Nov/Dec 2021Directionsby Robert H. Boyles, Jr., Director, SCDNR

Robert H. Boyles, Jr., Interim Director

OVER THE HOLIDAYS I FOUND MYSELF REFLECTING on my grandfather’s simple intercessions, regularly and simply thanking the Almighty for "past blessings, present bounty and future hope." Powerful words from a smart and humble man, he consistently reminded our family to remember the blessings of the past, our forebears and the world we inherited — our heritage. He was also quick to remind us to act responsibly and dream about the future, anticipating the fruits of our labors — our legacy. So it occurs to me, here we find ourselves, caught squarely between our heritage and our legacy. What are we to make of it, and how does it relate to the time-honored tradition or expectation of resolving to work to do things better in the new year?

As Shakespeare wrote, "the past is prologue," and it is helpful to consider our past as we kick-off 2022. In that vein, this special themed issue of South Carolina Wildlife commemorates the 300th anniversary of the journeys of the English naturalist Mark Catesby. Beginning in the 1720s, Catesby traveled extensively through the land that would come to be known as South Carolina, and he produced one of the first published accounts of the flora and fauna of North America. Catesby’s work led countless others to value the unique and splendid place we call home here in the Palmetto State, and we see this reflected in a piece on the effects of feather collecting that ultimately led to a conservation legacy for later generations. Further, we feature a piece on wildlife art that represents yet another way in which our natural heritage is captured by talented and passionate artists to be passed on as our legacy for future South Carolinians. Mr. Catesby’s work lives on today through the selfless and dedicated service of the women and men of the S.C. Department of Natural Resources, and you’ll get a sense of what happens between heritage and legacy with a feature on modern wildlife management and how our present generation labors to leave things better than we found them.

As I sit here now, between our heritage and our legacy, let me encourage you to consider the blessings of the past and the promise of the future. Let me also challenge you to help build an enduring legacy for our future by getting outside, away from the crowds and the noise, and marvel in the natural wonders of South Carolina. Then, consider how you can support stewardship of our natural resources. As you do so, know that your SCDNR staff are grateful for the natural heritage we inherited from our forebears, and we look we look forward to working with you with you to Empower South Carolinians to Live Life Outdoors, in 2022 and beyond.

 

- Robert H. Boyles, Jr., Director
South Carolina Wildlife

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