In Bandera County, Neighbors Fight Plans To Discharge Wastewater From Youth Camp

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From left, John Blackwell, Margo Denke Griffin, and Charles Blackwell look across their property line at a dam built by their neighbors as part of a planned Christian youth camp.

Brendan Gibbons / Rivard Report

(from left): John Blackwell, Margo Denke Griffin, and Charles Blackwell look across their property line at a dam built by their neighbors as part of a planned Christian youth camp.

TARPLEY – Charles and John Blackwell stood at the edge of their property with their neighbor Margo Denke Griffin and pointed out the clear water pouring across their land in Commissioners Creek.

“You can always see the bottom,” Charles Blackwell said of the creek, which in several spots teemed with minnows darting among aquatic plants.

Commissioners Creek is vital to the Blackwells, two brothers who raise around 18 cattle on property that’s been in their family for more than 100 years. Rising from springs on the side of a steep slope, the creek flows 5 ½ miles through sparsely populated ranches before joining with the larger Hondo Creek downstream.

Now the creek is at risk, they say, from a Christian youth camp next door that’s under development. Its owners, Sam Torn and his son Chris, are seeking a permit from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to discharge a maximum of 49,000 gallons per day, on average, of treated wastewater into Commissioners Creek.

Margo Denke, left, and John Blackwell greet one of Blackwell's cattle at their ranch near Tarpley.

Brendan Gibbons / Rivard Report

Margo Denke and John Blackwell greet one of Blackwell's cattle at their ranch near Tarpley.

Treated wastewater effluent is the water that remains from the sewage treatment process. This effluent can often be much cleaner than water in a polluted creek or river. But many in the Hill Country say the region’s creeks are so crystal-clear that the nitrogen and phosphorus – also known as nutrients – will inevitably lead to algae growth that choke off fish and other aquatic life.

“Hill Country streams are too clean and their flows are too small to put wastewater in them without degrading their character," Sky Lewey, resource protection and education director of the Nueces River Authority, said at a Nov. 8 panel on wastewater effluent at Schreiner University in Kerrville.

Commissioners Creek flows through property owned by the Monier and Finner families.

Brendan Gibbons / Rivard Report

Commissioners Creek flows through property owned by the Monier and Finner families.

In a phone interview, Chris Torn said he met multiple times with his neighbors to hear their concerns. He said while the permit application is for a maximum of 49,000 gallons per day, their actual discharge will be more like 15,000 gallons per day at most.

If approved by the TCEQ, the Torns would build a treatment plant on their property that could process the waste from campers and staff. The family already runs a Christian youth camp in Arkansas called Camp Ozark that Torn said draws more than 6,000 campers during the summer season.

They haven’t yet chosen a name for their Texas camp. They applied to the TCEQ for the discharge permit under the name RR 417 LLC. Torn said they plan to offer about 100 different activities ranging from “creative skills” to sports and adventures like ropes courses, mountain biking, and horseback riding.

“What we want to do is be good neighbors, and we intend on doing that,” Torn said. “We’ve always been that way. We’re happy to look at other alternatives, but … we’d like for everybody to extend us the same courtesy and listen to our experts on what they say.”

Torn would not answer questions about what effect their discharge would have on Commissioners Creek. He deferred such questions to an engineer with Integrated Water Services hired to work on the project.

The Rivard Report attempted to reach that engineer via phone call, text, and email but did not receive a response.

In the interview, Torn claimed the creek has often been dry in the roughly two years he and his father have owned the property. Their permit application with the TCEQ also claims the creek is often dry.

The Blackwells said the flow in the creek has only been reduced because of a dam the Torns built upstream from them. Before the dam, or impoundment, the creek would often flow through their property except during extreme droughts, John Blackwell said.

“That creek bed was dry when we built that impoundment,” Torn said, when asked about the dam. “I think we have a different opinion on what the facts are there.”

While Commissioners Creek is the latest arena for a fight over wastewater discharge, similar conflicts are playing out all across the Hill Country, from Bulverde to Blanco. New businesses and housing developments moving into the region need a way to deal with their sewage, while many longtime residents worry that treated wastewater will forever ruin the often pristine creeks and rivers that draw people to the Hill Country in the first place.

These conflicts often raise themes bigger than a single creek, such as the tug-of-war between property rights and neighborliness and between economic necessities and environmental stewardship.

