This week we wanted to talk to you about an effort near and dear to our hearts; preserving the places we love for years to come. Conserving these gems before we lose them is something in which we can all have a share. That's right, we all can take a few practical steps to help the cause. Sure you can petition the government or tie yourself to tree, but that is not what we are getting after here. Today we want to talk to you about the little things we can do.

1. Donate to a conservation effort. There are many great efforts going on around the world to protect at risk resources. Not sure where to begin? Look for a reliable organization, which has a proven track record in conservation. Trout Unlimited and Western Rivers Conservancy are a couple which we really like. Check out the video below, which expresses the need to Save Blue Creek, which is a crowdfunding effort from Western Rivers Conservancy. Every dollar counts and just $10 buys 300 sq. ft. of forest surrounding this majestic water.

2. Join an conservation organization. Again there are many organizations to join, but find one that works for you. We really like Trout Unlimited and Surfrider as each of these organizations don't cost a whole lot to join and you get connected to like minded people in your local community. There are other like the Atlantic Salmon FederationWild Steelhead Coalition, and Bonefish and Tarpon Trust all of which are also doing a lot of good. 

3. Clean up your local gem. This can be as simple as taking a piece of trash out of the woods or water where you like to explore. Also make sure you do your part in reducing your impact and leave only footprints. Stay on trails to reduce erosion, pack out what you pack in, etc. Or be a superhero and organize a cleanup of your local trail, river or pond. It all adds up. And when at home make sure to recycle or reuse to the fullest possible extent.

4. Buy gear from a company dedicated to protecting the environment. We all want to look good and be comfortable while exploring the natural world. Make an extra difference by purchasing your gear from a 1% for the Planet company. These companies provide products in aspects of life, not just outdoor gear. We also like Rep Your Water as proceeds from each purchase go to various conservation groups. Also make sure you buy quality gear as it lasts longer, which keeps our landfills from filling up faster. It's definitely worth the few extra dollars. 

5. Practice Catch & Release Fishing. This isn't the first time we've talked about catch and release practices, but we will mention some of the benefits again. We highly recommend the better "Keep'em Wet" principles we covered in an earlier post. Not only is it better for the fish, but it means you will be protecting wild and stocked fish. Of course, we would like to see more spots with wild fish, let;s protect the fish we all like to catch or just observe. The next generation will also thank you for it. Of course harvesting some fish is necessary to promote the health of our waters, but do it responsibly.

6. Spread the word. This is the most important step and the easiest. Tell everyone you know, especially your friends and family members. Be active on social media and promote the causes close to your heart. Create a community of people who share your passions and want to help.

Do whatever you can to help protect your local natural gems. There are certainly more steps you can take, but these are some easier ones for you to start with. Tell us what kind of place you hope to protect and what you plan on doing to protect it in the comments below. We'd love to hear from you and help you pormote your efforts.