County Council member Kirby Delauter once again demonstrated his selfish ignorance at Tuesday’s council session by railing against the Monocacy River Management Plan. He is upset about “ridiculous” stream buffers being proposed on private land that he says “trample” the rights of property owners. He seems to believe that people have an absolute right to do whatever they please with their land, regardless of who may be affected downstream.
There are many necessary and appropriate standards that governments impose on landowners to protect our water and environment; such as the use of pesticides and fertilizer, or disposing of hazardous waste. Science and common sense tell us these are bad for the environment if left unchecked. Requiring stream buffers is no different.
By decrying them, Kirby shows he has no realization of cause and effect. It’s proven science that stream buffers prevent harmful chemicals and sediment from polluting our drinking water. Trees along riparian areas keep water cool for fish and provide sorely lacking wildlife habitat. Without buffers, watermen in the Chesapeake can’t earn a living and sportsmen have little quarry to pursue. Restaurants and tourism suffer in turn. Severe floods happen more frequently with devastating loss of life and property. As a result, stormwater management fees and other taxes get raised on all to compensate for these economic losses, which Kirby also continually whines about. Reasonable stream buffers are a necessary medium to protect the health, safety and welfare of many people, even though some individuals may feel the impact more personally.
Kirby is working hard to recruit people who share his Cro-Magnon, anti-environmental views to filibuster at meetings held by the Monocacy Scenic River Citizens Advisory Board. Right now, we need reasonable people to voice their ideas and opinions so we can work out the best possible solution for protecting the Monocacy River watershed and other people’s livelihood.