Starting with the Aug/Sept 2016 edition, I’ll be writing a column for Fly Fisherman, "Rising Tides", profiling interesting individuals in the Industry. As my inaugural subject, I interviewed K.C. Walsh, President of Simms Fishing Products.
The outdoor industry is a sector in which Americans of all political affiliations often come together for the greater good of the recreational resources we rely upon. K.C. had plenty of interesting things to say, but this anecdote was particularly apropos:
“For those of us in the fishing business, we’re like agriculturalists. We’re dependent on weather conditions. At Simms, our year often depends on snowpack that develops in early November and can be highly variable by geography. So, we’ve had a couple of really tough years in California and a few better years in the northern Rockies,” he offers, briefly illuminating the harsh realities of recent snow and rainfall.
“We’re right on the front line of climate change. I don’t think anyone in our industry can have their head in the sand on this issue. Fish depend on cool, clear water. And global warming is not conducive to great fishing,” he says.
Our national discussions, or rather, total lack of national discussions, on climatological science and a viable action plan deeply concerns him. Many old-school Republicans feel their party’s traditional pro-sportsmen platform and dialogue around the environment have been hijacked by impostors abusing the party name.
“What the Tea Partiers have done is a shame,” Walsh says, shaking his head in dismay. “Last month, I had dinner with Bob Inglis, a former congressman from South Carolina. He’s in a very interesting position because he’s a conservative Republican who lost office to a Tea Partier because he recognized climate change as an important issue. It’s people like Bob who are going to make an impact on this issue in the United States. It has to become a bipartisan concern.”
Read the full article in print or online: http://www.flyfisherman.com/