Friday Food For Thought

| April 12, 2024 | 0 Comments

Denton Greenbelt Disaster in Slow Motion – Making Good Trouble

Can’t you tell I’m frustrated by the lack of progress on the Denton Greenbelt Debacle? E mails to the local authority at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), based in Lewisville, Texas, are responded to in (seemingly) premeditated one-week intervals. I must ass-u-me that response time is normal for ALL Federal agencies, just to keep me from a total melt down.

But if you do take the time to watch these two videos? You may look away thinking I have already melted down, and I admit this is beginning to wear on me once again (recall my retreat to work on the startup of Los Pescadores SPIT?).

Once I returned, I just couldn’t keep my face off the hot stove of the Denton Greenbelt Disaster … so this nightmare continues in real time, even if it is extremely slow time.

Behind the video scenes, I never received ANY RESPONSE from the commandant in Fort Worth. That set me to thinking about the “chain of command” that, although not applicable to ongoing disasters, and media communications – is something I am willing to roll back down to and go through just so that all the “i’s are dotted, and the t’s are crossed” on this climb to the next person who will take a week between e mail responses or never respond at all.

NOTE: I am not walking a fine line here. Most of the time, I try to report stories of this magnitude with a neutral, slightly left, fly fishing bias. This is not the case with the Denton Greenbelt Disaster. Sometimes the story is so egregious that a journalist has to come from one direction. I believe there is no balance to this story. This is not a natural disaster. This is a disaster made from government mismanagement by no management, no stewardship, and nature suffers from it. I don’t suffer, nature suffers. Of course, your kids and grandkids suffer, the local outdoor community suffers, the economy loses thousands and thousands of dollars and the local governments lose thousands and thousands of tax dollars. These things should be obvious to all who read, and are obvious to the one anti-hero ME. Feel free to join up!

The new link in the chain of command got rolled through my fingers, back to the beginning bead like handling a rosary … potentially infinite, never ending, and outliving the hands holding it. The new bead on the chain?

IT HAS BEEN almost three weeks since my first email to the Lewisville USACE office, and as I stated earlier, I don’t know if it always takes a week for a response. I don’t know if these folks don’t know what to do, or say, or who to shift me over to … three weeks and I have nothing more than I had on the first e mail. Time. Time moves differently at the Federal level, and I say that from my experience as a local Government employee, not as a frustrated fly fisher or rabid environmentalist.

My first “local” contact, with the Lewisville Office USACE, is: Chandler Sanford Lead Natural Resources Specialist U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 1801 N Mill Street Lewisville, TX 75057 Lewisville/Ray Roberts Lakes.

After one business week (Monday April 8), this is his response:

“Hi, I have reached out to our Public Affairs Office for assistance with this and will follow up with you.”

So this coming Monday, April 15, two full business weeks later, and after asking when I might get a response (no response)? The above is the level of progress made with the Lewisville USACE Office. And the above is ALL the progress in two full weeks. Have you ever watched paint dry? I can testify: Paint dries faster.

Does it look TO YOU like this is a stall tactic, that I am being stalled, with the hopes I will go away? Maybe I overestimate my lonely crusade, and really, REALLY, no one cares about this conservation and environment disaster?

Other Disaster UPDATES:

Robbie Merritt at Superintendent TPWD Lake Ray Roberts:

“Howdy Shannon, Hope the Easter Bunny was good to you this year.  We did receive word recently that our Inland Fisheries partner’s Fish Passage Grant did not make the cut for this year’s Federal Grant program.  But, they are still planning to tweak it some more and submit again for next year’s opportunity.” – April 3, 2024

I asked to see the Federal Grant application, but have received no response as of this writing. The blazing speed is blinding isn’t it?

HERE IS SOMETHING FEDERAL – Retiring Congressman, Michael Burgess, in 2022 had nothing but great things to say about the Lewisville USACE, on the record. Here is the lead:

"Mr. BURGESS. Madam Speaker, I rise today to honor the tremendous 
contributions of The Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) serving the Fort
Worth District of Texas.The USACE provides flood risk management to
the Dallas metro area, stores water for the City of Dallas, and manages
the recreation and natural resources around lake Lewisville including
the Lewisville dam." [Pages E897-E898]September 2, 2022

Are you as happy as I am? Burgess, who is a do nothing, create nothing, election denying bright red MAGA member – is going away, finally! Note: “… manages natural resources around Lake Lewisville …” I guess Burgess took a lesson from Trump’s playbook? Say a thing enough times, and it becomes true – whether it is, or not.

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Category: Adventure, Denton Trinity River Greenbelt Corridor, Science and Environmental

About the Author () is where to find my other day job. I write and photograph fish stories professionally, and for free here! Journalist by training. This site is for telling true fishing news stories, unless otherwise noted.

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