Monday, October 22, 2007

Score: Trout 1, County 0!!!!!

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. : )

18 comments:

Lynne said...

Way to go Deb!! You stood up and spoke and they listened!! So many of us are afraid to speak or don't believe it will make a difference. I applaude you.

denise said...

Yay! I am proud that you were successful, and apparently in the nick of time. Much like the Lorax, you "speak for the trout"!

Madcap said...

Yahoo! Whoopee! I'm getting an adrenaline rush just reading about it!!!

Sue said...

Yay! Way to go Deb! Hooray for concerned citizens with the backbone to take action when they see something wrong!

Sue said...

Oh, and I kid you not, the letter verification thingy I just had to do to post my first comment was:

qkqwomun

You go, "quick woman!"

Jen said...

Thank goodness for chocolate chip cookies, neighbors who lend things, and your activism. Congrats!

eric said...

Way to go, Deb! It may be a cliche, but that's a great example of "think globally, act locally."

MojoMan said...

Fantastic! That you took action is admirable. That you had the knowledge to act on was wonderful luck. Wouldn't it be great if more of us had real, fact-based understanding of our natural systems such as yours?

arcolaura said...

Congrats!

momadness said...

Good work, Deb!

barefoot gardener said...

Yay!!!
I wish you could see my victory dance.

Deb said...

Thanks all everyone. I think the thing that did it was calling my boss at home and leaving a message. I walked into the office this morning and he was on the phone with the county highway engineer. Apparently, since this stream is also a county ditch, it was perfectly legal for the county to do anything to the stream. BUT, my boss convinced them that replacing culverts this time of year was just a bad idea.

The next, obvious step is to make this stream not a ditch. It has not been used as a ditch for many years, still there is a lot of red tape to jump through just to have this stream declared not a ditch.

I'm still reeling from the thought that I may have saved a whole year class of trout in Sand Creek. And, I think I'm getting a cold. Scratchy throat. Sigh.

pablo said...

Great work! Do you suppose someone just didn't know any better, or do you think they didn't expect any resistance?

RuthieJ said...

Way to go Deb! I'm proud of you for handling this in the diplomatic (and "legal") way and actually getting the results you hoped for! Thanks for letting us know how things turned out.

Deb said...

Pablo- I probably answered your question in the updated version of this post. Although I wouldn't put it past them...

RuthieJ- Just doin' my job! But I would have done it anyway.

momadness said...

As I said, good work Deb!!

dharma bum said...

OK, somehow I missed this post but just came to the blog to see if you had updated on the situation and this is GREAT NEWS! Way to go. One person truly can make a difference, especially when dealing with issues in their own watershed. And especially when that person is smart and passionated like you are. Nice work. I feel inspired.

dharma bum said...

"Passionated."

I think I'm going to say that's a new word.