A disturbing study came out this week from the Nature Conservancy.
Americans are becoming housebound and it could affect conservation efforts. After all, if you don't know about nature, why should you care about it?
The study looked at everything from duck hunting to camping to hiking.
It said long-term per capita visitation measures of nature recreation peaked between 1981 and 1991. Now they've declined about 1.2 percent per year since then, and have declined a total of between 18 percent and 25 percent.
Much of nature is not being explored by Americans and they are learning about nature on TV rather than in the real world.
Videos and TV are the biggest blame but high gasoline prices also enter into it.
Kids aren't putting down their iPods to go for a hike.
The amount of time that kids spend outdoors determines their environmental awareness as adults. That's scary. They will have less understanding of water, land and conservation.
We're lucky living in Idaho. Nature is so close, even in the city.
But a lot has to be done to attract kids to nature.
The Idaho Department of Fish and Game's programs, such as the Nature Center in Boise, are important. Moms and dads and grandpas and grandmas have to get the kids outdoors.
Conservation depends on it.
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