The “drain-and-scrape” proposal before the Blaine County commissioners, if approved, will result in a massive destruction of world-class trout habitat.
This area is protected under the terms of the Gift Deed of Perpetual Conservation Easement dated Jan. 13, 1995. Under section B12, “Prohibited Uses,” the following are prohibited actions: “The manipulation or alteration of any natural water course, wetland, shoreline or body of water on the property, or the diminution, degradation, pollution or drainage of any surface or subsurface waters.”
The proposed building of a coffer dam and diversion of 100 percent of the stream along with the scraping of the pond’s bottom and the building of a 570-by-100-foot island from the materials that make up the insect habitat are an egregious violation of those prohibitions.
This ill-conceived and environmentally damaging proposal deserves to be rejected. An exhaustive study of the watershed released in 2011 and authored by Eco Systems states that “results from the fish habitat inventory indicate that Silver Creek’s fishery not only lacks an identifiable limiting factor, but habitat throughout the stream supports all life stages for all life species.”