Jun 19, 2009
I do watch your programs quite often and find them very informative, particularly in the areas of the country that I am not a part of. Although I don't farm, I do have contact with many people that do, including family members.
Regarding the streams, your report weighed heavily on the regulatory part, but my concern is in the way the streams and associated flood plains are be managed or for that matter "not". What I have been seeing is a take over of these areas by invasive woods, namely buckthorn and box elder. This situation is causing existing channels to both widen and deepen and concentrating most of the flowage in it. Downstream communities are being more frequently impacted by the floodings. Water quality is also impacted more because of a lack of filtration normally provided and the increased soil loss from eroding stream banks.
Your interviewed people suggested that the local government can readily handle this situation, but most of them only administer the state or federal programs that have been given them. They are not the technical experts. The streams and the associated riparian flood plains do not follow the political boundaries. Needed to manage these areas include hydrologist and the various scientist to plan and assist in applying the need practices.
Needed to manage these areas is a "partnership" of all interested or concerned people usually within a given watershed. This partnership would include both the state federal government. We need to have all of our heads together, particularly if we are going to address the hypoxia issue. We also need an alternate crop and that may have to include the perennial grasses that once existed in those areas. Now we just may have a market for them also.