Stewards of Ourselves and Staying in Touch
By Martin Osborne
Last month I put a post on the MBN website. The post spoke to an issue relating to an action by one of our Executive Board Representatives. It got me to thinking (scary I know) about how many of us are in touch, truly in touch with the MBN Executive Board and Maryland Department of Resources operations. So I thought I would write this article, not specific to the issue from my post, but about what we as members should be doing to hold ourselves accountable and stay in touch. I am not saying that you/we/I don’t hold ourselves accountable, and that we are not in touch, but are we doing as good a job as we can?
There are a few things that I think we can do better as MBN members and as stewards of our fishery, things we can to better to stay in touch with what is going on with the MBN and the state of MD as it pertains to our tournament waters.
How many of us have signed up for the notifications from the DNR web site? How many of us actually read the MBN minuets each month? How many have been to an Executive Board Meeting, even if it’s as a guest? Understand that our Executive Board and the DNR don’t always get it right. They, as well as us, make our fair share of mistakes. Whether it’s due to complacency, not enough information, or bad communication, mistakes are made. We need to be more in touch and connected to help them get it right and keep ourselves accountable.
So as a member of the MBN, and President of the MD Hawgsters, I am asking for each one of us to challenge ourselves to a couple of things, if you don’t already do so.
Go to the DNR web site, and sign up to receive notifications on proposed scopes. Doing this will keep ALL of us involved, and in touch, with what potential changes may be coming to our tournament waters. You will receive notifications about EVERYTHING fishing, not just Black Bass. These notifications are sent out to the general public to notify you that, “we have heard from, researched enough, and ask for your input to possibly change”. If you don’t know, than you won’t know, and you can’t stop or speak to until it’s too late. I have attached the link, and some direction to do this below.
If you don’t read, or not that often, then I challenge us all to read each month’s Executive Board Meeting minutes regularly, understand our bylaws and rules, maybe go to an Executive Board Meeting, but stay in touch. Hold our Executive Board and our Regional Directors accountable. And, keep them in touch with the membership by going to your Regional Meetings and giving input. Be informed, and stay informed, and hold each one of ourselves accountable as well, to do what’s best for the MBN and our tournament waters. Some things we cannot control, some things we can’t change, but understand, by staying in touch and staying involved we can make most things better.
I also challenge our Executive Board to hold themselves accountable. To being more engaged, and transparent. To reevaluate how they communicate to the membership on all levels, and issues.
I would like to finish with one last piece. The days of just letting, or trusting other people, organizations, or agencies to protect, provide, and do for, are not working. We must be in touch and informed. And remember, what we want is what’s best for the MBN. Frustration, anger, and “just screw it” will not fix anything. Trust me I know. So be a steward of yourself, and stay in touch, and informed. Thank you.
To sign up for the DNR notification, go to http://dnr.maryland.gov/Pages/default.aspx
- then click on the fishing tab
- then click on “join our mailing list” and fill out then needed information
- If you want to be informed on more than fishing, follow these steps on each different tab.
* Executive Board Meetings are held at the Bass Pro Shops every 3rd Thursday of the month at 6 pm.