Water concerns are expressed at meeting
This a rebuttal to Callie Moore's article about pollution claims that I made at the town hall meeting. First of all, I don't remember using the word pollution. I said the water quality was poor. As for being long, I spoke for two minutes like most other folks. What I talked about was absolutely true. Here are the facts from your report you referenced. For those folks who haven't looked it up, your organization rates water quality as poor, fair or good. During a 16-year period on Lake Chatuge, the lake got a poor rating for 10 of those years. It got a fair rating for five years and three of those barely made it to the fair mark. Only one year, 1996, did the lake get a good rating.
The water concerns in your report were exactly the point I was making: excess sediment, excessive nutrients, pathogens and too much run off from commercially developed areas. I have fished more trout streams than I can count from Burke county to the Tennessee line in my 72 years. Whether I am fishing for trout or bass I always practice catch and release.
Over the years I have seen many streams decline to the point that trout can't reproduce in them. The more people come, the more trash is on the banks. Here is an excerpt from Ethan Hollifield who teaches environmental/physical science, "We've invited with open arms, the droves of human traffic that was otherwise unseen in those environments.
These areas have been, at times, recklessly shared without regard to a habitat's vulnerability to an influx of human exposure. I have begun seeing the negative sides of this notoriety of our streams, in the form of trash and over crowding, as it is been negatively marketed as a tourist commodity, rather than a natural resource."
There is no water source anywhere that has not seen a negative impact of more people and development. As of now, in the Hiawassee river, trout can still reproduce. Those in favor of this park are motivated by one thing, money. As for Hiawassee Watershed, I am all for any organization that helps maintain our natural resources that God gave us. On the negative side, unfortunately two things will always be true, people equal trash and development equals poor water quality.