McPhee story fabricated controversy

This is in response to the story, “McPhee puts a plug in Dolores,” (Herald, May 29), or more appropriately called, “I’m not a Riparian Ecologist, but I did fly in an airplane once.” The story purposed to fabricate a controversy that is nonexistent, coupling ignorance and misinformation with inflammatory language in the name of the often-misguided environmentalist catechism. With sanctimonious indignation, the story implies, ironically, the Westerners’ simple ignorance in our reckless squandering and misuse of the planet’s natural resources.

It was mildly amusing to read the story confuse the Bureau of Reclamation and Bureau of Land Management, and even more amusing to read it imply that a certain three species of river fish could be seen from an airplane, if not for the dam.

Most amusing, however, is that the story was written about a reservoir in another county, filled more than 20 years ago while it completely ignored the Long Hollow Reservoir – a project not yet completed but one that might present a more opportune target for a sermon. Unfortunately, the story was more disturbing than amusing in its disdain for pioneers in the West. No mention was made of the purpose and benefit of the reservoir or the coordination of the Bureau of Reclamation with the Forest Service, BLM and Division of Wildlife to manage fish below the dam. It is also clear that there is no perspective of what the river was like before the reservoir, given the feeble attempt to draw rafters and kayakers to the crusade. Instead of perspective, an inaccurate and overly simplistic buzzword to describe the government’s management of water was inserted to draw a proverbial “line-in-the-sand.” These sorts of uninformed diatribes seem more at home when confined to the political arena, tabloid covers, or, at the very least, the op-ed column. I hope there are fewer readers that connect with pieces like these than there are those who are more pensive.

Sean Clifton


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