As I drove up the Pigeon River Road to our farm the other day, I was saddened and angry by the destructive practices along the Grant and Pigeon Rivers. Already these valleys are ravaged by floods every few years, washing new plantings and all the chemicals that go with today’s practices down to the Mississippi. On top of that, the tax payer picks up the the better part of the tab on the insurance that pays for those losses.
These valleys used to be pastures. The banks of the rivers were protected from most flooding by the deep roots of trees and heavy grasses that lined them. The flat areas were also protected by the deep heavy roots of prairie grasses. And now?
Now the pastures are gone, and so is the protection that they offered the rivers. To aggravate matters, the land-owners (Lawyers in Chicago) that lease the land to local farmers appear not to give a damn. The local farmers want to squeeze out every last acre for production. So what do they do? What little protection that was left is being bull-dozed out. The banks are nothing but crumbling soil waiting for the next flood to further erode them.
Such stupidity! Such short term thinking! With the price of commodities where they are, the actual gain in acreage will be lost 10 fold to washouts and erosion. And yet the tax payers is supposed to pick up the tab… .
And where is the DNR? Where is the protection of the federal government which is supposed to protect these waterways?
There is a small bridge that crosses the Pigeon River which often floods over. A steep ravine with a beautiful creek runs down the bluff perpendicular to the river and empties into the Pigeon close to the bridge. Due to years of build up of downed trees and rock which were deposited upstream of the creek exacerbating the flooding on the bridge by pushing more flood waters onto the road , it was decided by the township to build an embankment to redirect the water downstream of the bridge. A good plan and fairly well executed. The DNR fined the township! What idiocy!
And yet, I will bet they will do nothing to protect these streams from unhealthy farming practices! Nothing!
Following are some photos I took along the several miles of streams showing the trees being bull dozed along the stream.