“It’s a free country; they can develop the land,” Griffin said. “The issue is with these shared resources. … Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.”

Griffin and her husband, James, both endocrinologists, moved to the quiet valley from the Dallas area in 2001 after an eight-year search for the right property in the Hill Country. They named their place Kingfisher Ranch. They love it for the spring-fed Commissioners Creek that runs through the property, the solitude, and the abundant wildlife, all within about an hour of San Antonio.

A spring flows into Commissioners Creek on property owned by Margo Denke and her husband James.

Brendan Gibbons / Rivard Report

A spring flows into Commissioners Creek on property owned by Margo Denke and her husband James.

Fearing the Torns’ discharge will forever alter the creek, Griffin is organizing her neighbors to fight the permit application. After she learned about the Torns' plans, she drove around attaching notes to her neighbors’ ranch gates. She held an initial meeting in the tiny town of Tarpley that drew about 70 people.

Griffin is calling her new organization Friends of Hondo Canyon Headwaters. She thinks they’ll need to raise about $100,000 to pay the legal fees to challenge the permit.

On Sunday, Griffin organized a tour of the properties downstream from the Torns. It included a ranch downstream of the Blackwells owned by the Monier and Finner families, where John Monier has been raising around a dozen “mama cows” and their calves and improving the land by cutting down water-hogging Ashe juniper trees.

“To me, that little bit of water going down this creek bed is more precious than anything,” Monier said. “You can’t put a price tag on this.”

Monier said he had met with the Torns multiple times and “pleaded” with them to use a different method of disposing of the effluent instead of sending it down the creek.

One of the most popular methods in the Hill Country is known as land application, where the effluent is sprayed onto a property as irrigation water instead of being sent down a creek. Advocates of that method say it’s a win-win because it protects the creek and allows landowners to avoid pumping fresh groundwater to grow crops or irrigate pasture, among other benefits.

“I don’t think [the Torns are] even interested in entertaining an alternative,” Monier said.

Construction equipment sits at the site of a youth camp under development near Tarpley.

Brendan Gibbons / Rivard Report

Construction equipment sits at the site of a youth camp under development near Tarpley.

Torn said they’re “always willing to listen to alternatives, with the understanding that there are" significant costs to some of these alternatives. Asked to put a dollar amount on the difference between discharging to the creek and applying to their own land, Torn would only reiterate that the difference is “significant.”

John Blackwell, a general contractor who said he has worked on multiple land application systems, said “it wouldn’t cost them that much more.”

“It would just be dumping on [their] property instead of someone else’s,” Blackwell said.

During the visit to their ranch, Edgar Finner, John Monier’s cousin, said he hopes to move onto the property with his wife, Laura, when they retire in about two years from their jobs in the Houston area. Like the Blackwells, the family has owned the ranch for more than a century.

“I know what’s going to happen,” Finner said of the Torns’ plans for the creek. “All that green slime and stuff is eventually going to show up.”

Monier, who manages multiple ranches, talked about friends who have left the Hill Country after newcomers moved in and altered the area’s springs and streams. He spoke emotionally about the kind of changes he’s seeing all around him.

“There ain’t going to be anybody left to ranch in this country,” Monier said. “It’s hardly scratching out a living doing it. If you can’t make a living off the land and on top of that you got people moving in next to you ruining the land when you’re trying to do something about taking care of it, it just defeats the purpose of even being here anymore.”

14 thoughts on “In Bandera County, Neighbors Fight Plans To Discharge Wastewater From Youth Camp

  1. Thank you for your unbiased reporting of our plight. Let me add an additional fact on the health of Commissioner’s Creek and our community resolve to defend and protect it. In 1991, TCEQ partnered with 23 water authorities and others to create the Clean Rivers Program, establishing a coordinated water quality monitoring program for the streams/rivers/bays of Texas. In 1995, 26 segments of water across Texas were found without documented impairment and and were classified as “clean;” in 2005 the number fell to 12, and in 2015, only 7.5 segments remained “clean” and without concerns. You can track our current water quality of Commissioner’s Creek as it flows into Hondo Creek, by quality data collected at the upper monitoring station (segment 2114, AU2). Our creek segment remains one of the few remaining clean segments in Texas. Please join us in our fight to keep it that way. We cannot do this alone. Our website is under development by dedicated volunteers; in the meantime you can contact me at denke@att.net

  2. Our family’s ranch, at the confluence of Williams and Hondo creeks, is just upstream from where Commissioner’s Creek enters the Hondo. We are outraged that someone is proposing to send treated effluent into this pristine waterway when there is a cost effective way for them to keep the treated water on their own property.
    The land along this part of Hondo Creek is in a Karst Formation with sink holes that directly connect the unfiltered water into the Edwards Aquifer. Do we want to risk having such water going into the source of our drinking water?

