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What Do You Think?

May 08, 2010

The question posted Wednesday on The Herald-Mail's website was: What should the Washington County Commissioners do about the deteriorating Devil's Backbone Dam?

Poll results:

Repair it: 395 votes (49 percent)

Remove it: 274 votes (34 percent)

Partially breach it, leaving portions for historical perspective: 131 votes (16 percent)

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"Tear it down and build up the embankment!"

"I voted to repair it. The newest National Geographic has a full issue on water and water is and will be important. But to get the money, sell the golf course, with deed restrictions if we must, keeping it a golf course forever, and take the sale proceeds to repair the dam. Everyone knows that the county-owned, county-subsidized golf course benefits only a few county residents so goodbye golf course, hello water resource."

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"Keep our historic sites historic. Rebuild the thing and be done with it. Heck, I'll volunteer my time to come help!"

"With its picturesque stone bridge, the dam site is a beautiful spot that attracts a lot of fishermen, both above and below the dam."

"Remove it as it serves no real purpose. That will save future repair funds, make the area safer and let it go back to nature the way it should be."

"It is difficult in these economic times to decide what the right balance is in preserving our historic sites and making difficult budget decisions. Some people who want to save everything and consider everything historic are almost like the hoarders you see on TV that think nothing should be thrown away. Other people think that government should not spend money on anything except building roads and defense."

"Remove it! Restore the river to its natural conditions. It's best for the fish and it's best for the river. How many of those worldclass fishing streams have dams on them? None. You don't need a dam to go fishing! Removing the dam will increase dissolved oxygen, reduce warm water in the river (good for trout), result in more bug biomass (fish food), create more free-flowing river (good for trout), re-connect fish below and above the dam for breeding purposes, increase spawning habitat, reduce the safety issues at the site (remember a girl almost drowned at the dam upstream just last year) and save money since there are many grants out there to remove dams."

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