Sunday, January 29, 2012

Red Herrings in the Samish Watershed

Skagit Valley Herald headline last Friday:  "Conservation group gives tour of successful cleanup projects in the Samish Watershed."

Wow!  Finally someone associated with the multi-million-dollar Clean Samish Initiative shows us some real improvements.

But alas, the improvements presented to the mostly clueless passengers of the tour bus were little more than Red Herrings, designed to deflect attention from the truth:  little has been done.

CSI is now in its third year.  Lots of taxpayer money has flowed under the bridge.  And still ... our local Conservation District has few genuine fixes to show us.

What's up with that?  How long are taxpayers going to be led astray by colorful brochures and pandering articles in the paper?

Red Herring #1 is the great barn pictured below:

This was a real fix completely paid for by a wealthy farmer in the Samish who admitted, " ... it's more than most farmers can afford."

You think?  So why did the tour focus on this uber high-priced solution?

Red Herring #2 is the nifty project pictured below:

This is the "poster child" of a farmer's using taxpayer dollars to prevent water pollution with a nice culvert, fencing and hedgerows.

Too bad it was completed back in 2010 ... and the farm is too far away from the identified locations of pollution in the Samish River to make any difference.

So we at Skagit Leeks ask:  "What's up, CSI folks?  Where are the real fixes done by real people in areas with real pollution problems?

Where are all the fences that have been moved back away from the very edge of waterways to keep livestock manure from being washed into the river during our Spring Rainy Season?

Where are all the culverts built and hedgerows planted by NRSP in areas that actually affect the pollution of the Samish River?

Where are the examples set by influential members of the Cattleman's Association with farms in the Samish Watershed?

Where are the improvements made by farmers who received warnings or fines from the Department of Ecology over the past two years?

Why doesn't anyone show us those cases of "successful cleanup projects"?

Stay tuned to Skagit Leeks for the real truth about genuine improvements in the Samish Watershed.  We know better than to swallow these Red Herrings hook, line, and sinker.

In the meantime, we suggest you try this tasty recipe for Pickled Red Herring:

1 Herring fillet, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 TBS pickled beet juice; 1 red onion, chopped; 1 TBS chopped pickled beet.  Herring Marinade

Arrange Herring in shallow bowl.  Mix beet juice with some of the marinade and pour over the Herring.  Place the chopped red onion and beet in strips diagonally over the Herring.  Garnish with dill sprigs.


  1. Ug. I hate hearing (herring) stuff like this.

  2. Thanks Dorothy, those were exactly my thoughts as I read the article, and I/we are wondering how many more "dog and pony shows" the County is going to put on before they put some teeth into their program? Keep up the good writing - and I absolutely love herring and beets, may have to try your recipe!

  3. Sounds exactly like a lot of what happens around here with the rivers and the hog farms! Nasty!!! Back in 99 there was Hurricane Floyd. So much nasty waste in the Neuse River. Two years later was a massive flesh eating disease called Fisteria. Lots of dead fish and lots of people with sores on their bodies. Hmmmmm....was anything done about it???? That would be a NOPE!

  4. What the heck is going on there? How long do they think they can fool the folks in Samish County. Good going, LOS! They need you to shake things up.

  5. Let's organize our own tour! Anybody know where some REAL improvements have been made? Who wants to volunteer their farm to show us some improvements?