High Point Enterprise Newspaper Archives May 24 1972, Page 11

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High Point Enterprise (Newspaper) - May 24, 1972, High Point, North Carolina Changeling of streams to proceed i by Don Kindall a Washington a the us. Son conservation service plane to proceed soon with a controversial 06-mile Stream changeling project in North Carolina which critics say is part of a National a ditching a operation carried on with ruinous effect to the environment. Called the Chicod Creek watershed the project was halted two months ago when a Federal judge ordered the pcs to prepare a statement telling How it would affect the area s wildlife fish i and and water. A draft of the statement was prepared and is being circulated for Public comment by May 19. A final report will be made later to the Council for environmental Quality. Joseph w. Haas an pcs watershed specialist said the courts Stop work order dealt Only the environmental Impact statement and that unless further Legal action is involved the Chicod Creek project Nill continue. Contracts for actual construction could be let in a few weeks if no further Legal snags develop he told a reporter. Under the a Small watershed program carried out by pcs in cooperation with state and local sponsors Farmers in an area Are expected to carry out certain plans such As terracing and Pond building to help reduce water Runoff. In addition because the Small watershed Law a passed by Congress in 1954 a requires flood control benefits plans frequently include widening deepening and straightening of streams. Sometimes a plan requires a new manmade drainage canal or Large ditch. The entire process called a channelization a is aimed at moving Runoff water along the passageway More rapidly than before. In wetlands or swampy areas the improved channels also serve As giant drains thus making More land available for crops. Currently the pcs is spending around $120 million a year to help Farmers and local Dis triers share the costs of Small watershed developments. Several environmental groups including the natural resources defense Council inc., Are using the Chicod Creek plan As a rallying Point against Whatt hey consider misuse of resources in affected natural balances in affected areas. It was a lawsuit brought by the Council and other groups that led to the court in March issuing a temporary restraining order against the work at Chicod until the pcs made an environmental Impact statement. As explained by pcs officials such statements Are made As a matter of course for watershed projects since they were required by the National environmental policy act of 1969. But Chicod Creek the pcs maintained was approved for actual installation in aug. 1966, Long before the Law required environmental Impact reports. Hie pcs is afraid a precedent May be set by the Chicod Creek ruling that the Agency May have to go Back and assemble Impact statements on hundreds of earlier watershed projects. Environmentalists on the other hand Welcome that possibility. They believe dredging and straightening Waterways result in irreparable losses to fish and wildlife More pollution from agricultural chemicals flowing from Fields heavier siltation from erosion and higher costs in the Longrun to repair damage. By itself Chicod Creek watershed is a Small part of the National program adm Mist e or by the soil conservation service. Moreover the Agency says Stream channelization represents a much smaller activity than some of the protesters claim. The soil conservation service does not deny that damage occurs to wildlife because of watershed work but it does say benefits to Farmers and the Public at Large outweigh the disadvantages. In the Case of Chicod Creek for example the environmental report says the 66 Miles of increase sedimentation during construction convert some crop land and Forest to other uses reduce the Sanctuary in wetlands for Deer destroy 360 acres of Hardwood Forest Habi i Tat for wildlife reduce fish capacity in 14 Miles of Stream and mean other losses. Over All the report says the economic benefits average $16 for each $10 spent on the work the entire watershed covers 35,100 acres and will Benefit More than 250 farms. I 4-Day Sale ends saturday Sears the Arnold Palmer Golf Ball guaranteed not to crack split or Peel. Arnold Palmer Golf balls. Solid state design gives the same Sweet Click and response As found in liquid Center balls. Guaranteed not to Cut crack or Chip. If it docs return it for a free replacement. 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