  3. CarPlay Baptist Church has baptism in the Hondo and Williams Creek that’s where our children play and swim 🏊🏻‍♀️ Have a land owner and Tarpley I certainly do not want a sewer treatment water flushing down or clean contact me and I will sign the petition to stop🤔
    Let’s trying to find an alternative for this youth program which is good for the community but not the waste programs Scheduled to be sent down our creeks here in Tarpley!

  4. I too am outraged at the thought of wastewater being released into the beautiful Hill Country natural resources! The creeks and rivers are what drew me to “our” (meaning all who live here) beautiful Hill Country from out of state nearly 14 years ago. It seems awfully selfish to insist on dumping “your” wastewater into what effects “everyone’s” property as it travels downstream for livestock to drink; possibly, children swimming & playing in the wastewater, and forever changing the cleanliness of the waters that attract people to the Hill Country.
    There is a saying that holds much truth: Everyone has rights. But your rights end where my nose begins. The owners of one property certainly have a right to dispose of waste….but, it should not be at the expense of ruining other’s access to the “naturalness” of the natural resource that also flows through their property! Since there are other options of disposal that would keep one’s waste on his own property, that should have been budgeted in the plans for the camp project cost from the beginning. ….kinda reminds me of when I walk into my yard and step in dog poo…when I do not have dogs…for that reason. Dog walkers, for some reason, think they have a right to bring their dog’s waste to my property instead of keeping it on their own property…:-(
    I certainly would not want to be baptized in or swim in wastewater just as I would predict any owner contemplating disposing of waste would not desire to either. Or for that matter; in regards to the ‘dry creekbed’ comment posed, why would someone logically think other property owners would want wasted flushed with the purpose of draining through their property??? Common decency and consideration has no price tag. Budget the cost of this into the project, or don’t do the project seems logical to me. It will pay for itself over time through the fees campers pay to attend the camp. Local people have a right to clean natural resources. So, implementation of an alternate way of disposing of the waste by keeping it on the camp property should be required. I will sign the petition!

  5. As a wastewater professional and outdoor enthusiast, I sympathize with both sides. It isn’t necessary to completely block the discharge. Landowners and the camp operators just need to agree on a level of treatment that doesn’t degrade the quality of the receiving water.

    It is possible to treat the wastewater to drinking water standards. This is called direct potable reuse. Pima County Regional Wastewater has some great information on direct potable reuse, if anyone is interested. I’ve actually drank their water when they came to present at my utility.

  6. I sympathize whole heartedly with the ranchers’ situation. Many in the quiet hill country neighborhood that I live in recently faced a bully as well. He came to our great state of Texas, bought property in our residential only neighborhood, and proceeded to build a large multi-facility complex that hosts hundreds of people. He ignored our Deed Restrictions which are admittedly weak in an expensive legal battle, but very clearly written to not allow such an enterprise. Once he learned about the restrictions, he said he would not move forward with his plan. Apparently after he did some research, he figured he could outspend our small neighborhoods HOA funds, so he’s now doing whatever he wants. He has turned our quiet little piece of our heaven into his monopoly. No regard for our wishes. So, I understand when the dream place you built, and have had for so long, becomes nothing to someone who decides to destroy it. Bringing thousands of strangers to our quiet and safe haven. I hope you are able to keep your pristine water. I’ll be more than happy to help in your fight. God Bless.

  7. For the well being of all the wild species who rely on a healthy Commissioners Creek, I hope that the Torn family plays a higher morality card when it comes to their land. As we know, waterways such as this have dwindled dramatically over the last five hundred years. Yet, if we unpack this issue using first principles, then what seems to us as an individual family decision problem, really is a system problem. A way of life problem.

