What amazing things a bulldozer can do

Published 9:27am Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Near the top of Holbert Cove Road a man has removed the side of a mountain to put in a very large shooting range. In the before picture, the mountain that I am talking about is on the left [the one in the middle is Round Mountain]. The after picture is what is there now, a huge area designed and created by the landowner. The amounts of sediment flowing on to Green River Gamelands and Cove Creek have been horrendous, being 4 feet deep in places. Because our county commissioners rescinded all our ridgetop and erosion control ordinances, removing the side of a mountain is totally legal as far as Polk County is concerned. State regulators were called to check on the site. They sent the landowner a clean-up plan, but by then the damage was already done. The sediment was downstream; the fish habitat was smothered.

Now, the way our legal system is set up, it is up to the ‘harmed party’ to file suit in response to some egregious action. How is that possible when the harmed party has no voice. Fish can’t talk; neither can plants, trees, birds who have lost their habitat or smothered reptiles, especially after they are all dead. Who speaks for those who have no voice?

You will have to answer that question. Our commissioners have listened to the voices of landowners who fight for the right to do whatever they want to do on their land. As a result, in two short months we lost the side of a mountain forever. My question stands: Who will speak up for all those who have no voice?

Lets close with a quote from Also Leopold: “Mechanized man, oblivious of floras, is proud of his progress in cleaning up the landscape on which, willy-nilly he must live out his days.”

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