Just Call Me Kid Dyn-o-Miiite!

| August 12, 2021


As much time as I spend (waste?) thinking about the Denton Trinity River Greenbelt debacle, there is one huge problem that I have yet to solve (in my mind). Assuming the politics and organizations are all pacified with fixing this mess, the next question is: How in the hell do they FIX the problem – the log jams on the Elm Fork of the Trinity between Ray Roberts and Lewisville Lakes?

As a visual witness to the clearing done right at HWY380, and as you can still see right now, the environmental impact of their methods ( a barge, giant backhoes, diesel trucks and hauling containers pulled by trucks to remove the debris) left the area cleared, but without any life left to hold the banks from washing away. Basically, a lot of live trees were cleared to clear the jams, and the bank destruction is immense.

At first, I was okay with this, and visualized this wide swath as not only a new park location (build it up about 20-feet), with a beautiful entry way, but I could see that this method would leave a clearing along the bank(s) for the  entire stretch of the river jams. There would be pinpoint intrusions in places that had limited log jams, above the 380 Greenbelt Park, and once those were cleared, the same clearcut banks would be left behind. I started thinking of those as potential “waterway rest stops” along the length of the beautiful Greenbelt run. Below the 380 Greenbelt Park, I thought what would be left behind would be a stretch of walkable bank (just like it is walkable at 380 immediately south of the bridge now), and that bank could be reinforced and just as importantly – since nature is done taking its course – put in a concrete path along the bank – all the way, and looping in for tree canopied picnic tables. Obviously this is a MAXIMUM IMPACT solution that makes no bones about people’s footprint on it. Smart infrastructure (as opposed to the TPWD Park at 380) would require building everything to withstand flooding (up and hardened) – go see the Trinity Fork Park in Lewisville as a textbook example.

But then, after hearing yet another person independently float the wildest idea, one that is the most radical idea on its face, I set my mind on just how that would work. What would be the short-term and long-term results of dynamiting the log jams out of the Trinity River between Ray Roberts Lake and Lewisville Lake? I will be the first to admit, my most recent experience with dynamite comes from watching the show “Justified” in reruns, and was a Black Cat firecracker fan for a lot of years, but now this theory started to get real … in my mind anyway.


Let us assume properly placed explosives in/on/under these massive log jams would actually blow the stack to kingdom come. The blast, I am assuming, will be significantly “unfocused” in all probability. This means the downward force of the explosion would do what? I think it would create a “crater pond” – that is a crater where a worthless undesirable log jam once existed. These “crater ponds” along the Trinity would, in fact, become destination fishing holes! In my dreams, the deadwood would fly up, out and over into the adjacent trees, some of the living trees lost to the impact, but most recovering. Laying out in this densely forested area, the waterlogged logs dry out, and become part of the compost deadwood that is already there. Making these “crater ponds” where there were once log jams? It’s making a silk purse from a sow’s ear.

Think about it! It would be the least expensive, quickest and lowest impact solution to this problem – no dozers, no carbon footprint and no clearcut banks. That is, unless you have a better idea? Think about the media coverage this event would generate! The Denton 380 Trinity River Greenbelt would instantly be back on the map, back on people’s radars. Heck, new Google Map satellite images would HAVE TO be done right away.


Topping it all off, the governing authority’s PR people would have to have none other than actor Walton Goggins to reprise his role in “Justified” as Boyd Crowder, and drop the first plunger on the first Trinity River Greenbelt log jam! “Fire in the Hole!”


Now we know the citizens of Denton, Denton County and surrounding areas … perhaps you are one of these people … these folks have a long, long fuse. How else can you explain nearly a decade of disrepair and degrading of such a fantastic environmental resource? It has been virtually useless for what? five years now … and counting … and counting … and counting. Dynamite is the best answer, even if it sounds radical – it’s actually practical, economical and makes … a statement about this problem. 

THANKS GOES OUT TO JJ (Jimmie) WALKER for his influence on this article!

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Category: Causes, Culture on the Skids, Denton Trinity River Greenbelt Corridor, Life Observed, Science and Environmental, Texas Water Conservation

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https://www.shannondrawe.com 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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