    The Torn family, doing what they wish to do with their land, are riding a wave of cultural tradition that is at least a few thousand years old – destroying land at will, with permission. In fact, an extractive economic system encourages, even requires the destruction of land. The Torns wish to behave this way because this is how western civilization has behaved. This is what it means in our culture to own land: that we have the right to destroy it. This is our cultural inheritance; a myth we continue to live by.

    According to Derrick Jensen private property, etymologically speaking, is rooted from ‘deprivare’ – to deprive. So, we deprive land from being what it wants to be. We deprive by raising fences, deprive by introducing too many ungulates, deprive with pesticides, deprive by scraping down to powdery limestone.

    Clearly, this is about more than just one Hill Country creek.

    This collective behavior, passed down to us, is why no one on Earth today can love seeing the spectacle of bison trodding the southern plains beyond San Antonio. This sort of ‘non-relationship’ is why we no longer hear wolves in Texas, and why the deer and the antelope play inside lyrics, hardly ever on land. It is why the Rio Grande rarely reaches the Gulf. It is why passenger pigeons no longer darken skies for days at a time in Fall. It is why native bunch grass habitats have been reduced to KR Bluestem, and it is why mesquite and juniper prosper … until they meet bulldozer.

    This myth we continue to live by is why Italy and Greece are no longer forested, likewise the Near East, likewise North Africa. Bringing it back home again, this is why we may only hear a pocket full of languages in South Texas instead of dozens or perhaps hundreds of them such as before indigenous cultures were exterminated. It is why there are no longer such beings as prairie chickens, bear and jaguars in these environs.

    Who sees the trend that I see? Our culture has the power to destroy just about anything it wants. Most important, it has the right to do so. Given the history, the Torn family is not asking permission to do anything abnormal; they are simply doing what civilized humans have been doing for millennia. All of this has been packaged and normalized for us today. Our legal system backs this up – watch, their permit will be permitted – and we have never stood up and demanded anything different. Not enough of us at least.

    Individual behaviors do not make culture; collective behaviors do. If we don’t like what might happen at Commissioners Creek, we can’t wish it away. We have to do something different in regard to our collective behaviors; something different in regard to defining what morality means to us – from sea to shining sea – not just this one time for Tarpley, Texas. If the health of Commissioners Creek is compromised in the near future, we can’t blame an individual family/religious camp. We can only blame our continued belief in a myth.

    Our march of civilization and empire will increase the frequency of issues like this. Get used to them. Beyond the Hill Country and the Plains we will hear more. If we don’t change our collective behaviors in regard to our relationship with land, we can one day expect to hear debate about whether or not it is a good idea to suck water that is trapped inside igneous aquifers under the Chisos Mountains in Big Bend National Park, and to likewise denude or not denude the Chisos of their small sky island forests. Just look at what we’ve recently done to Bear Ears National Monument, Utah. (We, not the President, because Presidents are part of the collective ‘we’). Last year we shrunk federally protected lands by 85% at Bears Ears. Read that again. Why? For coal. For uranium. Because we also continue to buy in to the myth of an extractive economic system.

    The good news: the right to destroy land is not a natural phenomenon, meaning it does not get passed down through genetics – it is not physical reality. It only exists in our collective minds. It is fiction. This is good news because with our intellect and our problem-solving skills we can change our collective minds, thus our behaviors. The world is in desperate need for us to do this. It is also waiting to help us along.

    At this point the Torn family can do almost anything they want with their land around Tarpley. History showcases this. But unless we undergo a cultural mind shift, I actually foresee worse things than “all that green slime and stuff”.

    Here is what I see.

    I see a dry ravine, cemented over in spots, foreign blades of grass trying to creep up over cement. The ravine is unnaturally straight. It drains a paved cookie cutter neighborhood, I’ll call it ‘Commissioners Creek Commons’. I see also, for the convenience of the humans who live there (not for wild creatures or land), a corner strip mall selling fast food-like substances; a workout gym, a donut shop, a box store and a med clinic.

    Down the street from the entrance to Commissioners Creek Commons next to an apartment complex I see something called ‘Bark Park’, a small outdoor place for dogs and humans. Only. It is an area about the size of two cookie cutter houses. Two struggling trees, planted incorrectly. Foreign grass, stained from droppings; a feeble layer of unhealthy soil holding on for dear life. Finally, I see two humans walk out of their home onto concrete. They stop, and they look back to gaze at the roof of their home with pride at the solar panels which they believe are helping to save the planet. The two humans then get into their car, and they drive four blocks to eat food-like substances. (They skip the gym on their return. Netflix).

