Culture & Criticism Since 2003
Wilderness Unlimited (WU) was founded in 1987 – a California hunting and fishing club dedicated to the preservation of private lands for myriad sporting purposes. Adhering to a unique motto (“Conservation through proper utilization”), WU strives to give hunters and fisherman the chance to engage the outdoors in relative peace.
Like it or not, a foundational part of America’s heritage is dying as hunting slowly becomes another ‘thing of the past’ – the land consumed by developers and cordoned off from the rest. Moreover, today’s culture no longer easily accepts hunters: the general perception seems to be that hunting is bad and those who continue to do it grossly out-of-touch. Many hunters I know who live in California feel displaced, feeling as if they have no where left to go where they can immerse themselves in nature’s vibrant tranquility.
And that’s where WU comes in – its goal is to smartly manage private land, with each member expected not only to embark on a hunt but also to simultaneously work toward the preservation of these ever-dwindling resources. You see, WU isn’t only about offering a link to quality private land so you can hunt your heart out. Rather, the group teaches hunters that when resources are used properly they renew themselves naturally: By thinning herds, herds come back stronger; by managing private wilderness lands and fighting against corporate development, rivers and timber-stands are preserved for the betterment of the collective culture.
Nonetheless, what’s best about WU isn’t found in any of these things. Instead, what’s best about the group is found in its commitment to the community: Look close and you’ll note that WU sponsors many events aimed at educating youngsters to be responsible citizens. WU accomplishes this by teaching young people to be dependable hunters and fishermen who will exhibit the depth of conscience whenever they take resources to sustain themselves.
For example, an event called “Lucy’s Pond” launched over two-decades ago gives kids the chance to dive into the practice of fishing. Sponsored by the non-profit Wilderness Unlimited Foundation, “Lucy’s Pond” is held at select venues throughout the state; it offers children the chance to grab a pole and learn the intricacies of fishing through trial and error and retrial.
Take a close look and you’ll see that this youth-fishing celebration stands as the absolute personification of the WU mission: conservation through utilization via education. As such, this commitment to education begins with the kids, since they are the ones charged with extending these traditions and preserving these all-too-scarce wild lands for future generations.