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Father’s Day: Outdoor Connections with Dad

PHOTO: Just one look at the offering of Father's Day cards demonstrates the importance and the role outdoor recreation plays in connecting with fathers. Photo credit: Deborah C. Smith.
PHOTO: Just one look at the offering of Father's Day cards demonstrates the importance and the role outdoor recreation plays in connecting with fathers. Photo credit: Deborah C. Smith.
June 12, 2014

VERONA, Va. - With Father's Day arriving this Sunday, June 15th, classic Father's Day images of camping and fishing are once again appearing up and down the greeting card aisle. Verona fly-fishing guide Tom Sadler explains that Father's Day tie to fishing is all about a tradition of either putting food on the table for family, or because family outings are so often connected to outdoor recreation.

"Father's Day is that time when we do connect with our dads outdoors, whether it's hiking, biking, kayaking, fly-fishing, or playing golf," says Sadler. "Of course, it's that outdoor heritage that is so prominent here in the Shenandoah Valley."

Sadler is among those who say they hope outdoor recreation opportunities continue to grow in light of recently proposed carbon-reduction rules that are expected to impact coal-country jobs. Sadler also says jobs in outdoor recreation industry have grown in Virginia, in contrast to the decline in mining jobs, and that recreation is sensitive to climate-change disruptions.

"As a fishing guide, I see the weather changes, I see the impacts," explains Sadler. "Ignoring the value of outdoor recreation here in Virginia is silly. It's a $13 billion industry here in Virginia."

Sadler has another perspective too. As a father he sees the carbon-reduction rules as important to protecting the outdoor heritage for future generations of Virginians, and those visiting the commonwealth to sample the outdoors.

Deborah Courson Smith/Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - VA