Our legal fight update...
14 posts
8 users
2k+ views
bawalker
January 25, 2005
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
I know this is off topic, but I have mentioned it before but I wanted to post two links to two stories done by a newspaper in Virginia in relation to the legal fight to save my home/homeland/families land.

http://www.dnronline.com/archives%202005/01-24-05/story1.asp
http://www.dnronline.com/archives%202005/01-24-05/story2.asp

Also NBC Nightly News/Dateline hasn't decided when to air their story they filmed/did on us this past summer. Also FOX News has expressed interest as well. I'll be sure to pass on the word when NBC says they are gonna air it.
JR
January 25, 2005
Member since 01/1/2003 🔗
276 posts
This is interesting. Me and my class in 7th or 8th grade in Moorefield High did a debate on this project. I didn't know it was a real project in the works at the time, I just though it was a hypothetical situation but its been going on for 30 years?

I'll break down our debate so that you'll know exactly what to do as a next step. I was assigned to be on the engineering team to design the dam. half the class was developers or engineers like me and the other half either owned property or were environmentalists against it. To make a long story short, I devised a dam system that used lockes instead of a huge reservoir so that minimal land was flooded. My teacher nixed the idea since she said one of the main goals was for a recreational lake and development. So, as you can see, it is all about money. To make a long story short, we weren't allowed to use eminent domain and "Amy" wouldn't sell her 10 acre farm for the $100 million dollars that we offered her. We were REALLY frustrated but couldn't do anything about it and the dam was not built. (sorry i was on the bad side, I was only 13 :P )

Anyway, its too bad its not that easy for you in real life. I'm sorry to hear about your family's homeland being at risk like this, especially if it isn't really as beneficial to future flood prevention as it is $$$ speaking and people just trying to increase their land values around the resulting lake. Good luck to you and your family.

I'm assuming this dam is supposed to prevent Moorefield from flooding... What about Petersburg/Maysville? Sorry, I lived there for 20 years and I haven't a clue where the water comes from

One last thing, they're right about western and southern WV needing flood control. I have a friend in Charleston and every house on his back hollow road has been flooded numerous times in the past 3 years. (luckily his is up on the hill high enough). And has anyone seen Marietta across the Ohio River from Parkersburg? They've been in the news every month it seems COMPLETELY underwater. Its crazy how bad it is there.
RyanC
January 25, 2005
Member since 11/28/2003 🔗
160 posts
Thanks for the update. It would be great if some people could get a vocal social-justice action group started for West Virginia. In places like Baltimore and DC (granted, with more our share of problems, esp. here in B More) at least there seems to be more watchdogs out there. It seems that in more rural areas and small towns it's much easier for monied interests to pull one over on the community, often without a fight! Wal-Mart does it every day by paying such low wages that it's employees need public assistance to get by. Which therefore creates a net burden for the small towns. The Economic Policy Inst. has done many studies on this. You mean YOUR home is actually at risk because of this? I would assume you'd get fair market value in this case? Regardless, this is just another example of middle-class citizens getting screwed out of a decent life by monied interests.

BTW, have you had any luck finding a new car/truck yet??
Philip
January 26, 2005
Member since 12/21/2004 🔗
26 posts
Damn eminent domain.
Roger Z
January 26, 2005
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
I think, Phillip, you meant "dam" eminent domain. Har har.

Bad pun aside, probably one reason no one is mentioning recreation plans is because if this was seen as a recreation/economic development project instead of a "police power" project (the police power is defined as the right of the government to protect the "health, safety, welfare, and morals" of society) it would be on extremely shaky legal grounds. Instead, they're talking up flood control, which probably is one of the interests involved. Flood control pits one person against another and eliminates simple concepts of social justice, however. Who's house is more important to protect- the guy who's going to get washed away downstream if the "big one" strikes or the guy who would get fair market value for his land which will now sit at the bottom of the lake?

Don't get me wrong, I'm hoping Brad wins on this like most of us, but things are rarely cut and dry. For that matter- flood control can be done a number of different ways and dams are not always the most efficient way, as they only protect from flooding in one direction and lead to silting and fish hatchery problems (potentially) as well.

