Can’t Beat This

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The late U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Sean Hamilton fly-fishing. Photo used under a Creative Commons license of flickr user USFWS.

One of my favorite bike rides in Garrett County, Md. follows Rock Lodge Rd, bordering Deep Creek Lake to an ascent aside Cherry Creek, rhododendron-thick banks and forests, then past valleys and farmland back to Mosser Road. Near the intersection of Rock Lodge Rd. and State Park Rd., I pass a tall green steel tank, adjacent to Cherry Creek. The tank is a Boxholm doser, just one piece of a project begun in 1973, sponsored by the State of Maryland, the U.S. Department of the Interior, the Office of Surface Mining and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The doser injects lime into Cherry Creek to reduce its acidity, caused, in part, by acid drainage from the region’s former coalmines. These efforts, backed by scientists from the University of Maryland’s Appalachian Labs in nearby Frostburg, have dramatically improved the habitat for fish and those who enjoy fishing. For more information: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-10/documents/md_cherry-2.pdf

Can’t Beat This

“I wouldn’t leave this place,

not for all the money in China,”

spits the fisherman,

deftly lofting a nymph into the riffle

on the stream,

the stream

once ruined by acid,

Saved by science,

 

“Can’t beat this,”

says the trail biker,

cresting a hill,

payback for his work,

a breezy decline,

between the pines

down to the stream,

ruined by acid,

Saved by science,

 

At the tavern,

the biker buys

the first round.

The fisherman

brags on his trout,

the trout,

he tossed back into the stream,

the trout,

once killed by acid,

Saved by science.

 

“We need more coal jobs hereabouts,”

says the fisherman,

buying a second round,

The fisherman

who once sat by the river

for three hours

watching the flies,

thinking like a fly,

practicing

the Scientific method.

 

“Climate change?

Global warming?

I ain’t buying that bullshit,”

says The fisherman,

“Any more then I’m buying

a shot of that

single malt

on the top shelf.”

 

“It’s all rich man’s,

Liberal propaganda,”

says the fisherman,

the fisherman,

still bragging on the trout,

the trout

he threw back in the stream,

the stream, once

killed by acid,

Saved

By

Science.

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