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Outdoor gems

Outdoor gems

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Letter to the editor icon2

Letter to the editor icon2

Outdoor gems

Talking about “gems” of the outdoors we think trees, trails, prairies, mountains and waters. We might think birds, bears, deer or antelope. Those are gems but not what I mean.

The gems I’m referring to protect what they visit, making it better beyond their enjoyment. These gems are clubs and groups that promote protecting what is Montana. Their contributions are enormous, yet others don’t realize them. That life jacket loaning station was placed and maintained by clubs. There is concrete poured and paid for by clubs. Clubs help with unexpected needs of specialists. Fishing rods your child received at kids’ fishing days are supplied by clubs around the state. Your campsite table may be club-made. Shooting club programs provide training and guns for learning. Volunteers help with yearly bird counts. Camps teach youth to respect species and lands. You might even go to a spot to recreate and use the latrine a club made.

Groups gather together for charities, creel counts, education and to speak to legislators about issues. Wounded warriors and elderly reap the benefits of groups. Once these organizations touched the lives of the parents. Today it’s the children. Now, our “gems” are aging out. Many can no longer give to groups. It is time for the next generation to step up. Check out what groups do and help. There are many lessons learned by whole families when they help lend a hand. Organizations build a better Montana. We can’t lose that support. Check them out and join. Help Montana continue to be the Last Best Place.

Carol Henckel, Billings

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