Two sides of outdoor recreation
Thursday, June 14, 2018
The Daily Reflector’s June 12 front page article discussing North Carolina’s effort to promote outdoor recreation was encouraging. The economic figures cited show that the state’s new Outdoor Recreation Industry Office will play a major role in the NC Economic Development Partnership.
The irony is that the very legislature that created the Outdoor Recreation Industry Office is dominated by an environmental wrecking crew whose legislative agenda has been a windfall for polluters, paid for in the long run at the expense of the health and welfare of North Carolina’s citizens. Apparently, this legislature is either unwilling or unable to understand the big picture.
Any effort to “promote outdoor recreational opportunities and the attributes of the state that allow industries to thrive” will ultimately be undermined by degrading the very resources such an effort depends on. North Carolina is blessed with bountiful natural beauty and resources, but our air, waters, forests, green spaces, and soil have to be vigilantly guarded, preserved, and improved.
Dr. Herman Daly, Nobel prize co-nominee for sustainable development had it right when he said, “The economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the environment, not the reverse.” In reference to outdoor recreational opportunity and industry, North Carolina can have its cake and eat it too. However, the current recipe emphasizes the short term dollar signs in the icing.
The writer is the owner and operator of Machapunga Ecotours