Friday, July 24, 2015

Passion, Science, and Dallas

Every now and again you meet someone special.   I'm not talking about candle light dinners and romantic dates.   I'm talking about someone who is a master at something due to their uncontrollable passion.   The kind of drive and interest that places them on a whole different level.   There are very few people left that the wilderness needs as much as we need the wilderness.   Dallas Hudson is one of them.

I recently had the privilege of meeting and spending time with Dallas at his northern Minnesota home.   Dallas works for the U.S. Geological Survey and studies a lake that is located outside his front window.   We fished this small lake in search of data.   Data that came in the form of bent rods and fighting pike.   Northern pike have been tagged to monitor many aspects of their aquatic life.   From growth rates to fishing pressures.   All fish were measured, tag numbers recorded, and released to continue their journey and continue to help us with ours.

We caught many tagged fish and recorded ample amounts of data.   It's astonishing how much I
learned in such a short time.   I was amazed at growth rates, but I was blown away on how much fishing pressure affects such a fishery.   Many of the same fish are caught year after year after year.   Which further proves the importance of selective harvest and habitat protection.

Dallas is living it.   He's seeing it.   He's touching it.   He is a walking library of wilderness information.   He is also a butterfly and dragonfly expert.   Along with an exceptional amount of wisdom in phenology.  Journal entries, data spread sheets, tally counts, you name it and he records it daily.   He is a hands on wilderness scientist who just plain gets it.   Butterflies make his heart beat and northern lake water runs through his veins.   One man can indeed make a difference.   The lake outside his home is proof.

I am humbled and honored to have meet Dallas and his wife Lori.   Who, by the way, makes a mean wild blue berry pie.   Real people with real wilderness.   I have nothing but respect for Dallas and everything he has and continues to do for our wilderness.   I'm confident that if not for a select few we most definitely would not have the habitat that remains.   My time spent with Dallas was spent in the best seat in the house.