The Things We Take for Granted

I’m going to assume that quite a few, if not most, of the people in the natural resources field grew up in a family that spent time in the outdoors.  Whether it was camping, hiking, hunting, fishing, bird watching, or visiting National Parks, it seems that most people in this field are influenced by childhood memories.  I know I am in this field because of my upbringing.  My dad has worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for over 30 years, my mom owned a pet grooming business, and as a family we spent all our free time outside.  I’m lucky and I know it.  Now, I’m married to a man that currently works for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department doing some of the coolest research on bears and wolverines.  Our free time together is spent outside, mostly hiking and fishing.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Unfortunately, not everyone was granted the opportunities to get outside and develop a love for the natural world.  American KestrelLark Bunting

I called this post “The Things We Take for Granted” because of a recent trip my husband and I took through Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks.  To us, seeing a bison, elk, or bear is common.  It doesn’t phase us.  We were there for the scenery and hiking opportunities.  Watching all the people there stop in the middle of the road to take a million pictures of a bison seemed silly.  We were mad that the traffic was stopped all because of one – not that impressive – bison.  But, then we got to thinking.  How can people grow up and not know their animals?  How can someone be in their 40’s and not know what the difference between a white-tail deer and a mule deer is?  We had taken our upbringings and current experiences through our jobs for granted.  We were fortunate that we had people in our lives that took us out into the woods and taught us more than a course in college ever could.  We have backcountry skills.  Seeing the other tourists in their yoga pants and flip flops in 45 degree weather makes us cringe.  But, they don’t know any better.

ElkMourning Dove

My job with BLM this summer has allowed me to be outside almost every single day.  Through rain or shine, I’m outside.  I haven’t seen anything new in the way of wildlife, but I have gotten to know a new area that I have developed a love for.  I get to watch the antelope fawns grow up.  I get to see the circle of life feed a hungry golden eagle.  I get to continue to be blessed to be outside and increase my knowledge of the natural world.  I’m lucky and I know it.  I know I take things for granted, but I know I’m one of the luckiest people in the world.  I wouldn’t trade this life for anything.  I hope all of you are enjoying your jobs this summer as much as I am and I hope you know just how lucky you are.  Keep up the good work, everyone.  The world is counting on us.    Red Squirrel Turkey Vulture

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