Outdoor Heritage Traditions

WHAT CONSTITUTES AN OUTDOOR HERITAGE TRADITION

1. The Outdoor Heritage Tradition-Activity are, by necessity, items of knowledge learned from the so-called, "elder members of the tribe" (those who have come and gone before us), through relating the experience and the transfer of their expertise, by way of in-the-field teaching, written word, images - and what ever other means necessary for the Traditions to continue forward.

2. The Outdoor Heritage Tradition-Activity are actions, passed down from generation-to-generation, that have allowed humans to survive since they first appeared on the scene. In the early stages of humanities existence, knowledge and practice of the Traditions allowed co-existance and balance within the natural world.

3. The Outdoor Heritage Tradition-Activity exhibit both enjoyable and stressful experiences that are good for the development of the outdoorsman within all of us: male and female. Expertise in any of them can provide life support, avocation, service or pleasure.


The Outdoor Heritage Traditions-Activities

Our  OUTDOOR HERITAGE TRADITIONS

  • Have been with us since the earliest days of civilization
  • Form the core of our understanding of the interface between man and nature
  • Accent our position in the ecology of the earth
  • Demonstrate our responsibilities within the natural world
  • Can provide life sustaining needs to self, family and neighborhood

The Activities within the Outdoor Heritage Tradition-Activities, are, by the O'fieldstream definition, in order of necessity of development ...

  • Wilderness Skills
  • Orienteering
  • Hiking
  • Fishing
  • Hunting
  • Trapping
  • Camping
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Archery
  • Snowshoeing
  • Skiing
  • Dogsledding
  • Shooting 


[Wilderness Skills | Orienteering | Hiking | Fishing | Hunting | Trapping | Camping | Canoeing  Kayaking |  Archery | Snowshoeing | Skiing | Dogsledding | Shooting, and all other supportive and associated activities]


Outdoor Heritage Traditions, are not sport as referenced in today's society.
Today when the word ‘sport’ is used, too often we immediately think of some "X"-ball activity. Such as football, basketball, baseball, football or tennis, golf, hockey, soccer, and the like. These are worlds apart from the Outdoor Heritage Tradition-Activities.  The mindset of the ‘ball-sport’ is about winning; putting numbers in a tally-sheet; conquest.  It’s about proving who is best/strongest/fittest/toughest.  These are fine for athletic achievement.  But they are NOT fine for working synergistic with a natural systemic and environmental structure.  Nature is NOT an athletic endeavor.  Nature is an “eat or be eaten” proposition that WILL see blood drawn; where life truly hangs in the balance.  Nature does not keep score. Natures makes score.  This is WHY O’fieldstream strictly avoids referring to these Traditional Activities, as "sport(s)”.

Sport, in an older, more traditional reference time, implied a very different temperament.The word, in the traditional sense is an adjective describing a ‘state of being’. Traditionally ‘sport’ is not an activity, it is a way of conduct. The only reason ‘sport’ comes up at all in conversations concerning Outdoor Heritage Tradition-Activities is due to the topic of ‘fair-chase’. The concept of the game being pursued having a, ‘sporting chance’. 

To understand this concept, one reality must never be ignored: engagement of two opposing species, in the natural environment, is for but one of the two following reasons:
a) Territory
b) Food.

While on this topic, let’s address the conditions science has identified and named to address . Those conditions known as, 
a) communal aspects (bees, fish, elephants, etc.)
b) symbiotic relationships (aphids, ants, plants | clown fish and sea anemone | oxpecker and buffalo  and more)


When Outdoor Heritage Tradition-Activities are engaged as a modern recreational activity, the conduct carried out, in the natural world, is based upon the traditional understanding of the gentlemanly term: sporting.  that not only assumed conquest, but did not point to conquest as an end unto itself.  The ‘sporting mentality’, pointed out a higher-purpose of the pursuit of such outdoor activities as hunting, fishing and other such wilderness skills. The resource-interface resulted in an educational opportunity.

Engagement in the Outdoor Heritage Tradition-Activities, afforded teaching and instructional opportunities for each participant in an applied, hands-on participation in each activity. At the same time, the importance of passing on the knowledge of the each activity, provides necessary tools for survival. And in "easier times", the Outdoor Heritage Tradition-Activities could be enjoyed as recreational experiences. The purposed emphasis is placed on the need for future generations to receive a sound and qualified education, in the Outdoor Heritage Traditions-Activities, as a means of maintaining/retaining the knowledge of Outdoor Skills and to build a deep appreciation for the natural resource, though direct, regular contact with nature.

Even in the early days of our country, there was much confusion and miseducation in the use of the resource. The "Good Old Days”, were filled with a great deal of destruction and senseless carnage. Where often times abuse of the resource was promoted. Many of the "Good Old Days", were really not all that good.

Unfortunately, not much has changed.

Today we operate from both sides of ditches—in-extreme. We're either steeped in over-consumerism or over-protectionism. Balance, being the goal, is a state in which we never quite seem to be stable enough to maintain.

O'fieldstream does not oppose recreational enjoyment of the natural resources. Quite the contrary, we encourage it. We encourage wise use of all our natural resources and recognize the benefits of including education, responsibility and accountability -by all persons involved - for any action taken within the natural resource arena.


WHERE O'fieldstream DIFFERS FROM THE "HERD"

We take a dim view of today's excessive focus on sport for the sake of sport. It is a hypocritical position and only exists to defend excessive pressure on the resources, for the purpose of market development in everything from international to local economies. Often exerting an unnecessary and unnatural pressure beyond what the resource can expectantly bear.

Local economies, that depend upon outdoor recreation for their livelihoods, can continue to enjoy economic returns from there outdoor recreational activities, but they must do so in a responsible manner. Or their growth and development will only short-term gains; losing out over the long-term. 

