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December 15, 1997


No margin of safety for fish

  I wanted to respond to your article on Duvall dairy farmers' complaints about not being able to clean their "ditches." The silt that has recently come down into the valley is caused by over-development too close to the creeks on the hills just west of the valley. Because sufficient streamside protection has not been provided by the developers, silt has overwhelmed the "significant spawning" creek named Tuck Creek just across the valley. That is the main source of the current problem. Our farmers -- and anyone who loves farmers, fish and streams -- should insist on appropriate zoning and development rules and their strict enforcement if they would like to halt the flow of silt. If the valley's "ditches" are actually "creeks" and have fish eggs waiting to be born, dredging would kill them all. The accompanying graph shows that we have eliminated any margin of safety for our fish. Due to our society's flagrant over-fishing, logging, dams, hatcheries, and polluting agriculture (including dairy farms,) not one of us can say "Me First" any longer, if we want our grandchildren and great grandchildren to be able to enjoy fish.
   Lynn McMillan