Darby, Ohio watershed still coveted by federal agency, despite
by July Kay Smithson
My concerns are that, contrary to what has been published in various
media, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is NOT done with the rural
where I live. I am concerned that people reading such reports will
guard and assume that this area is no longer being coveted by USFWS.
meeting in mid-June 2002, the Region 3 Chief of Ascertainment and
Thomas Larson (also the photographer for the 'Final Report' excerpted
said -- three different times during his twenty-minute talk -- that
Service maintains an active and continuing interest in the human and
resources of the Darby Watershed." This certainly does not seem
to be grounds
to consider the issue done.
During the course of its publicized interest in this area, the proposal
changes names three times, and its boundaries were in a state of constant
"In acknowledging the interest of the community in local conservation
the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is not withdrawing support for
the area. We
hope that the Service can serve as a resource for any group interested
pursuing conservation initiatives."
Little Darby Creek Conservation Through Local Initiatives Final Report
Please be sure to note the photograph of the 'field of concrete corn
Dublin, Ohio,' which is NOT LABELED as being outside the Study
Area on page
11 of the pdf file -- there is another photo of the same project on
There is not a single photo in this report of a home or a person.
show a cemetery, an arrowhead collection, an old covered bridge and
Jonathan Alder cabin. Where are the photos of what we treasure --
work-calloused hands of John Purdum or Jonas Yutzy; the honest face
eighty years that is worn by Fred Leckie; the children of Carl Yoder
clean, homespun Mennonite attire? Where is Rachel Miller's horse and
its way into Plain City?
Where is the REAL history of this area? There are only photos of oak
('savannas'), grass that I doubt if Mr. Larson could even identify,
verify if it is native grass, and a photo of a flower that, contrary
listing is NOT endangered (the Royal Catchfly).
On page 14: "While withdrawing the refuge proposal as the preferred
alternative, the Service has an ongoing interest in the preservation
natural resources, water quality, and rural character of the Little
Creek Watershed. The Service believes that with a committed local
the unique features of the watershed can be preserved. This Final
Report if a
reaffirmation of the Service's belief that the Little Darby Creek
is an area of significant natural and agricultural resource value.
Also on page 14: When the Final Report (Note: So, you mean, this
is not THE Final Report?) is released to the public, a notice will
published in the Federal Register announcing its availability and
that the Refuge proposal has been withdrawn."
"Coordinated action over a large area to accomplish common goals
is always a
challenging proposition. ... With the ... pressures of time fueled
rapidly growing and expanding population, action is not only challenging
critical. Zoning regulations have been strengthened. CREP and other
will help. But to keep the focus for the long haul, an ongoing coordination
of efforts is necessary. ... County government cannot preserve the
agricultural and natural resource values alone." pages 84 and
http://midwest.fws.gov/planning/ldarbyreportappendix.pdf (76 pages)
Pages 1 - 51. Pages 52-76 show other 'Conservation Examples.'
Thank you for your patience as I explain why my guard is still up.
My efforts with the http://www.PropertyRightsResearch.org
stronger than ever, and the flow of Letters to the Editor and public
on various Dept. of Interior 'plans' a steady stream.
For those who work here, the generational land and water stewards,
resource providers and those who cherish them, no matter where on
may live. From housewife to mechanic, hardware store owner to auditor,
grocery store cashier to school bus driver, this area is healthy because
all who live here and care about it. A group of Federal employees
distant Minnesota -- who have told other than the truth on countless
occasions -- cannot be trusted now. It took 28 years for the Canaan
National Wildlife Refuge to be established in West Virginia, and the
in which it exists is all but dead. USFWS fought with a '50-year
order to outlast the generations who would age and die. The younger
generation, having little economic reason to keep their land and ever-rising
taxes (to take up the slack of all the land that was leaving the tax
finally caved in.
It only takes one purchase in this area to create a Federal Wildlife
Contrary to statements made in the report that there are "no
Trusts in the Darby Creek Watershed," one of the three examples
'successful local and national Conservation Land Trusts' is the Nature
Conservancy (TNC), an NGO that is firmly entrenched here and buying
up land all
around the perimeters. Some of it transfers to the Columbus and Mid-Ohio
MetroParks system, which makes TNC look like a pal to those living
next county to the east, Franklin County. The mosaic of land that
'in partnership' with many other groups, is filling in and becoming
piece of cloth.
From Klamath to the Darby -- from Eureka to Abiquiu -- from Florida
Bay of Fundy, these issues are ongoing and arbitrary.
Julie Kay Smithson
213 Thorn Locust Lane
London, Ohio 43140-8844
Dedicated to property rights, resource providers, generational land
consumers and freedom.
"Either you have a right to own property, or you are property."
- Wayne Hage,
Bardon v Northern Pac R Co. 12 S CT 856, 145 US 535, 538 36L, ED
806 - â ˜It
is well settled that all land to which any claim or rights of others
does not fall within the designation of public lands.â ™
Supreme Court Decision
There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is
striking at the root. - Henry David Thoreau
"The sacred rights of property are to be guarded at every point.
I call them
sacred, because, if they are unprotected, all other rights become
or visionary. What is personal liberty, if it does not draw after
right to enjoy the fruits of our own industry? What is political liberty,
it imparts only perpetual poverty to us and all our posterity? What
privilege of a vote, if the majority of the hour may sweep away the
of our whole lives, to gratify the rapacity of the indolent, the cunning,
the profligate, who are borne into power upon the tide of a temporary
popularity?" -- Judge Joseph Story, 1852