A couple of things you might want to do Brad, if you're not doing it already, is have your legal team bring in an environmental consultant that can draft up a counter proposal for flood control for Moorefield that doesn't use dams. Second, EIS reviews require a public comment period, after which all "substantive" public comments have to be addressed in alternative studies. "Substantive" public comments are ones that state what am impact is likely to be, and are not simply opinion pieces. You could, for instance, submit your recommended alternative with costing and flood reduction figures as a public comment. This would be substantive and would force the developers to review its impact. I believe there's an additional comment period and, anyway, in the event that you feel an outcome was unfairly arrived at (in other words, your lawyers feel that the review of the EIS was insufficiently conducted), you can sue. This is a federal project and there's lots of recourse actions available for ya. Best of luck.
bawalker
January 26, 2005
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
I'm only here for a moment (reformatting XP... AGAIN) but just to throw some 'fun' into the whole discussion, look at what has been found from publically available records:

http://www.savelostriver.org/money.php

Notice the names floating around the top and who is being investigated for ethics violations as well. Also... I find it odd that the same few people getting that money are driving 2004 Oldsmobile Escalades. The reason they get the money? Crop damage relief, but interesting enough they haven't planted on 60% of their fields in years. Simply no attempt too.

Anyway back to reformatting.
Denis - DCSki Supporter
January 26, 2005
Member since 07/12/2004 🔗
2,220 posts
I remember that 1985 flood and I truly thought that the area would never recover. They did recover quite nicely, whether through the resources of it's citizens or insurance. Then and now it is obvious where the 500 year flood plain is and also obvious that many people have built on it knowing this. I have a bit of a problem with people building on flood plains or barrier islands and then expecting the rest of us to pay part of our taxes to replace what they lose to nature when the inevitable occurs. There are 2 sides to every story of course and these remarks may not apply to you and your land BA. I wish you well.

Edited to say that I believe that the federal government has built far too many dams in the past century, many of them mindlessly. There has got to be a happy medium here somewhere.
bawalker
January 26, 2005
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
Denis - That has been part of our complaint the whole time, and the soil conservation service and NRCS refuse to acknowledge. All the data we've collected and found shows the obvious. Moorefield, Petersburg, and areas along the Potomac were nearly obliterated in 1985 with lives lost, millions in damages.

Yet on the otherside of the mountain in the Lost River/CaCapon watershed, there was 0 lives lost, only $300,000 in damages. Mostly to fences, few cattle, and crops. Worse off is that 3 dams are currently already built and they aren't even built on the Lost River. Rather tiny tributaries that are nearly dry in the summer and during the rainy season are at worst, waist deep to me and I'm 6'5".

In the entire known history of this area in this specific watershed... not a single life has been lost due to flooding. That is not counting 1 idiot in 1978 who tried to drive through a flooding stream and got washed away.

We all know that flood control is just a front... and a very weak one at that. Even all of the average every day citizens who live up here know something fishy is up and they don't believe it's for flooding because flooding is rarely exsistant and in the Lost River watershed, less than 10 homes are actually in the flood plain.

You will like this though... In the two mile stretch between Lost River where the Kimsey Run dam is and Lost City where the proposed Lower Cove dam is, there is a WIDE STRETCH of flat floodplain land. Guess who happens to own it? The Vice Chair of the soil conservation service who is under ethics inditement and the recently ousted county commissioner who supports the dams and who has his family cattle farm right there on the spot.

Mark my word if the other 2 dams go in... those floodplains will be full of Walmarts, Home Depots, Subways and more, all sold and developed by those individuals with public power to condem and use emminent domain.

Also for those of you looking to purchase property in Hardy County, do NOT buy from Bob Dillard (Davis Reality) and John Bowman (Higland Trace). Recent evidence has been found they are working with the soil conservation service/county commissioners to do under the table type work to push the dams and possibly not sell land to those who oppose the dams.
bawalker
January 26, 2005
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
I forgot to mention, to see examples of the dams that are completed and are under construction goto:

http://www.savelostriver.org/gallery/kimseyrun.php (Kimsey Run - Lost River, WV)

http://www.savelostriver.org/gallery/needmore.php (Parker Hollow - Needmore, WV)

http://www.savelostriver.org/gallery/uppercove.php (Upper Cove - Mathias, WV)

http://www.savelostriver.org/gallery/lowercove.php (Lower Cove - Lost City, WV) This is the one were my family and relatives own pretty much all you see up to the mountain where the GW national forrest boundaries are at.


