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E-M:/ We need to protect our world

When I was a kid, if you talked about conservationists (no one said environmentalist then), you were talking about outdoorsmen who tried to preserve wildlife and the places those creatures lived.

The wisest of them, people such as Aldo Leopold, an avid hunter, early ecologist and author of the seminal "A Sand County Almanac," were among the first to argue for the interconnectedness of all life forms and the landscapes they inhabit. He understood that to have a healthy deer herd, we needed healthy deer habitat, and that habitat was an extremely complex web including far more than the animals we wanted to shoot or hook.

Yet more than 50 years after I first read "A Sand County Almanac," many hunters and anglers express disdain for the environmental movement. I suspect that's not because they disagree with its precepts but because they disagree with the politics of non-hunting, non-fishing activists and don't want to be identified with them.