Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Dredging will improve wildlife habitat

I have read the letters opposing the restoration work that The Nature Conservancy and Mr. Purdy are proposing for Silver Creek. The writers speak of the loss of fishing access. These statements are unfounded; there will be continued access. They have presented arguments that have no scientific fact regarding the dredging of the pond—that it will destroy fish habitat and harm aquatic insects. They have made a lot of noise and yet have not produced any biologists to support their opinions.

Those individuals opposing this project are worried about how it will affect their personal fishing experience. At the hearing before the county commissioners regarding this project there was overwhelming support for the restoration. Approximately 20 people made comments, 18 in support, two opposed.

Opposition was expressed to the building of islands and wetland restoration because in their opinion, it would reduce the fishing area. Silver Creek is a nature preserve. It’s not just for fishermen, it’s also about bird and wildlife habitat. During the meeting, a fisheries biologist spoke up about the benefits of wetland restoration. A great number of visitors come for bird and wildlife viewing. We need to remember it is private property and we are fortunate to be able to use this beautiful place.

Our local Hemingway Chapter of Trout Unlimited, the Idaho State Council of Trout Unlimited and Trout Unlimited National give their complete support to The Nature Conservancy and the Purdys’ plan for restoration of Silver Creek. It will benefit the creek by alleviating the problems of silt buildup, which causes warming of water temperatures and choking of spawning beds, and will improve habitat for aquatic insects. Another benefit of this project will allow for fish passage through the waters above and below the dam.

It is the right thing to do.

Carmen Northen

Trout Unlimited National Leadership Council



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