Now mind you, these dams are all within a 10 mile radius of each other and the final cost of all 5 dams if completed is over $70 MILLION dollars for an area that had $300,000 worth of damage in the worst flood in our history.

The NRCS, PVSCD (Potomac Valley Soil Conservation District) refuses to acknowledge that and refuses to update their 1974 workplan using construction techniques from 1974.

Something is fishy. Time to call Rush Limbaugh.
Denis - DCSki Supporter
January 26, 2005
Member since 07/12/2004 🔗
2,220 posts
So Lost River is not the river that you drive beside for 30 miles or so between Moorefield and Seneca Rocks?
bawalker
January 26, 2005
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
NOPE!

That is the South Branch of the Potomac watershed area... COMPLETEY on the other side of Branch Mountain from Lost River. The South Branch works it's way down along seneca rocks, pendleton county while the North Branch of the Potomac is up around Paw Paw - Mineral County areas and the Tucker/Allegheny county borders. Several hours drive away from the Lost River itself.
tromano
January 26, 2005
Member since 12/19/2002 🔗
998 posts
Brad,

Sorry to hear about your problems. I looked at the pictures and descriptions. Why do they need flood control? If the area isn't higly populated or whatever then whats the point?
TOMF
January 26, 2005
Member since 11/17/2003 🔗
60 posts
No, that's the South Branch of the Potomac. About five miles west of Petersburg, the North Fork of the South Branch joins the South Branch. For the rest of the trip to Seneca Rocks, Rt. 55 follows the North Fork of the South Branch of the Potomac.

Tom
bawalker
January 26, 2005
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
Quote:

Brad,

Sorry to hear about your problems. I looked at the pictures and descriptions. Why do they need flood control? If the area isn't higly populated or whatever then whats the point?




tromano - Thats the point we've been asking and proving... why is there a need for flood control? Well it's definately not about flood control by any means, rather the flood control is a 'front'. Instead these dams are being put in with the secret intentions of being water sources for the county. Btw Hardy County is trying to institute Residential/Commercial/Ag zoning districts and the word is in the paperwork that *IF* zoning goes through then a county wide public water system will be installed over the next 10 years forcing EVERYONE in the county to pay for hookups to public water.

But one thing that is confirmed is that county politicians are working closely with realtors in this country to drive up the tax base/cost of living enourmously. One soil conservation member is under inditement for this very such thing because his own property adjoins where the one dam would be and he'd stand to gain TENS OF MILLIONS of dollars by selling his property to select realtors that are in his pocket.

It's all about the money.

Heck I would encourage any of you to call up, state you are from out of the area, state that you love WV as it is and demand to know why Lost River needs 5 dams. I guarantee you'll get the flood control statement each time... and if you present them with our evidence that the cost ratio is loosing money and unjustified, you will get ignored and or told "Well if next time there happens to be a big storm, at least we can say we are prepared."

Ed Kesecker District Conservationist 304-538-2826 ext 106 9049-5196

He is the district conservationist in this area who will tell you that, ignores raw evidence. Also I found this about Ed and many more whom are connected with the dams. They are getting lots of money from the state of WV for crop damage/drought assistance, etc. I find that slightly odd but makes perfect sense.

To see for yourself, goto:

https://www.wvauditor.com/vista/login.asp

1.) Click on Global Vendor Search
2.) Enter in "Kesecker" for the name and viola. Edward Kesecker has received money from the state, in fact money from the very AGENCY that is pushing the dams at the state level.

Do the same for names of Biller, Don (Vice Chair of PVSCD - under ethics inditement); Teets, Michael (ex-County commissioner); Wagoner, John; (Chair of the PVSCD) and the list goes on and on. These people are getting paid for crop assistance, drought relief, etc and yet drive $50k esecelades, don't even actually farm etc.

Something big is gonna break and this stuff is going national and people on Mammoth Mountain will know where hardy county is.
DCSki Sponsor: Canaan Valley Resort

Ski and Tell

Speak truth to powder.

Join the conversation by logging in.

Don't have an account? Create one here.

0.14 seconds