Not Just The Weather

A while ago, I drew attention to the floods which have inundated the Upper Midwest states like Iowa and Nebraska.  What I did not know at the time (but should have), is that when there is catastrophe, can the fat finger of government be far behind?

 There is much more to the “management” of the Missouri River basin than just how and when to drain water.
In the interest of habitat restoration, etc. (the highest priority since 2004), tens of thousands of acres surrounding the river and more than a thousand miles of riverbank have been mechanically altered by the Corps — not with an eye to controlling flooding, but rather to facilitate the “reconnection of the river with its floodplain,” believed to be a necessity in achieving the goal of species and habitat preservation and restoration.
When the Corps believed that protecting people and property was a more worthy aim than fish and wildlife, the riverbanks were stabilized, shored against erosion and high-water events. The channels were kept largely free of silt infill to facilitate the draining efficiency of the river that essentially deals with the runoff of vast millions of square miles of mountain and plains snow and rain.
Dikes were built and maintained. Levees, too. Chutes (secondary channels of a meandering river) were closed to inhibit the ability of the river to overcome its banks in seasons of high-water. All these things (and more) combined to permit millions of Americans to develop the reclaimed lands, for farming, ranching, and homes. Indeed, these millions of Americans were encouraged to do so by their elected representatives, who happily took credit for the resulting economic benefits and increased tax revenues.

And then in 2004, it all changed.  Read the whole thing, and be enraged.


  1. “Read the whole thing, and be enraged.”
    I’m in a decent mood today and intend to stay that way.
    The sun is out, the temp is rising, and after I make a new cup O’mud I’m heading out to the shop to get some stuff done. The stuff entails high speed machines with razor sharp blades where close attention to detail is required (I still have all 10) so placing even 1 square millimeter of retardation distraction in my gray matter is strictly verboten. There may even be some loud hand cannon fire later on in the woods out back.

  2. I will pass on a good bit of advice that my maternal grandfather gave me many years ago, “Never build a house in a flood plain.” The same would apply to buying a house that is already built. Do not do it, it will not end well. Period. (… and yes, I have taken his advice with every home I have purchased.)

    What is that you say, THE GOVERNMENT (at any level) said that it was okay, and they did all of this stuff to protect you and will keep doing it in perpetuity. HA HA HA HA HA – LOL HA HA, oh WOW, that is funny.

    Look at where the actual problem is, stop trying to build in flood plains. It is stupid, and if someone convinces you to do something that is stupid, then hey, do not be surprised when bad things happen. Stupid hurts.

  3. Ahhh, intended consequences, a ‘no-charge’ option included in your purchase price.

    * * * * *

    On a related note, we farm the south Willamette Valley near Eugene, Oregon, fUSA. The whole dang place is a swamp, a hundred miles in every direction.

    Fortunately, the government agents can sharpen their pencils and instantly designate certain areas as protected ‘wetlands’, meaning ‘nobody can do anything except admire the view while paying taxes for the privilege’. Equally fortunately, by paying a mediation ‘fee’ of us$85,000 per acre, that protection magically vanishes… and you can build or develop to your heart’s content.

    Are you sure we’re on the right side?

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