Friday, February 23, 2007

Oklahoma Water Supply At Risk!


Crap Hauler at Dawn
Originally uploaded by FreeWine.
This legislative session, scenic river supporters will have to be very alert for bad legislation that could weaken water quality rules and/or scenic river protections.

Senate Bill 709 defines animal waste as nonhazardous. It now is headed for a Senate vote as detailed below.

Letters to your legislators are need now to prevent this bill from being passed. To contact your legislators, go to

http://www.capitolconnect.com/oklahoma/

Please ask your senators to vote NO on SB 709. This measure is not necessary. Its purpose is to weaken Oklahoma's clean water lawsuit against the out of state poultry companies.

Animal manure in the huge quantities produced by poultry farms is a hazard to our water and to your health. Animal manure used in rates that crops can actually use is not the target of Oklahoma's lawsuit. Arguments that animal shows will be curtailed if this law is not passed are scare tactics.

State and Federal laws do not prohibit the normal agricultural use of animal waste as fertilizer. However, massive corporate controlled poultry farms produce huge amounts of untreated waste…the equivalent of 10.7 million additional people in the Illinois River watershed. These farms are not Grandpa’s chicken yard. Poultry waste contains dangerous E. coli bacteria, arsenic, heavy metals, growth hormones, and antibiotics that get in our drinking water.

Alter courtesy of Save the Illinois River (STIR). A citizens group dedicated to educating, engaging, and empowering Oklahomans to protect and preserve the Illinois River, its tributaries, and Lake Tenkiller.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

HB 1300 - Crap Spreader Bill in the House

Ellis Authors a Crap Spreader's Bill of Rights

The state attorney general and secretary of the environment would be limited in their ability to sue agricultural producers in Oklahoma for pollution if a bill passed out of subcommittee Monday becomes law. The bill would create several new requirements a pollution case must meet before a lawsuit could be filed. Oklahoma Secretary of the Environment Miles Tolbert said the requirements mandated in House Bill 1300 would stretch out over about 18 years.

Rep. Jerry Ellis, author of the bill, said the legislation is meant to force state agencies to work in good faith with agricultural producers before taking them to court. The bill stems from a lawsuit filed in June 2005 by Attorney General Drew Edmondson against 14 poultry companies polluting watersheds in northeastern Oklahoma. Drew Edmondson has said evidence will show that the poultry industry, by overapplying chicken litter on land, is the primary source of pollution in the Illinois River watershed.

I can tell you from personal experience that this problem is NOT limited to the Illinois River. Currently, Okmulgee area farmers surrounding my home are hauling stinking filth in by the Dumptruck load everyday. Most days this week, breathing the air in my driveway would gag a maggot. When we built our home here it was not a dumping ground for sewage waste, now I cannot imagine who would want to buy our house. The damage to our family and property is real, yet Jerry Ellis thinks I need my rights limited even more to protect massive corporate farming operations that are unwilling to effectively treat their waste. I think his plan stinks!

It is short sighted leadership like this that drives the 'brain-drain' of young professionals choosing not to live in Oklahoma. Until we stop these boot-licking, corporate toadies from selling out our quality of life for campaign donations, I don't expect much to change.

Monday, February 12, 2007

NEW - OKC Outdoor Network Blog

New Oklahoma Paddlers Resource

I often get emails from OKC area residents looking for places that offer kayaking opportunities. Since Dianne and I only get up to that area a couple times a year, we always direct them to the OKC Outdoor Network. The Oklahoma City Outdoor Network gives people who camp, hike, rock climb, canoe, kayak, cycle, mountain bike and walk a way to make new like-minded friends. Their website at: www.OkcOutdoorNetwork.org offers a wealth of paddling advice and news about the Oklahoma adventures their members find.

Now, the Oklahoma City Outdoors Network has a blog and RSS feed you can subscribe to. Newsfeeds offer a great way to follow the changes on a website without constantly returning to the site or filling your inbox. If you use a blog aggregator to read news feeds like I do, this is very good news!

Stop by and see their site soon at: http://okcon.blogspot.com/index.html, it is informative for anyone from the Oklahoma area and especially useful for OKC area outdoors enthusiasts.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Eagle Watch in Norman February 24, 2007


Oklahoma Eagle
Originally uploaded by FreeWine.
Bald Eagles in Oklahoma
Visit Crow's Secret Nature Center at Lake Thunderbird State Park, in Norman, Oklahoma February 24, 2007. Migrating eagles are visiting the park. Meet at the nature center to talk about these majestic birds before leaving on a caravan tour of the lake to search for them. The event runs from 9 a.m. to noon. For more information contact Julie Morris at (405) 321-4633.