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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Frozen Stream Avoided

The above photo is one I took of Wagon Creek earlier this year. The water was slowed to a trickle by the rock barricade and the below photo is exactly what would have happened when temperatures dropped to freezing.  The free flowing creek would have frozen solid just like this little unnamed stream and all the fish up creek would have died since the free flowing water would back up into a long solid ice dam. The frozen water keeps piling up and freezing against itself and soon the entire creek above the blockage freezes.  Some wondered why I reported the blockage of the creek to authorities and this is why.  The creek has been flowing free for thousands of years and for a handful of men/women to arbitrarily block it and destroy the fishing was wrong in my estimation. I have caught native fish in this creek and once frozen, like in the photo below, it would have destroyed fishing and life in the creek.

I hold the belief that no person should be allowed to take for their own what belongs to every citizen of this country. If allowed our natural resources would soon run out. 5 Colorado and Federal agencies agreed with me and ordered the creek open to its natural state or face severe penalties and fines.

There are times in life when you have to take a stand and this was one of those times.  Those responsible are still whining about the landowner who reported them instead of taking responsibility for their own illegal activity. I had many volunteers who were willing to help but additional help was really not needed and would only confuse the issue.  The creek is now flowing again in its natural state and hopefully no one will attempt to ever block it again.  They were stopped just in time as plans were under way to block it in two more locations which would have devastated the creek when it froze in three places as demonstrated in the photo below.  When caught those responsible threatened to sue me and everyone else who caused them embarrassment over being caught. I have heard rumors that they still blame me for what they did by reporting them.  Maintaining the life of a pristine creek that had flowed freely for thousands of years should not be taken from citizens without their permission. If it happened again and I discovered the destruction of a native creek, I would do it all over again.  Maybe next time though I would accept the many who offered to help.

The below photo shows how elk will chew the bark off aspen trees.  These were some blow down trees that I pushed off to the side until I could either mill them out or cut them up.  The bark provided the elk nourishment in the meantime.

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