Appaholic wrote: travelinman67 wrote:
...and an eye-opener from the National Wildlife Federation...a 104 page assault on BLM and the Army Corp of Engineers...http://www.nwf.org/wildlife/pdfs/Crossroads.pdf
...and, if you can separate yourself for a moment from your "envrironment at all cost" viewpoint...answer, "Why would anyone attack the Army Corp of Engineers...who are, in fact, an extension of Congressional intent and funding? This kind publication sure seems like the manic catharsis of some arguably maladjusted envirowhackos.
Why would anyone attack the corps? Seriously, you're asking that? OK......
"Independent investigations — including one by the Pentagon's inspector general — have repeatedly caught the Corps skewing its analyses to justify wasteful and destructive projects that keep its employees busy and its congressional patrons happy."
http://www.time.com/time/nation/article ... cnn-topics
"The Corps has eluded the public's outrage -- even though a useless Corps shipping canal intensified Katrina's surge, even though poorly designed Corps floodwalls collapsed just a few feet from an unnecessary $750 million Corps navigation project , even though the Corps had promoted development in dangerously low-lying New Orleans floodplains and had helped destroy the vast marshes that once provided the city's natural flood protection."
"Even Prather, the agency's public representative on the Hill, complained in that private e-mail that the Corps has sacrificed its credibility by defending its indefensible projects -- he called them "swine" -- just as the Catholic Church defended its wayward priests."
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 37_pf.html
"Now it's back from the drawing board, and the corps is no longer pushing a $1 billion project to improve navigation on the upper Mississippi. Instead, it's pushing projects that could cost more than $10 billion to improve navigation and the environment on the upper Mississippi. It's as if Arthur Andersen had stayed in the auditing business—and decided that Enron was doing even better than it had thought
Senators McCain and Feingold Introduce Critically Needed Corps of Engineers Priorities Legislation
"“The current process is almost entirely driven by pork barrel politics........More and more we are witnessing the results of the Corps’ failure to set priorities and direct funding to the most critical national water resources needs, failure to view water resources comprehensively and with environmental sustainability as a basic goal, and failure to consider the long-term consequences of water development projects and to apply modern science and economics to their planning.....It would focus the Corps on clear priorities of protecting people, property and the environment, instead of spreading limited dollars on hundreds of obsolete and often wasteful boondoggles.”
http://www.nwf.org/news/story.cfm?pageI ... EBE409CAA4
"But there is no national water policy, meaning the Corps is answerable only to members of Congress hungry for projects in their home districts.
The result is boondoggles from coast to coast that have proven to be poorly engineered and disasters environmentally.
Much of the problem, critics say, can be traced to how the Corps computes the cost-benefit analysis of projects, rules which continue to promote large-scale construction solutions over environmental considerations.
For instance, while the Corps does consider land appreciation and the economic development a dam project makes possible, it does not take into account the associated increased potential for loss of life and property in the event of a natural disaster. The result are projects that encourage development in flood-prone or high-risk areas."
http://www.theledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/ ... source=RSS
Yep, no reason at all.....please, you're smarter than to think that the Corps doesn't push projects for work wih faulty numbers and are only responding to our legislator's requests.
You gotta be kidding me, appa.
Please, please go back and objectively research your sources.
The author of the first article you quote from "Time" online, Michael Grunwald
, has made it his life goal to discredit the Corp.
He's also the author of your second source, the Washington Post article...
Par for the Corps
A Flood of Bad Projects
By Michael Grunwald
Sunday, May 14, 2006;
Which is nothing more than a repeat of his own beliefs...he even quotes himself...from the "Times"/WAPO series he wrote in 2000.
The third source, from Slate is...
an article by Michael Grunwald, who AGAIN
simply rewrote the article he did form WAPO back in 2000. The only difference here is, Slate didn't allow him to quote himself, just cite his previously written articles as reference...
The Army Corps of Engineers' continuing campaign to pour concrete into the Mississippi.
By Michael Grunwald
Posted Monday, Nov. 10, 2003, at 11:06 AM ET
... the fourth source you cite in support of your assertion of C.O.E. misconduct is from the National Wildlife Federation, which is one of the two organizations I cited as THE AUTHOR OF this baseless attack on the C.O.E. in my original post...
...and an eye-opener from the National Wildlife Federation...a 104 page assault on BLM and the Army Corp of Engineers...http://www.nwf.org/wildlife/pdfs/Crossroads.pdf...and
, if you can separate yourself for a moment from your "envrironment at all cost" viewpoint...answer, "Why would anyone attack the Army Corp of Engineers...who are, in fact, an extension of Congressional intent and funding? This kind publication sure seems like the manic catharsis of some arguably maladjusted envirowhackos.
...and finally...your last article cite pertains to the Kissimmee River/Channelization restoration which is one piece of the "Everglades Restoration Project".
I had heard about it, but went back to look into the details.
The channelization of the Kissimmee River between Lake Okeechobee and Lake Kissimmee came in response to severe flooding resulting from hurricanes in 1947. After the flooding, a local flood control agency was created, which in turn employed the U.S. Geologic Survey and C.O.E. to devise a flood control plan for Central and Southern Florida, which was chaptered, submitted to Congress, who passed the authorization and funding bill in 1954. That plan, basically, used Okeechobee as the freshwater collection basin during heavy storms, and to manage Okeechobee's capacity, unlined canals to the coastal waterways were dug, and the Kissimmee River was channelized to allow rapid, controlled drainage of Lake Kissimmee into Okeechobee 56 miles to the south. The three problems that resulted from this plan were:
1) As the normal level of Okeechobee rose and subsided, during dry years, the lack of freshwater flows into the coastal canal system allowed brackish water to move inland, and due to the porous soils, infiltrate the regional inland aquifer, making them, in some cases, completely, but temporarily unusable.
