Yesterday, I reported how delighted I was with the dispatch the pony express delivered to my prairie home. Today, was a different story however.
Instead of getting some more stuff or notice from Publisher's Clearinghouse declaring me a winner, the rider deposited a large brown envelope into the dispatch receptacle.
Grabbing the envelope, the first thing I noticed was the sender's address - Legal Division, Oklahoma Department of Mines. At first my thinking was, "Hey, they must have read the blog about those big arse holes in the ground they're allowing to grow!" Upon closer inspection though, the envelope contained a lot, and I mean a lot, of filed papers that were in response to the latest proposed mine that is currently under review in this area.
The majority of the paperwork involved was the same request for a formal hearing that I sent in. There were probably close to fifty other local people that filed the same paperwork as I did and like I said that adds up to a lot of paperwork. Sure hope they're using recycled paper.
There's an old adage on this sea of the prairie ocean that pretty well says, "If you don't like what your about to step in... then it's best to go around." But, there are times that the situation at hand is such you simply take a big step right into the middle of the mess.
What is at stake is a good number of things, but the main motivating factor for me was the continued assault on a unique and precious aquifer - a sole source aquifer that is the lifeblood of Blue River and many other small streams, creeks, and waterways in this area.
While perusing all the papers within the envelope, I noted with interest a rather formal letter of a request for a formal hearing from the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife. Also, there was another formal letter from the Department of Interior. These two agencies took the time and interest to outline their issues with possible problems of yet another big hole going in the ground.
In filing the request for a formal hearing there were a number of issues we listed as to why the application for another mine should be further examined. Please have a look for yourself what the first two bulleted issues are.
I'm sure there are those out there that think my only concern in this is out of fear I may someday be void of water to fly fish. This is so much more than fly fishing however. It's about this ecology, environment, and the community of wildlife that depend on humanity to make smart and well thought-out decisions.
Now that notifications have been sent informing those of us that asked for a formal hearing, the legal and political ramblings will accelerate.
It's at this point, I tend to fade from the whole process because I own no sense to legal issues and when it comes to politics I grow sick of my stomach.
I find it sad that for many of us all we have is our passion and passion, unfortunately, does not speak as loudly as it once did.
I am sure there are many, like me, that believe if it'd do any good we'd drive to the governor's office... and once there get on our knees and ask her to stop the destruction of our aquifer, natural resources, and future.
Passion seems to have no place in due process.