Linda Louise Haines: Stewardship and water
May 11, 2017
From my early religious training, I learned that we human beings have been charged with stewardship of our fellow creatures, the flora and the earth itself. I've been meditating on that charge.
Am I doing enough to sustainably use and protect these gifts from God?
Then, I ask: How about those in positions of power and decision making in our government and in other agencies, like NID? Are they also considering stewardship when they decide to build or not build dams and where they may decide to build those dams?
Many aspects of the proposed NID dam on our already overly dammed Bear River concern me deeply. I almost feel a pain within my own body when I contemplate the pain and utter violation of the pristine valley of Our Bear River that the proposed tearing into its guts would create.
Our Bear River deserves and desperately needs our stewardship now more than all the facts and statistics that can be thrown at it or us.
Would that be stewardship of the land, of the native peoples' sacred sites, of the waters in the river bed that already struggle to flow freely, of the native animals and plants and more? What is a holistic stewardship in this case?
I have researched and written about many aspects of NID's plan, including the need for some of our mountain rivers to have sufficient flow to bring fresh, living waters to the downhill communities — human and otherwise — all the way to the Delta and the Bay.
Despite my research, I am not a water management expert. However, I am an informed citizen.
The experts in water ecology and management can give us fact sheets and pages of statistics to fill our heads for or against more dams. Specifically, the folks at NID can overwhelm us with worst case scenarios if a new dam is not squeezed in between the existing Lake Combie and Rollins Lake dams that separate our counties of Placer and Nevada.
But, as a deeply spiritual person, for me it always comes back to this one word: Stewardship. Our Bear River deserves and desperately needs our stewardship now more than all the facts and statistics that can be thrown at it or us. Thank you.
Linda Louise Haines lives in Colfax.
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