I feel quite confident in saying that a majority of you either made resolutions or at least considered making some changes for the new year. Unfortunately, if you're like most people, what you resolved will be little more than a memory by the time Spring arrives. I suspect the reason failure is so common is that in the heat of good intentions, we set rather unrealistic goals. Hopefully the goal I settled on is somewhat the same as I adopt every year, and that is to try to motivate people into taking a more informed and active role in conservation.
Generally speaking, how we perceive what occurs in our outdoor world and natural environment thereof has been steadily changing as our demographics have drifted from rural to more urban or suburban mindsets and lifestyles. Whereas previous generations often spent the majority of their time working or being in the outdoors, more recent ones have spent much of their lives in a man-made or otherwise manicured environment, visiting the totally natural world primarily on vacations or short visits. Most youngsters' knowledge of the natural world now comes via television or public school programs with precious little “on hands” learning.
What has also helped confuse the issue is the tremendous growth, both in wealth and media power, of the animal rights extremist and protectionist groups. All too often they preach total protectionism rather than conservation and wise management of natural resources as they apply to species. This of course is in direct conflict with how nature operates, and has operated for eons. Using guilt and misinformation, the most powerful of these groups have made major inroads into our nation's psyche, and especially youths and environmentally naive urban residents.