WE DID IT!!! THE COUNTY WILL NOT BE REPLACING THE CULVERTS UNTIL NEXT SUMMER!!!!
Sorry I didn't get around to posting the details. I came down with a cold bug yesterday and didn't feel like posting last night. Mr. Attitude and I are taking a sick day here at home.
It turns out that this was probably a result of miscommunication between the area fisheries manager, the area hydrologist, and the county highway department. They have an annual meeting to discuss scheduled projects, and I guess it was not mentioned at that time that Sand Creek was a trout stream. Actually, Sand Creek is still technically a county ditch, so even though it is a trout stream, there is no law that would prohibit the culvert replacement this time of year! Unbelievable. But, when I got to work yesterday, my boss was on the phone with the county highway engineer, and he convinced them to hold off with the project due to trout stream concerns. The crew was already out there on site, but they didn't get a chance to start anything.
Whew. That was a close call.
The next step is to get Sand Creek un-designated as a county ditch, which I guess is a rather lengthy process. The county is probably reluctant to lose ditch status on any stream, because you never know when some new, profitable agricultural operation might want to set up in the swamps upstream (That's why the county isn't too fond of wetlands laws either). However, I am unaware of any farmer that is using the creek as a drainage ditch, so there may be little opposition from landowners.
I just can't believe it all came down to me speaking up! If I were more New Age, I might even say I feel empowered. : )