Jun 30, 2015

Wildlands Conservancy's Thrill Of Hypocrisy

Yesterday, was the last day of the Conservancy's Annual Lehigh River Sojourn. The event was well covered by The Morning Call, with both a reporter and photographer on board one of the rafts. The three day event started with a talk by Chris Kocher, President of the Wildlands. The group gets grants during the winter to demolish dams, and grants during the summer to conduct this educational sojourn on the Lehigh river. Last year, Wildlands spend over $250,000 in grant money on just a study, promoting the removal of Wehr's Dam. Their website stated that the Lehigh Sojourn would take place rain or shine, but doesn't explain why. What Chris Kocher and The Morning Call fail to reveal is that their raft adventure is scheduled to coincide with the water release from the Francis E. Walter Dam in White Haven. It is only because of this dam that the Lehigh has a steady flow of water, and that these hypocrites can get their whitewater thrill.

photo of Wildlands Conservancy hypocrites enjoying dam release by Harry Fisher of The Morning Call

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

This stuff keeps getting more and more sordid but how in the world did that guy keep his beret on while white water rafting?

Scott Alderfer said...

Timing the Lehigh River Sojourn to coincide with a water release from the Francis Walter Dam is hardly a conspiracy. Kayakers and whitewater rafters from all over the Delaware Valley head to the Lehigh River for the water release from this dam. If not for the release, the trip would be a week-long canoe trip rather than a 3.5-day whitewater rafting trip. The significance of the trip is that Wildlands' primary mission has always been to protect and preserve land in the Lehigh River watershed. Thus, a rafting trip through the heart of that watershed. Throughout the Lehigh River watershed, Wildlands owns and manages nine nature preserves totaling more than 2,600 acres. Many times they have acquired conservation easements adjacent to state game lands and then turned over those lands to the PA Game Commission to expand the game lands. Mike, I know you are not a fan of Wildlands, because their idea of preserving the Little Lehigh Creek watershed involves planting riparian buffers and removing obsolete dams that impede the natural movement of the creek and creatures living in it. But in the big picture of preserving land and natural resources, they are hardly the villain you usually make them out to be. In the big picture, very little of Wildlands' work infringes on the historic resources that you work to preserve and promote.

michael molovinsky said...

scott@10:46, i didn't call it a conspiracy, i called it hypocrisy. the wildlands conservancy lies to fulfill their agenda. that little 8 inch dam at the robin hood bridge didn't impede the creek, but piling the broken dam pieces around the stone bridge piers despoiled the bridge's visual beauty. how ironic that allentown city council allowed wildlands to demolish that wpa dam, but did nothing to preserve the now collapsed wall. likewise, wehr's dam helps to regulate the jordan in that park. without it the stream will be dried up much more often during dry spells. they (wildlands conservancy) generalize, lie and distort to further their agenda. spending over a quarter $ million on the wehr dam study is simply crime against the taxpayers.

Anonymous said...

And they use the Sojourn as a method of "greasing the skids" for reporters and politicians to support their agenda.

Their agenda is ok for areas without a lot of people, but it stinks for urban/suburban parks.

michael molovinsky said...

@12:08, yes, they're very politically correct and very connected to the local park systems. in allentown, they dictate policy along the park streams. in south whitehall, one wildlands official's son is park director. can you imagine how depreciated covered bridge park would be without wehr's dam? nobody in the administration building there supports the dam. the only commissioner really dedicated to the dam is retiring in january. it's future is in real jeopardy.

Dreaming of Justice said...

Honestly, if there is enough money to be made eventually the entire park will disappear, the dam destroyed, and the bridge replaced with an aluminum and concrete replica.

Because that is all that matters here- money. Not history, not people, not the children, not anything else but money. It's grotesque and absurd freak show of greed.

michael molovinsky said...

dreaming@3:48, they certainly have no regard for history. they're arrogant enough to bend truth. park departments are being run by people whose priority is recreation, out of a playground catalog. they seriously suggest just substituting the historical features with a photographic signage,

michael molovinsky said...

scott alderfer, i read your piece on how I accused the wildlands of "junk" science. you actually have all the pieces of the puzzle, but gave the benefit of the doubt to the wrong party. neither the kci report, nor the wildlands, ever mentioned the limestone disappearing stream. a $250k scientific report and they omit that? the fish do die there, by the hundreds, when the stream dries up. they also corrupted the structural integrity of the dam. it's a low hazard dam, meaning that if it totally collapsed, there would be no loss of life or property. in 2012, the DEP reported that "overall, it's in good shape". although their scuba driver found damage under the dam, that massive concrete wall will stand for another 100 years, unattended. so, the wildlands did indeed fudge both the science and the engineering, for their own agenda. when you take into consideration the dry stream phenomena, the practical structural integrity of the dam, and the overwhelming beauty of the spot, even many environmentalists sided with keeping the dam.

Anonymous said...

The anti-dam organization uses the benefits of a dam to pursue the anti-dam agenda.

That's more embarrassing then wearing a beret on a rafting trip.

dirtyape said...

Why haven't The Wildlands removed the dam directly in front of their property on Orchid Rd?