While the term ecosystem is not the sexiest word in the lexicon, nor will it inspire probes on CNN that rival the Russian meddling in our elections it is certain that how we protect our fragile ecosystems will have a more substantial impact on our lives and the lives of our children than any outside influence on our democracy.
As Americans we have the power of the vote, we can vote for candidates at the ballot box and shape change that way. We can also vote with our dollars. In our country, it is debatable which vote has more power. Voting with our dollars means focusing our resources on those companies and products that match our shared goals for the future. We can even vote with our dollars to protect ecosystems.
Yesterday, the Madison River Foundation responded to the auto manufacturer JEEP for a dangerous TV advertisement that sets a precedent that should not be followed. During the most watched annual event in America, the Super Bowl, JEEP aired an ad that promoted damaging ecosystems with a wreckless disregard for the impacts such an ad might have. The fragility of the riparian ecosystem is indisputable and in the ad a JEEP vehicle drove through a waterway named Madison Creek showing the capabilities and clearance of the vehicle, but also, intentionally or not, furthered the idea that driving through a waterway is an acceptable way to interface with these fragile riparian ecosystems.
The executive director of the Madison River Foundation, Lauren Wittorp, responded thusly:
When I saw the commercial, I was appalled that you would have a commercial encouraging people to drive their Jeep through a river.
Driving a Jeep through a stream or a river is not a responsible thing to do.
Since you aired your commercial, my phone has not stopped ringing from members of the Madison River Foundation that are angered that you are encouraging people to drive their Jeeps in our pristine, blue ribbon fishery that we work everyday to preserve, protect, and enhance.
I ask that you please take this commercial off the air and not make new commercials that imply it is a good idea to wade through the Madison River in a Jeep, setting back our hard work to preserve, protect and enhance the Madison River and its ecosystem.
A necessary and appropriate response to the dangerous precedent the ad set. We need organizations that stand up to big business when they make mistakes like this and we need them educating these businesses about the proper course for the future. The Madison River Foundation is just that organization.
Based in Ennis, Montana the Madison River Foundation is dedicated to preserving, protecting and enhancing the Madison River for the benefit of all. The Foundation’s advocacy is based on sound science and best practices to ensure the Madison River is preserved for future generations. Stream restoration, habitat enhancement, water quality analysis, invasive species monitoring, fish rescue projects and more are why the MRF is a leading voice in the defense of one of Montana’s most important rivers.
The Madison River Foundation is non-profit organization that is member driven and relies on donations to do its work. You can vote with your dollars to protect the Madison River with this important foundation.
You can donate to the Madison River Foundation here: DONATE