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Front Page » May 26, 2009 » Opinion » Editor's Notes
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Editor's Notes


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By PATSY STODDARD
Editor

I've been wondering what the world would be like today if the environmental movement started when the dinosaurs were alive and roamed the earth. What about the wooly mammoths and the mastodon. Well, maybe those beasts would still be alive today. Maybe when you went out to get in your car and drove to work you would have to dodge the dinosaurs on the highways. Dinosaurs were big and took up a lot of room on the planet. Wouldn't it be interesting if they were still with us.

It always annoys me that animals and plants are treated with higher regard than people in our world today. I have attended this presentation probably three times now at different meetings where the San Rafael River Restoration project has been presented. It bothers me every time I hear it. The most I can get out of it is they are making things better for the round-tailed chub which is in danger of being added to the endangered species list. If the species is listed then this area could come under all sorts of new federal regulations in regards to providing water for this fish which may or may not be in danger depending on how you look at it.

One million dollars has been provided by the NRCS for tamarisk removal along the San Rafael. These tamarisk will be replaced with willow and cottonwoods which use quite a bit of water as well.

It was pointed out by a listener in the last meeting that removing all these tamarisk from along the river banks sets up a situation where flooding can occur. September is the month where the San Rafael River sees the highest peak flows. This occurs from the heavy rain storms the county usually encounters each fall. This denuding of the banks of the river is going to cause some problems until regrowth of the native species occurs.

Just who planted the tamarisk, why it's those same groups that are taking them out now, that brought them here in the first place, because they wanted to keep banks from eroding, but the tamarisk had side effects they didn't plan for. They drink gallon upon gallon of water and they spread like crazy. What about the tamarisk beetle they've introduced to eat the tamarisk what side effects will this creature have in the years to come. Will they suddenly develop a taste for alfalfa?

What about those chubs they want to protect. I still can't figure out why some chubs are more important than others and who decides which chub is more important. Each year I hear the chubs are ruining Joe's Valley and they yank them out of there by the thousands and take them to the land fill to rot. These are Bonneville chubs, native to Utah. And now on the other hand, a different species of chubs is having all this monitoring equipment and tests and studies and a whole river drainage system is going to be reconfigured just to give this little fish a chance.

This fish is not a sport fish. The fisherman aren't clamouring around the San Rafael River to see if they can catch him. So why? It seems to me nothing the government does any more makes any sense. Lands sit vacant and unused in Oregon because of the owl. Farm lands have lost their water in other places because of a song bird, or a turtle or the list could go on and on.

I probably didn't pay as much attention in biology as I should have and that was years ago, but I do remember things like natural selection and the survival of the fittest. Maybe everything is not supposed to survive for all times. If the dinosaurs were supposed to survive, then wouldn't they still be here. Didn't they adapt and evolve and aren't some of the animals we have today distant relatives of those species? Doesn't everything have a time and a season. People cannot be everything and provide everything an animal or a plant needs to survive in the wild. The plant or animal will survive or they won't. We cannot control their whole environment and their world. Our planet is an ever changing place. This planet has cycled through cold and heat and will continue to do so and there's not a lot we can do about it.

I believe we should take care of our environment. I am a very green person. I recycle and save and reuse everything. All my egg shells and vegetable scraps go into the garden, I eat every bit of food in my fridge, I use every bit of gasoline in my tank, I could go on and on. I just have never figured out why we spend millions of dollars on plants and animals and we have hungry children around the world. We have sick children with no medical help. We have thousands of social ills, but yet millions of dollars are spent to try to keep one animal alive. I don't see where it's such a bad thing, if plants and animals go away. New plants and animals will grow to take their place. It's always been this way. The dinosaurs are gone, maybe the round-tailed chubs are next. Who knows, and I'm not just picking on this one particular project, but I see this all the time every day, and I think it's crazy. One cactus at the Millsite Golf Course has cost the course nearly $100,000 more and delayed the project at least a year and a half from when it was supposed to start. How can one cactus have such power. Why have we allowed ourselves to be held over a barrel for things of such nominal importance in the scope of things.

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May 26, 2009
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