You may wish to sit down for this one.
Last year, southern Arizona fell victim to a natural disaster. Dubbed the Monument Fire (since it started in the Coronado National Monument), it claimed roughly 30,000 acres in a two-week period.
(The Monument Fire)…denuded the hillsides of vegetation. After the fire, record-breaking monsoon rains hit the region, triggering huge mudslides that left boulders the size of cars tumbling down hillsides.
The slides crushed Tombstone’s mountain spring waterlines and destroyed reservoirs for the town’s main water supply network.
And from kvoa.com:
Tombstone’s main water source are springs bubbling up in Miller Canyon, but the recent flooding after the fire has messed it all up.
Jack Wright, Tombstone’s Water Operator said, “It’s moved some boulders through here. You have seen caverns that didn’t exist. This was a drivable road a month ago.”
And then, …the real disaster happened. A Federal Government agency showed up.
From the dailycaller.com:
George Barnes, Tombstone’s city clerk and manager, explained to The Daily Caller that since many of the pipelines are in a “wilderness area,” the U.S. Forest Service will not allow the mechanized equipment needed to fix the water-lines into the area for environmental reasons.
“We began working with the Forest Service but then we realized and found what an incredible boondoggle that could be, even though we are very confident we have a special status because our rights there pre-existed the Forest Service and even the BLM [Bureau of Land Management]. We were there long before anything and all we are asking is to fix our stuff,” Barnes said.
And perhaps my favorite quote:
……instead of allowing repairs as has happened in the past, “federal bureaucrats are refusing to allow Tombstone to unearth its springs and restore its water-lines unless [city officials] jump through a lengthy permitting process that will require the city to use horses and hand tools to remove boulders the size of Volkswagens.”
Got all that?
A town, here in the United States, in the year 2012, needs to get their drinking water back, and a Federal agency says, “Sure, but please use machinery from ….the 1800’s, okay? Have a nice day!”
Tombstone is fighting this in court, but they need to win quickly, since a slow victory will still be a loss for whatever townspeople are left.
This whole fiasco is eerily reminiscent of the California case back in 2009 with the San Joaquin Valley vs. the delta smelt, the main difference being this time the concern isn’t people’s livelihoods but rather their lives.
I have no idea whether this is merely typical, everyday environmental extremism, or just the latest example of federal overreach gone mad. And I really don’t want to consider the possibility that it has anything to do with President Petulant’s previous issues with the state of Arizona.
That would be impossible……wouldn’t it?