There is no need for excessive hype or misapplication of well-intended conservation measures while offering a reduced impact on the resource. As a result the resource will remain healthy; affording years of continual service to the community in both economics and esthetics.

It is especially disgusting, when media and business attempt to disguise these excesses with the use of credible conservation methods - such as Catch-and-Release. The promotion of user-excitement (aka, spending $$$ in a given quality resource area) through "multiple-fish-per-fishermen-per-day" on a given body of water, while claiming 'no harm' to the resource, for the sole purpose of building a market for local economies, is wrong.

This type of hype marketing also builds a false sense of responsible action that is ultimately destructive to both the activity, the resource and those involved.

Unfortunately nearly every business associated with outdoor recreation has been, and still is, guilty of this malady. Some of the offenders attempt to dilute their error by being involved in various environmental projects or by making some other token gesture toward resource responsibility. But the fact remains, they DO IT .. and they PROMOTE IT to their customers through their actions . The result is the resource suffers and everyone wonders why. It's insane and it is ludicrous. Worst of all, it is unnecessary and totally avoidable.

Why not promote the use of an already in-place, proven, self-imposed regulation system ... known simply as ETHICS.

Ethics, the word, or the very discussion of it, is for many a bad karma today. And understandably so.

Ethics implies not only a knowledge of 'what is right and wrong and the difference between' ... but a conscious and willing desire to -- DO WHAT IS RIGHT!

"Ethics is what you do in the dark, before the Game Warden shows up...". Paul Quinnett, Pavlov's Trout

Unfortunately, in place of a simple, straight-forward, ethic, as a society we have slipped into it's slot a state of situation ethics. Meaning, that it is the situation that determines our system of ethics -- not-- that our ethic determines actions taken in any situation we encounter.

Such an application of ETHICS, with regard to the "C&R" issue in fishing, would be: instead of catching-and-releasing dozens of fish in a given body of water:

'Catch-and-Release ONLY [apply local slot limit here] fish and quit for the day on that body of water'.

Thereby insuring the resource -fish, water, bottom structure and surrounding environment- are, in no way adversely affected by too much human-use pressure - by YOU.

Such a development of responsible action would see value far beyond just sustaining a population of fish.

This is the development of a personal responsibility ethic [in harmony with Leopoldian Land Ethic]. This would go long distances toward stemming the growing tide of ignorance that has led to a subliminal and calloused disregard for the fragility of the resource.

These conditions exist in all areas of today's "Outdoor Sporting" activities.

Here are only a few samples:

Hunting
  •  trophy fixation
  •  exotic species importation
  •  pay-hunts
  •  "feed-lot" hunting

Fishing
  •  disdain for selective harvest
  •  abusive C&R promotion
  •  tournaments
  •  equipment mania
  •  excessive pressure of sensitive resources

Camping
  •  over-pressure due to hype-marketing
  •  misguided education
  •  image marketing

Canoe/Kayaking
  •  resource-use arrogance
  •  misguided marketing
  •  market influenced tradition

Hiking
  •  trail abuse
  •  misguided education
  •  image marketing


Because these conditions do exist, the growing tide of agendas for the obliteration of the practice of the Outdoor Heritage Tradition-Activities gain momentum; becoming fuel for their agendas. Unwittingly, today's - so-called, "Outdoor Sportsmen" have become an accomplice to the causes that are targeting the very extirpation of what they say they love and hold so dearly.


WHAT CONSTITUTES AN OUTDOOR HERITAGE TRADITION

The Outdoor Heritage Tradition-Activities are, by necessity, items of knowledge learned from the so-called, "elder members of the tribe" (those who have come and gone before us), through relating the experience and the transfer of their expertise, by way of in-the-field teaching, written word, images - and what ever other means necessary for the Traditions to continue forward.

The Outdoor Heritage Tradition-Activities are actions, passed down from generation-to-generation, that have allowed humans to survive since they first appeared on the scene. In the early stages of humanities existence, knowledge and practice of the Traditions allowed co-existance and sustainability within the natural world.

Outdoor Heritage Tradition-Activities exhibit both enjoyable and stressful experiences that are good for the development of the outdoorsman within all of us: male and female. Expertise in any of them can provide life sustaining measures, avocation, service or pleasure.


EPILOGUE

No doubt you have found the Journal's Mission expresses a few differences from the typical fair found in outdoor publications today. Yet, the topics covered are quite familiar to anyone with an interest in "The Outdoors".

We encourage you to take a long, hard, look at this site, the contents and the message. Think about what O'fieldstream says. Look into it.

Analyze it. Scrutinize it. And yes, even argue with it.
 In the end, we believe you will be surprised to find what O'fieldstream says. We believe the tenor of this 'way of thinking' will be far closer to what you truly feel and believe - what you look-for in the outdoor experience - than you initially realized.

  • O'fieldstream is NOT a front for or group of "flaming radicals", Righters or Lefters, "rights activists", or any other number of sociopolitical movements around today.
  • O'fieldstream is simply the voice of concerned members of the human race, respectful users of the natural resources, who deeply respect and appreciate the resource.
  • O'fieldstream is a voice for those who are willing to "buck-the-system" of over-active political correctness and market prostitution to say what needs to be said,

"We [the human race] have made big, and are continuing to make bigger, more destructive, mistakes with the natural resources. And it must stop!

We can co-exist sustainability within the framework of the natural environment ... BUT ... we must be willing to do what it takes to correct the problems we've created ... and deal with the fallout of years of neglect and abuse."

It's as plain and simple as that. What you see is what you get. Read us and you'll see...

Heritagekeeper

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