Front Porch Blog

Is one-time ‘environmental fervor’ lost these days?

The Sumter National Forest Service is in a quandary. It’s in a battle to preserve the pristine waters of the Chattooga River above the Georgia and S.C. U.S. Highway 28 bridge with canoeing and kayaking organizations who want the entire river, not just the waters below the Highway 28 bridge. Capitulation through litigation is the American way, I suppose.

I have walked the trails and fished the waters of this beautiful river many times. I have two oncerns.

Most of the sections of the Chattooga above the U.S. Highway 28 bridge are too narrow for rafters and fishermen to use simultaneously. If we think “road rage” is a problem, “river rage” might be worse.

My other concern is rampant un-American activity that by my definition is a blatant disregard for our environment by depositing litter anywhere we want to throw it.

Years ago, Keep America Beautiful ran environmental commercials featuring the Native American known as Iron Eyes Cody. The tagline for those commercials was “People start pollution, people can stop it.” This commercial stemmed the tide of un-American activity more than any other litter campaign.

Sadly, we’ve lost that environmental fervor today. If you need proof, walk the shoulders of our state highways. Iron Eyes Cody became known by millions as “The Crying Indian” as he watched litter floating down a river. If Sumter National Forest Service opens the upper portion of the Chattooga to commercial and private boaters, Iron Eyes Cody, if he were alive today, wouldn’t be shedding one tear, but two.

Bill Menees, Anderson





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