This week, New Hampshire State Bill 89 may make it’s way to the New Hampshire state senate. SB-89 is a bill that proposes banning the use and sale of toxic lead fishing tackle weighing one ounce or less, and it’s passage will help protect common loons from lead poisoning.
Lead poisoning is the leading known cause of death for loons in the state of New Hampshire. Loons typically consume toxic lead in one of two ways: they either ingest the weights thinking they are pebbles, which they consume to aid in digestion, or they get lead into their system when eating fish that have lead fishing gear attached to them or in their stomachs. Poisoned loons then die a painful, suffering death. Because loons are slow to mature, have small clutch sizes, and expend a huge amount of energy in raising and caring for their chicks, these unnatural deaths have caused decreases in the loon population and continue to threaten the survival of these beautiful birds.
I cannot think of a single reason not to vote in support of SB-89 and these increased restrictions; there are a number of viable alternatives to lead that can be used for small sinkers and jigs, and their continued use is irresponsible.
The Loon Preservation Committee is a great organization that advocates for the protection of these beautiful birds in New Hampshire. I was able to connect with them last summer and they were helpful in providing me with some information about loons in NH. Unfortunately, I was unable to spend as much time working with them as I wanted, but hope to continue a project to document and advocate for loon conservation in the northeast with their help. For more info, visit http://www.loon.org/.
At approximately 1PM yesterday, myself and the six others in my trekking party reached the summit of Mount Washington, home of the world’s worst weather. We were greeted by 52 mph winds (with stronger gusts) that made the summit feel much colder than the balmy -14 degree actual temperature (probably about -40 or so). We stayed on the summit for no more than 15 minutes – just enough time to change out some layers, get a quick snack and drink of water, and snap a couple group photos – before heading back down the mountain the way we had came. It was cold, it was beautiful, it was amazing.
I made the trek with an awesome group from Brooklyn Outfitters. I’ve known BKO’s founders before BKO existed, and I’ve been itching to get out on an adventure with them. So when co-founder Stetson Hundgen suggested I come along for their first guided winter summit attempt of Mount Washington (something I have dreamed of doing since I first stepped foot in New Hampshire in February 2009), it was hard to say no.
Now I’ve dealt with a good number of guides and led a variety of trips for universities, camps, non-profits, and outdoor adventure and education companies myself, so I’d like to think I know a good guide service when I see one. Let me tell you, these dudes from the city can hang with the locals any day. Good trips, where guides provide an experience that is challenging but fun, carefully calculate risks to keep the group safe without interfering with the fun part, and know when to be serious, when to be relaxed, and just how much instruction to give to make participants feel supported but not babied, are an absolute joy to be on. I honestly can’t think of enough good things to say about Brooklyn Outfitters, so I’ll just stop gushing now and simply encourage anyone in the New York City area to take a trip with them at some point.
Thank you so much Brooklyn Outfitters and everyone who summited Mount Washington with me. Even though we’ve come off the summit and returned home, because of you guys I still feel like I’m on top of the world.
Click on the link above to check out Brooklyn Outfitters’ other awesome trips departing out of New York City. They have another Mount Washington trip planned for February, so if you are feeling adventurous be sure to sign up!