thousands
of dollars so that my children's children might see
and experience the wonder of nature, but if I as one
individual can make some difference how be it small,
then what is possible for anyone reading this as well?
Together...WE THE PEOPLE can make a much bigger
difference, and perhaps save the Atkinson marshes of

For all my artist friends perhaps reading along, consider
"It is Beauty that magnetizes the contemplative, and
it is the duty of the contemplative to give beauty away
so that the rest of the world may, in the midst of
squalor, ugliness, and pain, remember that beauty is
possible"   Joan Chittister

Those interested in learning more about the Ruffed
Grouse is their home website-

and others-
Ducks Unlimited
Trout Unlimited
Whitetails Unlimited

1 comment:

SEILER said...

That's pretty cool Dad . . . great painting as well!