    Sorry, that isn’t all that I see. Some of the most important things that I see are two elementary schools, one middle school and one high school, each of them resting on plots of land that are as antiseptic as the land under the neighborhood. Each school is carefully named after individual persons who were really good back in their day at helping the culture at large believe in certain ancient, destructive myths. Inside the schools young minds are learning, yet they are also somewhat hijacked, so that those young minds numbingly buy into certain ways of being. It takes around twelve to thirteen years for those minds to give in. Some of the side effects from being moved through all of this … are horrendous. In the aggregate, hardly a righteous right of passage.

    And then I see more development-in-the-making on down an unwild slope.

    I wish that all of this was just me having fun with thoughts and words. It isn’t. Commissioners Creek is very near many of us today, or what was in yesteryear. It is Leon Creek and the Salado and their hills and boulders and curves. It is Martinez, Apache and Panther, San Pedro and Olmos and the life they once sustained (right now I have in mind the Big Claw Rivershrimp creature now pornographically displayed along the San Pedro Creek improvement walk. And yes, we sent it into extinction).

    Even though it is nice to have leisure trails along parts of some of these creeks, we can no longer eat or drink from them. Some stretches of water shouldn’t even be touched by anything wishing to live with decency (I’m thinking Highway 90 west approaching Military).

    Think this is crazy, all this now-and-then-later imagining? Drive west down Culebra Road outside Loop 1604 until you find cookie cutter neighborhoods with the name ‘Kallison’ attached to them. They’ll be on your right. In them you will find what I foresee. In them you will find unnatural ravines, foreign grass, cement, pavement, life lacking variety, life wishing for more. Voids where healthy streams once flowed; places where the escarpment once expelled its waters to gulf plains. Places that once supported a plethora of life. Places genuine human beings may have once worshipped at. Places where land was allowed to do what it was supposed to do. Today: deprivare.

    Here’s another. Drive north up Highway 211 between Highway 90 and Potranco Road. About a quarter of the way look left (before the small, gated neighborhood). If you can’t spot it just trust me, it’s there. I was down there last week. I walked and sat along a meditative, clear-running stream. In some places it flowed over gravel, in others it flowed over solid limestone. Hardly at all did it ever flow straight for very long. There was so much to meander that it felt like I had hiked six miles in, but all of that wonderfulness I had found in less than a quarter of one. Fish darted in the stream. Imagine that, and then imagine something else: a bulldozer being loaded off a trailer. Developing a lot out that way you know, which explains the bit of trash that I saw on my walk – a sign that ‘we’ are on our way to violate. And myself going there to document the beauty that still is with photo and video – pointless. Pointless because individual desires and behaviors mean little when it comes to the health of land. Humans, given our evolutionary history and nature, are supposed to behave tribally – together. And we do. Together we pave over, we drive over, we shop, we build. We destroy. We move west. We move in all directions. We thump our chests. We take anti-depressants. We move on to the next valley, the next hill. We repeat. It seems not a corner nor a sliver of land can be left truly wild. Not yet.

    A brand new morality awaits us if we wish to design one. It awaits us if we are willing overpower those who will oppose us. Individuals can help align us and keep us on the right course, but change can only come from collective work. Also, the snail’s-paced change strategy we’ve been trying, it isn’t working. Because of our snail’s pace we’ve lost most of the prairies, wetlands and forests the world over; numerous species, and now … now we must even worry about the integrity of oceans. (Or maybe our pace is working. It depends on whether or not you love an extractive economic system).

    Nevertheless, because of our snail’s pace toward change, we’ll never know the affair of seeing bison move in such thick herds that in crossing South Texas rivers they temporarily dam them. Water raging over brown rumps. Rivers overflowing their banks until the herd is across, gone onward to native bluestem that wave them forward. With such spectacles no need for an NFL. No place for gamblers I suppose.

    To summarize something Dan Flores wrote: the march of civilization passes through a meat grinder.

    Until we find new myths to live by.

    What if owning land meant less about destroying life and more about improving life (not just human life, human numbers)? What if it meant more about human responsibility than about human profit-building? What if it meant more about positive relationships and less about authoritative, socio-pathological ones? Government Canyon State Natural Area, Selah Bamberger Ranch Preserve, those places are nowhere near enough. Let’s have higher expectations. And to the after-remark about reusing effluent water, the so called “direct potable reuse”, I’m going to be kind here by just repeating a very recent line: Let’s have higher expectations.

