Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Rivers And Treehouses

     Have you heard about Tremain Albright in Bonner's Ferry, Idaho who built a beautiful treehouse in a tree on his property overlooking the River, even getting a variance so that he could build it?  Of course, the Army Core of Engineers decided that it needed to come down because it "Could" impede river flow if it "Did" fall down.  It looks to me as if that treehouse isn't going anywhere, nor the tree, for a really, really long time! I saw a picture of the tree and small it isn't!
     It's kind of like me going out to drive my car.  I "Could" hit someone if I "Did" drive over the yellow line.  First of all, that's not going to stop me or others from driving, and second, that's why I took and passed the driver's test!  Furthermore, the Core of Engineers made it even more difficult to oppose them by tying it to money given to the city, Bonner's Ferry.  Originally, the town supported the treehouse owner and his right to keep it.  But now, if the house doesn't come down, the town may not be getting the $128,000 of Fed money for levee repairs this year.  I guess the treehouse goes.  It's crazy how the government decides when and how to get involved in private citizens' lives.

     More close to home is the Provo River debate where I live.   The Utah Reclamation Mitigation and Conservation Commission, a federal agency, is ready to take lands around the Provo River Route by means of eminent domain, and turn them into marshlands so that the June Sucker can survive.  The June Sucker is a little fish that is native to Utah Lake and was declared endangered in 1986.  Never mind that it has been coming back recently, thanks to fisheries planting them into the lake every year, plus the predatory carp are being extincted from the lake to the tune of 5 million carp per year.  (Ironically, these carp were originally planted in the lake by the Government in the late 1880's!) 
     So already many things are being done and lots of money is being spent to bring about the preservation of this little, teeny, fish.  Now, even more money will be spent--taxpayer dollars--to save this fish!  And really, not a lot of support for it here in Provo, UT.. Certainly not from the dozens of farmers whose lands will be effectively  taken from them or if not, dictated to on how they will be used.  Certainly not the people who live surrounding the greater Provo area.  Marshlands means mosquitoes and we've got enough of those already, thanks!  And certainly not any citizens who realize that this is another earmark by the government, using tax dollars that could be used better in some other way than disturbing life as we know it here in Provo, UT!  

      One good citizen looked at it this way:
"The June sucker restoration plan hinges on constant intervention by man.
Utah Lake would cease to exist if it weren't for structures on the lake's outlet which prevent continued downcutting through the old Lake Bonneville sandbar. If allowed to return to a natural ecosystem, the lake would naturally disappear. In geological time, lakes are short-lived.
The other component is continued removal of carp, in perpetuity.
If either of these steps is terminated, the June sucker is doomed. This is hardly a natural ecosystem. This whole endeavor only will delay, at great cost, what nature will do anyway."
So, like Tremain Albright in Bonner's Ferry, ID whose beautiful dream of a little, harmless getaway overlooking the river could be doomed, a way of life for a town soon could be but a memory.  But there is still some time to try and influence government intervention.  Please sign the petition here and help Save The Provo River and save taxpayers 20 - 30 million dollars! 


Amber said...

Wow - I had no idea the government would be so concerned about a treehouse! THanks for sharing.

Stephanie H. said...

I think the government medals in too many things. Like this I agree with removing the carp but not taking the farmers land. Unless they pay very well for it which would cost tax payers a lot of money. With the drought in so many areas we need to have farm land that has a water source to produce food.

latanya t said...

That will be sad for the farmers. I hope they don't get their land taken away.