Re: "I'm from the Government and I'm here to help you.'
This one "hits home" for me... I've been a fisherman since I could walk, hold a fishing rod, and watch a bobber. But I've also worked in Emergency Services for almost 40 years, and as a professional Emergency Manager for almost 15 years.
Flooding is consistantly the #1 dollar damage hazard here in NYS, and in many (read MOST) other states. Much of the flooding that occurs COULD have been avoided, had people just followed the rules regarding watershed, water front, or shore-side construction and improvement. Any construction that changes or affects the natural flow of the stream, both at the "daily" level and during high water events, will impoact someone downstream, and potentially upstream. Having had to make swift water rescues in the past, and working to rebuild flood devistated communities, it's a challenge that I get to live in daily!
Worse, once flooding (that humans cause!) occurs, it gives the "I can fix this with a couple of passes with a bulldozer" crowd an excuse to work during "emergency conditions" to fix a problem, destroying native fish habitat, turning rivers and streams into stone-lined drainage troughs, and removing any of the cover, boulders, and God-placed materials that cause pools, riffles, runs, and swirls.
just look at the permenant damage done to the Ausable River fisheries in Upstate NY last Fall, by an over-zelous local demand, all in an "emergency effort" to clear debris from the flooding caused by Irene & Lee! Most of the 'damage" was human-caused construction (can't blame it on the beavers!), encroaching on locations where streams and flows have carved their paths for centuries!
So I'm in favor of a regulatory process that actually REQUIRES folks to respect Mother Nature and the way that she moves waters. I'm SURE that there is someone just a phonecall away at the EPA willing to assist Mr. Lilly, the Logan American Legion, and Urbani Fisheries with their worthwhile project, in a manner that ensures protection of the waterway.
"A leader with great passion and few skills always outperforms a leader with great skills and little passion." Chief Rick Lasky