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Are there any adults in the room?

It's time grown-ups held up their end of things
The author, 13 year-old Kian Tanner, fishing the Elk River in British Columbia (photo: Todd Tanner).

You probably live in a city, or in the suburb of a city. I don’t. I live in Montana. Geese honk as they fly overhead. Our dogs bark at the deer. We have bears in our yard. Every morning I walk outside and I look to the east, past our creek, where huge mountains rise up from the valley floor. I look to the west, where the sun shines on the valley’s farms and ranches. And I know that it’s all at risk. Why? Because adults can’t seem to take climate change seriously.

A few months ago, my dad and I left my mom and our two golden retrievers at home and drove down to the Henry’s Fork in Last Chance, Idaho. We stopped in Helena, Montana, where we picked up an Adipose drift boat. We met up with Jeremy Roberts, who was there to film my dad and me, along with Hilary Hutcheson and her two daughters, as we fished the river. The last day of filming was there in the blink of an eye and I was excited to float the Box Canyon one more time. We were almost finished with the float when a huge fish took my dry fly. I fought with her and she jumped five times before I was able to bring her to the boat. It was one of the biggest fish I have ever caught, a 21 inch rainbow trout. Right after we released her, it started to pour rain and our trip was finished.

Every time I am out on the water, I leave with great memories and I feel like I have been blessed. I don’t want to lose the amazing experiences I receive when I’m in nature. In July of this year I flew to Florida. While I was there I saw algae, but it wasn’t the kind I had seen before. I didn’t think that it looked like it was supposed to be there. I have heard it’s part of an algae bloom that is linked to pollution and warmer ocean temperatures, and that it is destroying aquatic life.

Vote for the outdoors: Here's how

Cast your ballots for candidates with a record of voting for clean air, water and healthy landscapes
American public lands in Brown's Canyon National Monument (photo: BLM).

It's tempting to self-soothe by telling ourselves that despite how divisive political rhetoric has become, in truth, nothing much has really changed. We still have politicians that prefer a fiscally conservative approach, low taxes and industry-friendly policies that supposedly create jobs. And we have politicians that tend to favor greater oversight and regulation, believe in government spending and higher taxes on industry and wealthy individuals. When the campaigns are over, however, these folks get down to business and find ways to compromise and work towards common goals.

Not a single Montana angler should vote for Matt Rosendale or Greg Gianforte

Rosendale and Gianforte have a track record of betraying Montana sportsmen and women
Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call.

Montanans are an independent lot. We're used to splitting tickets and voting for the best person for the job. For example – in 2016, Montana went for Trump by about 21 points, but also elected Democrat Steve Bullock to a second term as Governor. That independent spirit is coming in to play during the 2018 mid-terms, where candidates with sharply contrasting backgrounds face off in Montana races for the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives.

Dirty dozens: Who to vote out this November

Want to cast a vote for the outdoors? Vote out candidates that vote against clean air and water.
Texas sportsmen can help vote out dirty dozener Ted Cruz, who has one of the most anti-clean air and water voting records in congress. Cruz is unexpectedly in a competitive race against insurgent candidate Beto O'Rourke in Texas (photo: Gage Skidmore / cc2.0).

With a few notable exceptions, outdoor publications and especially the "hook-and-bullet" press (publications targeted primarily at anglers and hunters) tell their readers what they want to hear, not what they need to hear.

As with sportsmen writing and editing hook-and-bullet articles, sportsmen reading them tend to be politically naïve and easily seduced by their worst enemies.

Here's to spring

A lot of folks love fall, I hate it
Photo: Chad Shmukler

I’m certain I was the only angler in the remote Forest Service campground in the shadow of Lemhi Range. Labor Day had come and gone, and the backcountry now belonged bow hunters chasing elk.

I’d parked my little camper under the tall pines, and, with fire restrictions lifted just in time for hunting season, I imbibed of woodsmoke and the last of the clear liquor season. Cheap vodka poured over ice and seasoned with a diet Sprite—it’s my backwoods cocktail of choice. A “spritzer” as I and my summer drinking buddies jokingly call it, pinky fingers protruding defiantly as we drink.