Gimme back my green

OK, here goes, a somewhat non-snarkey article. Sure, you may be surprised that this Chicago native, a big city blowhard, has a sentimental side.

Besides ruffling the feathers of all those who pay me, I also love the environment. Yes, I admit it; I'm truly a green guy. Green as far as understanding who really plunks the bucks down to preserve and protect our environment.

Not those lily-livered weenies who go around claiming what was once the domain of the American sportsmen and women, but I am a true green American, down to getting the original message back in the day when we all watched the Native American on the television commercial weeping over pollution.

When did we as sporting people lose our collective backbone and allow what we've been practicing for decades become a political football? How the heck does this keep happening to us?

Together, depending on what numbers you view, there seem to be over 60 million sportsmen and women in the USA. I'm no math genius, but that's around 20 percent of the population. When did we lose our soul and allow ad campaigns and political groups to talk our talk without walking our walk? Stop it already.

As a group, we provide the financial backbone in terms of user fees, license fees, etc., which fund the overwhelming majority of fishing, hunting and general outdoor access opportunities in the US. So why don't we get credit?

Instead, you tune into CNN or Fox News and some flip little pinhead from Washington, D.C., is commenting on our environment and how they are saving it. That's total bunk.

We are the protectors, the gate keepers of this land. Let's start following a small example from the Godfather of modern sporting people in the U.S., Teddy Roosevelt, and start carrying our collective big sticks around.

Let's reclaim this Green movement as ours. Let's become a truly active voice that makes a difference in the future of our country, our fishing and hunting traditions. We provide the money that allows the various DNRs, Fish and Wildlife service, etc., to operate.

Instead of sitting on the sidelines, let's all get in the game and start flexing our muscles, i.e., money and votes. We need to be at the tip of the spear in this Green movement. It's our ball, our movement, and we don't have to play with you phony greenies if we don't want to.

Dave and Kristin Landahl host The Fishing Fanatics radio show on ESPN radio affiliate AM 1360 WLBK in northern Illinois Thursday evenings from 6-7 p.m. CT. You can also tune in to hear The Fishing Fanatics at www.1360wlbk.com.