Mon. Feb 26th, 2024

Commentary and Opinion By Linda Sutter – March 29, 2023

At Tuesday’s, March 28th Board of Supervisors meeting Chairman Darrin Short wore a smirk on his face the entire time he was alerted to arsenic contamination as well as other metals found leaking into the headwaters of Rowdy Creek caused from abandoned mines.

A gentlemen from Del Norte Alliance pleaded with the supervisors for a letter of support in order to obtain funds to clean some 90 mines up to prevent continued contamination of the Smith River.

What did these supervisors do? They tabled the issue until they conducted research on the matter.

In the meantime Darrin Short depends on our waste water treatment plant to provide him with contaminating issues regarding our water. 

This issue was item number 8 out of 14 items on the consent agenda where the supervisors only allow the public 3 minutes to speak on 14 items.

Thankfully, Supervisor Dean Wilson pulled items 4 through 8 and opened them up for discussion and for public participation. 

Chair Darrin Short also stopped the Supervisors from reporting to the public the meetings they have attended since the last Board meeting.  So now if people want to know what is going on in this community you are expected to attend all the meetings that the Supervisors attend which take place during working hours.

Chair Darrin Short is a threat to the safety and security of our County because he is intentionally demonstrating  blatant disregard to not providing transparency to the public to the point he will allow you to drink poisoned water and will not alert the public.

  1. I personally would be very careful about claims of “crisis” level contamination into the Smith River by the US Forest Service and particularly by the Smith River Alliance. One only needs to be reminded of a similar situation where an environmental group got the federal government involved in another “intervention” where a local river was thoroughly contamination by their action. Also keep in mind that contamination levels are set at extremely low levels to prevent any controversy. These mines that are being discussed may not be the only source of arsenic and heavy metals in the river, as it is naturally occurring as well and to disturb the tailings from the mines may increase the threat of leeching rather than containing it.
    There appears to be two locations where water in the Smith is monitored, one above Dr. Fine Bridge, and one down below Rowdy Creek. It would be nice to get levels at both stations before letting the Forest Service swan around. Just a thought.

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