How Kuhl's K's help conserve a national forest

2 years ago

This story was excerpted from Thomas Harding’s Rockies Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

Rockies right-hander Chad Kuhl has donated $220 so far for conservation to the Custer Gallatin National Forest — $10 for each strikeout. It’s Kuhl contribution to Players for the Planet. It’s also part of his self-education.

Kuhl grew up in Middletown, Del., enjoying hunting and fishing for sport. But in his adulthood, his love for learning has made him even more passionate about his favorite activity and how it fits into an ecosystem where humans and animals co-exist.

“It’s a big balance,” said Kuhl, who will start Wednesday’s finale of a three-game series against the Giants at Oracle Park. “It raises some ethical questions. But a lot of money that goes into state parks or natural resources is coming from hunting licenses, fishing licenses, the state tax on what you buy at a sporting goods store.”

Kuhl loves learning in much the same way he loves baseball and outdoor sports. He has researched the efforts that have saved animals from extinction, and continues to do so.

“You see wild turkey now, because of conservation efforts,” Kuhl said. “The American bison — another good story of how conservationists and hunters have preserved species.”

Kuhl majored in communications at the University of Delaware before the Pirates drafted him in 2013. He plans to finish that degree, and has considered a broadcasting career — possibly a versatile one where he can analyze baseball or work on an outdoors show concept. He also has interest in working in the conservation field.

“The older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve cared about it,” Kuhl said. “I spent my whole life being good at baseball. But I’ve always loved being outdoors. Even if I wasn’t a hunter or fisherman, this is something I care about.”