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Not sure if you’ve noticed but I’m kind of a clean water and tree-hug’n/Dirt-worshiper type. And as such, I’ve been kind of busy since last fall and right thru to now. Which kind helps explain my absence from the boards here lately.

I was tapped by folks at the National Wildlife Foundation and Virginia Conservation League to sit on a multi-organizational board to see if some of the non-profit environmental and wildlife preservationist organizations could come up with some mutually agreed upon issues that we could use to craft some mutually-agreed upon and beneficial policy suggestions for the Virginia Legislature. The National Headquarters of the Izaak Walton League wanted to know if I would like to help make a video this past fall for use on the national Izaak Walton League website (which is on their conservation currents section if you’re interested) and for use other places to help generate interest in the upcoming vote in Congress on the 2018 Farm Bill. After that, I was asked to sit on an adhoc committee making recommendations to formulate the Izaak Walton’s stance on provisions of the farm bill. And then there’s a brand new German Shepard puppy that’s been dragging me around the yard. Catching my breath has been kind of difficult, let alone do any other writing!

But I know what you’re thinking… “Wait…Farm Bill? Why should I care about the Farm Bill? And what does that have to do with kayaking?”

A lot more than you’d think it turns out.

We all like our water as clean as we get it. It makes paddling a whole lot more enjoyable and for us kayak anglers…it makes our fish very happy as well. The Farm Bill contains many provisions for conservation of flowing water, lakes, wetlands and preservation of farmland, and top soil by using cover crops, so it doesn’t end up as sediment in our waters and collecting behind our dams. It also covers preservation riparian buffers between farmland and our national waters, to help filter out harmful runoff of fertilizers. It also covers the proper use of pesticides, fertilizer, both chemical and natural are also covered. It also includes incentives for our farmers to follow the prescribed measures within the Farm Bill. In one manner…the Farm Bill also helps determine what those tanks of gasoline we use in our trucks and SUVs to get our fishing and paddling destinations are going to cost us, because the subsidies for the corn grown to produce ethanol are also covered in the Farm Bill.

So find a summary of the Farm Bill and then contact your representatives and let them know how you feel about the water we all like to paddle and recreate in.