    Until we find new myths to live by, what we have is what we’re stuck with. (‘Hello Arctic Circle: we know you’ve already met Mr. Engineer Explorer and Mrs. Environmental Scientist, but now we want you to meet our overlords. Meet Mr. Driller and Mr. Fracker)’.

    Our navy will be ready to protect our destructive ‘rights’. Because inside our myths, only humans matter.

      • ‘Radical’. To the root; to the origin.

        Believe me, I’ve questioned myself from time to time over twenty-five years whether or not I should stick with unearthing truths, or just go along and enjoy life … but I do both anyway. I can’t shake it. Truth clings to me like denial clings to two political parties and the extractive economic system they each worship. (Middle-of-the-road people belong in that line too).

        I don’t love to bring people down with what I see and write about (that would be psychopathic), but people, especially young ones, need to know what they have inherited and they need to know what they are materially and socially up against, and where it all came from. They at least need to be given the opportunity to make way for a soft landing. The two party-one party system we’ve inherited cannot provide the solutions future humans and non-humans will face. There are too many top-end and middle class entitlements that spell collapse. Young people need to be given a chance to ruminate on these and other truths.

        So thanks, and I’m glad there’s another person in our region who understands that radical does not mean picking up guns or starting riots. Real direct democracy, accountability, and understanding that we are mere participants in an ecosystem are radical enough – a ‘cognitive moral revolution’. And then a discussion about a few needed changes to the Constitution.

  8. As the land owner adjoining the Torns downstream we are being hit hardest by their actions there. The construction of a dam much too large for a tiny creek like this to support, which stopped all water flow during normal Texas conditions, will have to be supported by the deep wells they drilled. Our family has been on our property for over 100 years and we know the normal conditions well. This spring fed creek can not keep even their first lake full during Texas dry periods. They will have to pump heavily from our precious underground water supply to keep their second lake full. No matter what they will try to tell us. Now they want to dump their sewage effluent into the creek bed just yards from our property line. During our dry summers, when the camp will be most active, the only water we will get coming down the creek will be their sewage effluent. Before the dam for most of the year the creek stopped flowing halfway through our property. Now there is no doubt that this effluent will flow into our pools and sit there to stagnate. When we do get rain it will just flush this concentrated goo down to our neighbors and into the Honda creek, and Edwards aquifer. I am horrified to know that Texas laws may allow all this.

  9. It is likely true that any sort of “land dispersal” of the “waste” water would be somewhat more expensive than it would be to discharge the water, at least as long as TCEQ will not enforce the non-degradation dictates of the Clean Water Act. Noting also that the act REQUIRES that all “reasonable” options to discharge be entertained, which it has been amply demonstrated by numerous recent examples TCEQ has NO intention of enforcing.

    For a design flow rate of 49,000 gpd, they’d need about 11 acres of subsurface drip irrigation field, which would be a huge investment. But it is a reasonable question to ask why the heck they want that capacity if they really do expect their flows to average only 15,000 gpd. For that amount they’d need “only” 3.5 acres of drip field. That amount might “reasonably” be incorporated into the site beautification plan.

    In any case, it is quite reasonable to ask why the public should “finance” the “disposal” of this “waste” water into the creek — that is, externalizing the cost to the ecosystem — just to save this poor, poor person from bearing the full cost of his proposed activities. Basically, the “answer” is because the controlling institutions will allow him to do that. Again, because TCEQ appears to have no interest in actually meeting the dictates of the Clean Water Act.

  10. By the way, this camp would seem to be a great place to implement a “One Water” strategy. Collect rainwater to flush toilets — maybe to provide other water supplies as well — then use the “waste” water to defray irrigation demands. Ends up making the site act more like the undeveloped site, in terms of the rainfall-runoff response from those areas of now covered by roofs. Illustrates that there are all sorts of options — good options — to just saying what the **** and dumping the stuff in the creek.

    • I think it’s a really good option to look into. Probably not one they considered though before investing money toward what they intended to do all along—to get the ‘permit’, thus permission to kill downstream habitat.
      I really do feel for those landowners, who may have no choice but to spend the latter part of their lives witnessing the death of the creek. Another watershed lost to civilization.

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