As the rivers become more float friendly, floaters and boaters are drawn to the flows. Great weather means more water borne people. As Montana becomes more popular, floating becomes more common. Fleets of tubers, canoers, drift boaters, rafters, fishermen, and kayakers can crowd our watersheds.
No one’s recreation free time is any more or any less important than everyone else’s. During a Bighorn River fishing trip, I had some nonresidents beach their boat next to mine and start fishing. When I questioned their rude behavior, they said” you live here and get to fish all year, we only get a few days.” Their fishing time was more important than ours!? When they finally left, without catching a fish, they discourteously left their beer cans and trash.
The AuSable River has a great sign that all river livers should pay attention to. Their River Etiquette rules are fair and common sense. Pristine watersheds need to be protected and celebrated, not used, and abused. Like it or not, public resources need to be shared responsibly.
Showing respect for the environment and other water users is important. We are all Stewards of the wild open spaces. Our natural resources need to be shared. Big Sky Country belongs to everyone. Outdoor users must set an example for how to conserve and safely enjoy the environment.
Humans are Bags of Water! Most of a human’s mass is wet. Because of our wetness, we are drawn to water. Salt water not only feels good, it helps heal us. Cool waters on a hot summer day revives and soothes us.
Water magnifies risk and injury. There are many ways to get injured or die when near or in the water. If alcohol is involved, bad choices, selfish behavior, and reckless activities often end badly.
Most of us learned as kids to “Always leave nature better than you found it.” Pick up any trash, leave plants, rocks, and artifacts where you find them.
Treat others as you wish to be treated.