An example of the state environmentalists squashing a homeowner (me!)Submitted by EditorMelinda on Tue, 02/12/2013 - 17:45
During a heavy rain, the tiny polluted stream under our driveway flooded and washed out our driveway completely. Washington Fish and Wildlife would love to have every culvert in the state transformed into a "fish passage system". Mind you, there are no fish in this little drainage in my front yard, but someday, far in the future, a little fish might decide to swim upstream (that is if it could hop up past all the other fish-barrier culverts) and if it did, we want to make sure that it has a completely pleasant experience. Mind you, I am not "anti-fish". I spent 15 years of my life in the field of environmental research and planning. I was saving gnatcatchers and tortoises and red-legged frogs and kangaroo rats, etc. I am all about preserving our wildlife and habitat...but not over the dead bodies of my children.
The problem is that DFW would like me to install a "fish passage system" that includes a 10.5 foot culvert. This will cost about $165,000 and take about a year to get the permits and SEPA approval. That's assuming that we could find a second mortgage for that amount (which is not likely as we are living right above the poverty line and our property is only worth $200K anyhow). In the meantime, no emergency vehicles can access my home. We had a small fire here a week ago so that was very scary. I walk up and down the hill to my home about 5 times each day after playing taxi for my kids...often laden with groceries, sacks of feed, and library books on my shoulders. My pedometer says I average 8,000 steps a day. I can deal with that. But, I can't stomach the kinds of demands the state is putting upon us and many other homeowners on the Kitsap Peninsula as many culverts are failing.
Here is a link to a local news article that explains our situation. Note: the City's response in the article is not entirely truthful. Please, if you have a moment and are so inclined, post a comment at the bottom of the online article.