Frogs and congressmen

Posted on | July 30, 2009 | No Comments

DSC03306THE “National Water Policy Event” held this last Tuesday and Wednesday shall receive due comment when the various presentations have been through the de-spin cycle.

But in a quick trip to Washington DC and nearby Virginia this week to hear congressmen, commissioners and rival Western utility heads intone about water, not one speaker matched the eloquence of the frogs chorusing from the lily pads in the all but forgotten garden of Ira Noel Gabrielson.

Gabrielson was the first director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

For a purely delightful story in the Washington Post of the rediscovery of the Gabrielson garden in Difficult Run, Oakton, Virginia, click on the lily pads.

Just do not, as so many of us have attempted, try to emulate this watery Eastern idyll in the West. It’s not what Gabrielson was trying to teach us. Gabrielson

Rather, his message was:  “The conservation battle cannot be a short, sharp engagement, but must be grim, tenacious warfare–the sort that makes single gains and then consolidates these gains until renewed strength and a good opportunity make another advance possible.”

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