Mar 20, 2015

Saving Wehr's Dam

In today's Morning Call article, the reporter states that he was gobsmacked that the dam was saved. Perhaps if he wasn't the fifth reporter to be assigned to the story in the last nine months, he would have been less surprised. Perhaps if he had attended more meetings he would have credited more people in the effort, notably myself, Bob Schantz and Leroy Schmidt. While that's water over the proverbial dam, there are consequential issues which still need to be addressed. While the dam certainly received a temporary stay from execution, I doubt that the Wildlands Conservancy will stand down. The reporter kept mentioning the KCI report, as if its conclusions were gospel. In reality, it was generalized current dam removal patter, not even applicable to the Jordan Creek and Wehr's Dam. The projected cost to repair the dam was based on conservation methods usually reserved for the Washington Monument and the Statue of Liberty. In the real world, the DEP said two years ago that the dam is in overall good condition. The report by the Wildlands Conservancy, done by KCI, and paid for by a Pennsylvania grant, cost $239,000.00. As a taxpayer, I'm concerned with the channel between the Wildlands Conservancy and Harrisburg, which allowed a quarter of a $million dollars to be spent on virtual propaganda. I'm also concerned with the channel between the Wildlands Conservancy and South Whitehall Commissioner Christina Morgan, which encouraged one of the most significant features of Covered Bridge Park to be threatened. If the Wildlands Conservancy has its way, that picnic table shown in the picture above would replaced with a riparian buffer, which is actually a wall of weeds. It's necessary to realize that our parks were intended for recreation, not the Wildlands Conservancy grant harvesting agenda. The dam must receive some protective status, so that the citizens need not again defend such an iconic place of beauty.
photograph by K Mary Hess


DreamingOfJustice said...


Ordinary people are simply worn-out with outside meddling and needling..and the motivations for such- money grabs, land grabs, grabbiness in general. The provincial media publishing endless slanted articles touting the Wildlands Conservancy agenda as some sort of Sainted Mission of Mercy to benefit the heathens.."Don't you uneducated hicks understand this noble organization is trying to save the LAND..the FISH..why, this cursed structure interferes with the breeding path of SEA LAMPREYS!"

Well, that was some fine speechifying that Science Guy did up thar, in front of God and ever'body..I sure liked that piece about savin' them sea-thing-a-ma-jiggs. Except that Sea Lampreys are one of the most singularly destructive apex predators that could ever have the misfortune to enter an inland waterway. Sea Lampreys destroyed the entire trout fishing industry in the Great Lakes. A single Sea Lamprey sucks the innards of fish..salmon..trout..walleye..pike. 40 pounds of fish over a Sea Lamprey lifetime. The fish that the State pays to STOCK in the creeks every season? You might as well cut them all into chum if sea lampreys find a way into the Jordan Creek or anywhere else.

That was one of the "reasons" the Science Guy gave for bringing down Wehr's save a Parasitic Predator!

Then there was more hocus-pocus talk regarding fish migration..never mind the US Geological Survey map that shows the Jordan Creek has a carbonate rock bed- for you country-fied folks out there, that means the rock has holes in it- as many holes as a sponge. The water in Jordan Creek has been percolating through those holes into a subterranean chamber beneath the creek for probably ten thousand years, like a pre-historic bathtub drain. Knocking the dam down would just mean the rest of the water behind the dam would also disappear down that drain, affecting water levels throughout the entire creek system.

So- common sense won the day..but evening is arriving. We need to get the dam into the historic overlay, or we will continue to hear about Sea Lamprey rights next year.

Bernie O'Hare said...

It's a sad commentary that the newspaper has so few covering beats that it is unable to provide any continuity in one of the Lehigh Valley's most significant communities.

Anonymous said...

I'll post it again.... save the dam, install the riparian zone.

michael molovinsky said...

@10:27, people have been coming to view the water go over the dam and under the bridge for generations. its been the backdrop for countless wedding photos and other memories. riparian buffers block both view and access, public parks are not the proper place for them.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on a job well done by you and your friends Mike. It is disgusting how the Wildland Conservancy has ruined the Lehigh Valley Parkway.

Ted Yost

michael molovinsky said...

saving wehr's dam involved a lot of people. i started the effort in june, and was joined by bill wehr and his daughter lori and bob schantz in july. they formed a group, and leroy schmidt collected thousands of signatures at the dam itself. that group attended all the meetings, and continuously testified on behalf of the dam. because i was also a candidate, i worked independently for the dam, to keep politics and the cause separate. i also attended the meetings and spoke on behalf of the dam. in addition, i lobbied for the dam on my blog, letter writing to the editor, and emails to the commissioners.. i invited the commissioners on a tour of lehigh parkway, so that they could see for themselves the reality of the wildlands' projects, not just their propaganda. that dam was saved by the efforts of many people; k mary hess campaigned for it on her photo page, and over the months, dozens of people attended at least one meeting, and spoke for the dam. the dam was defended at every meeting since june.

Anonymous said...

When determined folks with an honorable cause, set out to accomplish a positive task, ending with good results. It usually happens.
Though the "good fight" is not all over yet...This is a marvelous beginning.
A sincere Thank You to all that participated!!
"The Old Allentown Curmudgeon" (PJF)

NO MORE MORGAN in 2017 said...

Lori Wehr Young deserves alot of credit here

michael molovinsky said...

@7:42, absolutely, lori and her father bill deserve very much credit. dan sheenan, the last reporter for the morning call on this topic, undercredited others in his articles. it was my intention here to rectify that oversight.