Painless resolutions for outdoor lovers

By Jim Freeman - In The Open

“New year, new me!”

Not so fast.

While people seem to enjoy making New Year’s Resolutions, the truth is that – according to various researchers – anywhere from 88 to 92 percent of resolutions fail. In fact, for most of you reading this, chances are pretty good that your resolutions have already failed. If you are one of the 8-12 percent whose resolutions stick – give yourself a pat on the back.

Most resolutions are nothing more than lofty hopes without clearly defined goals, deadlines or a plan to attain them, and they are a set up for failure. That fitness center that is packed the first few weeks of 2017, will be mostly empty by the beginning of February, much to the relief of the usual crowd that sticks with it year-round.

That’s pretty much why I don’t make them.

However, if you love nature and the outdoors, let me offer some pain-free resolutions for this year. It’s not too late.

After March 1 you can buy the 2017 Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp.

For $15 you will receive the collectible stamp, a window cling, and a commemorative card. The stamp proceeds support: habitat restoration, land purchases and conservation easements; keeping common species common; endangered and threatened native species; educational products for students and wildlife enthusiasts; wildlife and habitat research projects.

For $5 or $10, depending on how you purchase, you can also get a year-long subscription to the Wild Ohio magazine. Wild Ohio is an add-free publication delivered to your mailbox six times a year, including a calendar issue, and features articles about game and non-game species, recipes, and lots of photos.

For more information about the legacy stamp or Wild Ohio, visit

You can do all of that and barely lift a finger. Sure it won’t take away pounds, but you’ll have helped Ohio wildlife and that’s pretty good, too.

Also in the upcoming month you can buy some trees from your local conservation district. It doesn’t take too much cash and effort to try to beautify your own environment. I will have more information about area tree sales in the upcoming weeks.

No matter where you live, resolve to buy a fishing license and try to go fishing a few times. Even if you don’t actually make it out to go fishing, you’ll have directly helped fund and protect your state’s wildlife resources.

If you do all of this, and still decide you want to be a new you for 2017, just wait a few months and you’ll probably be able to score a sweet deal on barely used exercise equipment.

Jim Freeman is the wildlife specialist for the Meigs Soil and Water Conservation District. He can be contacted weekdays at 740-992-4282 or at

By Jim Freeman

In The Open