I have lived by the waters of this region my entire life. The longer I live, the more I cherish the fish, critters, flowers, trees, air, light and shadows.
In a recent article, the Record-Eagle reported “GLIF and other project partners” are planning to build an experimental FishPass thingamajig at the Union Street dam. It will release lake species of fish and other organisms upriver into brook trout country. They say, “If successful this will be a model for other rivers.” When engineers say “if successful,” I cringe. Humans rarely design a project that is successful 100 percent of the time. One flood, mechanical failure or human error may damage the Boardman River biology forever.
The brook trout is the canary in the mine. A river is not a science lab; it’s a sacred flow. Invasive species are not a passive threat; they’re persistent, ever-probing pests. The phrase “If successful” is a wish, not an acceptable engineering standard.
Please investigate and seek answers: Why FishPass? Who wants it and why? What are its engineering tolerances for structures and operations? What are its remedies for critical events — flood, human error, piggy-backing invasives and other variables?
Tanks? Really?! The president wants to put tanks on our streets for the Fourth of July? We are not some tin pot dictatorship parading tanks and missiles. This is the good old U.S. of A. where we honor veterans not weapons. We celebrate the people of this great country with kids on bicycles and school marching bands. We honor our first nations and first responders, small business and big balloons. Clowns march next to Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts and Future Farmers of America. We cheer the oompa bands and the local dance studio, the baton twirlers and Coast Guard, the folk singer in a pickup truck and the country western group on a flatbed. We celebrate the crazy kaleidoscope of citizenry that founded, built and are the hope to carry our country’s dreams and promise into the future. We are the people of the United States of America. We don’t do tanks.