It’s going to be a good year – with your help

So why am I posting a picture of a beautiful sunrise in Santa Cruz? Because the entire coast of California is Public Lands. It is a National Monument where people come to visit, play in the surf, and forget about all their worries of daily life. It is no different than any of the places I have come to love as an outdoor enthusiast.

Here’s a little poem I posted on my personal Facebook page on December 16 which might help explain a little:

i see the swirling water where a salmonfly was swallowed by a hungry, post-spawn redside trout

i see a lone monterey cypress stretching and swaying in the breeze at its oceanside vista

i see steam rising on a high cascade lake while eagles call to each other through the pines

i see rabbits scurrying for cover in the high desert while a hawk watches from a failed homestead

i see the tracks of a predator amongst mountain bike tires in a damp trail weaving through the forest

i see steelhead jump a rapid where kayakers full of smiles and laughter recently whisked by

i see young deer grazing in patches of grass bordered by the snow receding from the warmth of Spring

i see lions splash and play merely feet away from humans bobbing in a seaweed forest

i see a doused campfire longing for the heat supplied to a family which it roasted marshmallows for

i see wildflowers stretching for as far as the eye can see swaying in the breeze of a hidden mountain valley

i see the remnants of a site where a harvest to feed the family drains nutrients back into the soil

i see a patch of blueberries ravished and a grove of douglas fir pruned by a herd of elk

i see the truck parked with various tracks of hiking boots post-holed into the snow dragging a sled

i see the sun glimmer behind a rock outcrop and a pair of headlamps creeping up its face

i see swallows dart across the river doing glorious battle with the hatching insects across it

i see an otter beating with a rock for dinner and feel the wind carry the rhythm to my chest

i see the reddish hue of crab clinging to the pot as the whirl of the line sings through the wheels

i see the smiles of the friends i have made as we created these memories together

i see how children devour information to discover the outdoors and experience nature

i see our public lands

i see how proud we feel when relive the experiences they gifted us

i see and #IAMPUBLICLANDSPROUD

The TroutBus is going on a new journey of discovery and I am asking for your help. When I put this poem together it came from a Hashtag event I was part of earlier in the year to raise awareness for our Public Lands with a bunch of other bloggers. Here’s the link to the post I wrote and a link to a list of others who joined the cause for the month.

It’s worth noting that the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership started the #publiclandsproud tag and I am just trying to push it further. I am not being paid by any non-profit for what I am going to attempt. This is just me trying to do my part and give back and support those organizations who work hard to keep my playgrounds available to the public.

The experience of talking with other bloggers and people in the community stuck with me as this HUGE issue of maintaining access to Public Lands continues into the coming year and new political environment. It kept creeping around in the back of my mind and I started doing more and more research into the topic. I soon realized that there are an amazing amount of places and activities that are associated with these amazing places.

I also realized that this is an issue that is truly a gift our country has given the world and it deserves a lot more of our attention.

To that end I went and purchased the website publiclandsproud.com – don’t go visit it just yet, please keep reading.

The purpose of the site is going to be an online marketplace where consumers can purchase stickers that are geared toward their specific activity. So think about what you enjoy about the outdoors and the Public Lands you frequent: surfing, skiing, hunting, off-roading, mountain biking, fishing, bird-watching, photography, camping, hiking, etc.

Eventually I am hoping this is going to be a place where anyone can submit their particular “craft” for sale – the only caveat is that a portion of the proceeds will MUST go toward a non-profit that is working toward keeping our Public Lands open to all of us as enthusiasts. There will be a list of non-profits that the consumer will select from to get a portion of the proceeds.

There was a census published by USFW in 2011 that has prompted me to seek out ALL USERS of the spaces we go to get away from our daily lives and I am hoping that we can reach .5% of them with a sticker. That would mean I would create approximately a half million stickers and give a half million dollars toward protecting these places. It’s a big goal – but it’s worth a try for all our enjoyment.

All of the TroutBus products that are on there will have a portion of the proceeds go toward whatever non-profit you choose. If you have a product that you would like to add to the site, please contact me and we can work out the details. Look for updates and the site going live in the beginning of the new year. Thank all of you for your continued support of my shenanigans!!

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