2) For flood capacity purpose, to comply with the Board of Reclamation's ill planned response to FEMA's 1993 risk-assessment requirement replacing the old 100/200 year flood protection with a new 500 year standard, rather than back pumping the water from Okeechobee back into the regional lakes including Lake Kissimmee as had been originally planned and the sytem designed to do, the Bureau of Reclamation chose to let Lake Kissimmee in effect "dry out", which devastated regional wildlife counts and quality, as well as reducing freshwater replenishing to the watertable, ultimately prompting the revaluation and eventual restoration of the River (Note to appa: There's very little public discussion of the events leading up to FEMA's re-assessment of flood protection levels throughout the U.S., following the great flood of 1993, but here's some telling clues from the C.O.E. head who managed the post flood repairs/mitigation. http://www.wood.army.mil/engrmag/Disast ... lliams.pdf
. Take note of his brief mentioning of "eligible" levees...then, think about that...
What's wrong with this picture? )
3) Rather than allowing the first two issues to be objectively reviewed with all options included for consideration, the Bureau of Reclamation and flood control districts excluded consideration of preserving the flood control aspects of the channelization project.
This last topic, the "Everglade Restoration Project" has less to do with the Corp of Engineers than Congress and Florida Developers. The Everglades is not merely a single river with a relatively narrowly defined biosphere/bioregion. The Everglades itself is over 6000 square miles, and adding the Central Florida watershed that was effected by this project, the "effected" area is around 13,200 square miles...one of the largest sub-bioregions in the North American hemisphere. If the C.O.E. made any mistakes, it was attempting to treat the Everglades as they would any other "typical scale" natural resource. Could it be done with little impact to the ecosystem, hypothetically, of course it could. Could it be done using strictly traditional dam/canal/levee method? Probably, but not without long-term analysis and corrections/modifications based on environmental impact.
If you've ever been down into the Everglade region, it can be harsh and the seasonal fluctuations are extreme. Historically, during dry years, drain down of low lying regions in the Everglades trapped fish, manatees, shrimp, etc...resulting in massive kills of native species. Once the Everglades have been restored ($8billion project estimated to take 20-30 years), will the government be expected to mobilize to "save" (relocate) those dying species? That's just rhetorical. My point is, for every problem we would "fix" in an Everglades scale project, a new one is created.
So, do we abandon all resource/watershed management, fall back to a time when there was NO flood protection (...which, in effect will take place once the Everglade Restoration Project is compete), or try to REASONABLY find some balance/compromise? And, BTW, the Restoration Act grew out of environmental/political opposition that started before the channel was ever in place...i.e., this was more about blind, unscientific opposition to "anything manmade" that to actual environmental harm. And something else to ponder, the Sierra Club's point man on this activist project, Frances Coleman said:
We rejoice in what has been restored - and we grieve that it isn't the entire river. Too much development in the northern section, with resultant concerns over flooding, and too many homes built in the southern section have forestalled total restoration. The lesson that has, hopefully, been learned is that we must use greater caution when we contemplate changes to our natural systems, because, once homes are built in large numbers, financial, social and political concerns will prevent restoration.
...my question to you, Appa...If the homes are not built, and the development not done there, then where? Are we to limit our habitation to geographically restricted, government defined, regions? If so, who makes that "map", and when will it become available?
But back to your attempt to support the bash Corp of Engineer crowd...
Appa, this yay-hoo Grunwald obviously is an envirowhacko (...really, go check him out...written books on anti-war activism, destruction of the everglades, global warming, tried to blame N.O. on the C.O.E., the list of lefty drownin'-in-'da-Kool-Aid diatribe goes on and on, but most importantly, critically examine his "logic". He makes HUGE conclusions without support, and often introduces his personal opinion with unprofessional sarcastic remarks: FinE for a blog, not appropriate for investigative jouralism.) who has a stick up his azz in re: the C.O.E....Good for him. But to find a couple of instances where the C.O.E. has administered/built watershed management projects that didn't work out as planned, and declare that C.O.E. is a pack of self-serving, bastardized, no'er do well bent on destroying the environment is telling of the thoughtless rationale exercised by the envirowhackos.
Finally, a personal comment. I know gents retired from the C.O.E., all officers, all with "distinguished" records. None of these men give a sh!t what you or any other political do-gooder says or thinks. Not because they're politically close-minded, but because mostly they're apolitical. They build. PERIOD
Where you or the average person looks at a mesa, or lake, or mountain, or valley, or plateau and thinks, "Wow! What a beautiful natural terrain." The C.O.E. Officer looks at it and thinks, "First, we build access roads with culverts to allow year 'round operations. Next, cut a temporary pad for parking of heavy equipment, servicing of equipment, and standby for off-haulers. Complete a survey and calculate the off-haul volume, distance to placement of spoils, number of trips, estimate extended load-days, verify availibility of equipment for the duration of the project and need to purchase lease own equipment, and finally execute labor agreements. Commence tunneling, blasting and rough excavations..." They are EXTREMELY focused, and rarely factor in "non-job specific" variables (biosphere impact; how the project will effect the neighbor's view; whether the "locals" will treat them nicely when they go into town; if some nutcase lefty journalist will target them for attack; or some group of narrow-minded environtmentalists with anti-growth fixations will target them for never-ending harassment and character assasination) when looking at a project...not because they don't care...but because that's NOT THEIR JOB!!!
My point is, these envirowhackos are attempting to villify an agency and it's management, without knowing the TRUE definition of their mission or intent.