|Action||Develop requirements that will address concerns regarding transfer and off-site management of poultry waste in the Commonwealth.|
|Comment Period||Ends 8/21/2009|
310 Oakridge Ct.
Front Royal, VA 22630
When I first laid eyes on this Valley in 1973 as a young man visiting my future bride’s home, I knew that this where I want to live the rest of my days. I purposed on my second visit to this valley beside the Shenandoah River. The Shenandoah Valley had everything I was looking for: Small towns, mountains to hike in, beautiful vistas to admire, photograph and paint, history everywhere you looked, and best of all (besides the girl I loved and wanted to marry), the storied Shenandoah River. The fishing was superb back then and the Smallmouth Bass was my quarry, my nemesis on occasion, but he was always, and still is…salve for my soul. For 30 years, life and fishing was good. I could catch fish and lots of them virtually anywhere I cared to step into the water along both forks and the main stem of the river. But then something changed.
My beautiful smallmouth became less plentiful, smaller…and then they began showing up sick and dying with lesions. I kept asking everyone I knew if they were experiencing the same kind of conditions, and they were, but they had no answers for me as to why. As I began to ask more questions, do more research, and seek out more people to ask, I became involved with the good folks at River Smallies.com and in the Potomac River Smallmouth Club, where I finally met Jeff Kelbe, Steve Resser, Dr. Vicki Blazer and others who were able to give me some answers…but the solutions are more complicated and slow in coming. Now as a dedicated environmentalist, I serve as the Conservation Chairman of the Potomac River Smallmouth Club and as one of Jeff Kelbe, the Shenandoah River Keeper’s extra set of eyes on the river. It was heartbreaking documenting the die-offs in the early to mid 2000s for Jeff and the Shenandoah River Fish Kill Task Force. But it was a job that had to be done and I along with numerous others did it, but not without heavy hearts, and more and more anger at the lack of regulations covering runoff into our streams.
Now, I ask that THIS job be done: The proposed End-user Regulation for Chicken litter in the Virginia Commonwealth being considered must be enacted to ensure that the Shenandoah River, once again can begin to return to a healthy condition, or at least as close as man is able to make it. The over-nutrification due to run-off that has occurred over the last 10-12 years due to 80% of the chicken litter falling through a regulatory loophole is unconscionable. Virginia is woefully behind in meeting the promises it made to assist in the Cleanup of the Chesapeake Bay some 25 years ago. And as I always tell anyone who will listen: you can pay lip-service to cleaning up the Bay all you like, but until you fix the problems on the waters flowing into the Bay, you’re just treating the symptoms, not the disease. I urge that we do the right thing and get this regulation on the books , and provide the funding and resources to enforce it to it’s fullest.
Conservation Chairman-Potomac River Smallmouth Club
Member -Shenandoah RiverKeeper Organization
Member- Izaak Walton League, Warren County Chapter