Mark Otnes (
Sat, 15 Sep 2001 18:19:28 -0500

I for one am glad that NANFA is a small organization and the native fish
enthusiasts are small in number. I think its nice to be able to go snorkel
or dip a net into a small stream and not have to bump elbows with fifty
other people doing the same thing. I know its selfish and I could try to
justify my attitude by saying that large numbers of enthusiasts would put a
strain on the environment with all of the riffle kicking and collecting that
would go on, all of which may be true, but it's not the real reason.

I've bird watched much more in my life than I've watched fish and I frankly
prefer the fish world. On the East Coast, especially in New England, bird
watchers are constantly combing every nook and cranny and its practically
impossible to just go out and get the nature experience there as a bird
watcher, its more of a social experience. Even in Minnesota they have to
keep the locations of some rare birds breeding birds (Burrowing and Barn
Owls) secret so that people don't go disturb them. A lot of bird watchers
are listers and all they want to do in check off a bird on a particular list
and some won't let anything get in their way. They'll trespass and or play
tapes during the nesting season in order to get another check for their

It's just human nature. It seems that if too many get involved the pristine
conditions that we all love go away or are changed. Its a real catch 22.
We want people to be interested so that we can preserve the environment, but
too many hands-on enthusiasts can mess things up.

Mark Otnes
Fargo ND

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