My friend, Spearfish debate coach, avid outdoorsman, and known Republican Bob Speirs writes the case for saving the historic D.C. Booth Fish Hatchery from the mindless Washington budget axe:
For a budding ornithologist, there are few places in the Black Hills that can compare to the historic fish hatchery grounds for quantity and diversity of bird life. Each of the past few summers has found [Jane] Doerges at the side of Kent Jensen of South Dakota State University as he instructed classes for area youth on the intricacies of mist netting and bird banding.
Over a dozen different species have been captured and one, the Cordilleran flycatcher, is the only specimen of that species Jensen has ever netted in 30 years of study. Doerges is afraid that her Booth bird banding memories are about to end.
...Future scientists and biologists like Jane are nurtured each summer through a student volunteer program called Hatchery Helpers and buses filled with youth daily tour the facility interacting with nature and visiting the world-class fisheries museum.
Ranger Mitch Adams conducts archery lessons. Director Carlos Martinez teaches classes in biology and archivist and fisheries museum curator Randi Smith teaches youth about the importance of historical preservation with hands-on demonstrations. Closure of the D.C. Booth would have long-range ramifications for the recruitment of young naturalists to follow in their footsteps [Bob Spiers, "Operations at the Threatened D.C. Booth Fish Hatchery Go Far Beyond the Feeding of Fish," Rapid City Journal, 2013.08.29].
The D.C. Booth Fish Hatchery doesn't just raise fish. It raises kids who will grow up wanting to protect fish, birds, the outdoors, and history for the enjoyment of generations to come. Call Rep. Noem, Senator Thune, and Senator Johnson and tell them to talk some sense into the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.