The Buffalo river in Arkansas looms as the largest of icons in the Williams family lore growing up in the 60’s and 70’s. Our family’s tradition was to take a canoe camping trip on the Buffalo every year. This tradition continued for over 30 years and has been passed on from parents to children to grandchildren and now great-grandchildren. Many of our best memories come from the times we spent on the river together.
What many people don’t know is that the Buffalo river was very nearly ruined. If not for the efforts of citizen groups like the Ozark society, much of the river would be dammed resulting in a huge lake today surrounded by private vacation homes instead of the free flowing National Scenic River open to all citizens that it is today.
What turned the tide to stop the Corps of Engineers plans for up to 3 dams? Many feel that the a float trip taken by Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas in 1962 was a spark that began the movement of ordinary people to keep the Buffalo a free flowing stream. Through this trip he was inspired to write an opinion in favor of preservation. Which inspired even more people to visit this (at the time) little known river. The river is now protected with America’s first “National River” designation.
Public Lands Belong to You!
Public lands are a hot topic on a national level these days. No matter what your political views, most people agree that preserving public lands for future generations is as American as apple pie. Whether you’re a hunter or hiker, fisherman or kayaker, birdwatcher or daydreamer, access to public lands for recreation is an important right we all share.
We, as the outdoor community of Acadiana, must continue to show that local parks, trails, marshes and waterways are assets we must preserve for future generations.
Access to tidal waters are extremely threatened as well as access to many parts of the Atchafalaya basin. State parks are being closed. Budgets are razor thin. YOU are the key to the future of all access to public lands. YOU using these lands and YOU inspiring others to use these lands makes all the difference. Just like Justice Douglas taking a river trip over 50 years ago – people can and will make a difference.
Be a Part of the Movement
Becky and I along with our store staff and guiding staff invite you to join us in an exciting quest. Over the next 6 months, we want YOU to show South Louisiana how you use our public lands and waters.
We have developed a special bandana to help us carry our message. The message “This Land is Your Land” with the “Y” textured to also read “This Land is Our Land” shows everyone the areas you frequent in your kayak or on foot. Our aim is for this campaign to also be an inspiration to others to get out and enjoy our public lands – from local to state to national!
We gave our store and guiding staff bandanas last week and asked them to get us some photos of places that they went. Here’s some examples to get you started!
Now it’s your turn
Come by the shop, and pick up one of these special bandanas. For each bandana, you will place a $5 donation in the jar of your choice to support either the Louisiana Sportsmans Coalition or the Teche Project. 100% of this money goes to whichever beneficiary you choose.
Then head out kayaking, kayak fishing, hiking or whatever outdoor activities you love. Take a photo with the bandana and send them to: Socialmedia@packpaddle.com. Include the names of the people in the photo as well as the name of the location and the public entity that oversees the area. Short stories about your trip are welcome as well! The photos will be shared on the P&P facebook as well as Instagram.