- Wonders of Wildlife provides Tribute to Fish and Wildlife
- Wonders of Wildlife NATIONAL MUSEUM & AQUARIUM is Extraordinary
- Founder, Johnny Morris, Has Provided a Trail to Lifelong Conservation in the Outdoors through Fishing, Bass Pro Shops and now, WONDERS OF WILDLIFE
- Rick Clunn will Attend
By Forrest Fisher
One of the most respected professional bass anglers in the world is Rick Clunn. I was humbled to fish with Rick on three different fishing tournament occasions in the mid-90s. Having done that, It was easy to understand why this southern gentleman was such a successful angler.
In one word, Rick Clunn has “FOCUS” when he is fishing. He “TUNES-IN” to every spot, every situation, every cast. His success as a 5-time BASS Champion demonstrates his “UNDERSTANDING” for fishing. Above all his fishing success, Rick Clunn is humble, soft-spoken and a true conservationist. Today Rick will be in Springfield, Missouri, and he has this to share with everyone through his Facebook account:
“Melissa and I will be privileged to attend the Grand Opening of the Wonders of Wildlife. I am sure, like everything Johnny Morris has created, it will defy even the most complimentary descriptions possible. I made the statement after winning the B.A.S.S. St. John's River Tournament, "Never accept that all your greatest moments are in the past." This man has lived that philosophy his whole life and continues to. Most will see and be inspired by the Wonders of Wildlife, but I fear there are some who will see it as only a capitalistic venture or a monument to an individual’s ego.
For those of you who might feel that way, I offer my observations and understanding. I present this view because I cannot tell you how many times I have heard people ask, "Why does he build these museum style stores to sell fishing tackle? Why not be like others in the industry and just put up a metal building and have a lot less overhead?”
I will tell you, to me these are monuments, but not to Johnny Morris! These are monuments to all outdoors people and to the Natural World that he continuously and tirelessly fights for. At Big Cedar Lodge on Table Rock Lake, there is a Convention Center whose walls are lined with some of the greatest conservation mind's, thoughts and quotes. If you think the many Bass Pro Outdoor Worlds are only about selling fishing and hunting tackle I offer the following: "If I fished only to capture fish, my fishing trips would have ended long ago." Zane Grey."
I grew up an Angler when being an Angler was observed as nothing more than playing hooky from school or work. It did not share the status of football, basketball, golf, or other sports. One of my supervisors at Exxon Oil would talk with you about golf all day, but don't dare waste company time talking about fishing. Even after I quit my socially excepted profession, working for the 2nd largest computing center in the world, and started my angling career most thought I had a bad case of sun stroke. I confess, I will never forget the first time I was proud to be an Angler. I had gone to Springfield, Missouri, to represent one of my sponsors at the grand-daddy of all fishing stores, at their Spring Fishing Classic. I had been in a lot of tackle fishing shops, but nothing could have prepared me for this. When I walked in the front door of the Bass Pro Shop Outdoor World, I was moved. It was beautiful and I had never seen anything like it. But more than its beauty, I felt a sense of pride in who I was that I had not felt before. To this day I challenge every outdoor person to tell me that they did not feel a little of the same, their first time there. I now know that Johnny saw the Outdoors - and those who enjoy it, as important elements in the conservation of the fast disappearance of our natural world.
"Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after." Henry David Thoreau.
I recognize now, like Johnny did from the beginning, that to conserve the natural world we have to expose as many people to its Wonders as possible. He knew that fishing is one of the last remaining vehicles for the masses to experience the natural world and understand its importance to the sanity of man's world. Johnny's Conservation efforts are never ending. So when you tour the Wonders of Wildlife, remember the words of Theodore Roosevelt, "There can be no greater issue than that of conservation in this country."
Please stay tuned to the Wonders of Wildlife Facebook account for Live streams Sept 20th www.facebook.com/wondersofwildlife.
Events start at 3:00 PM the 20th. #WondersofWildlife.
Hope to see you there soon.