While perusing the pages of the only daily Tulsa newspaper on July 24, a picture labeled to be of an orchid caught my eye. This was especially since the headline read: “Millions of orchids growing on former mine site in upstate New York.” It was more surprising since it had been my understanding that orchids were strictly a tropical flower plant and upstate New York is certainly not meteorologically a tropical climate. The byline credit was to Mary Esch, Associated Press.
There was no sub-headline, so it became necessary to begin reading the story itself. “STAR LAKE, N.Y. – Millions of orchids are now growing in a hundred-acre wetland in the Adirondack Park that developed on waste from a vast open-pit iron mine, a transformation scientists say is most impressive because if happened naturally.” It was news to me that there had been iron mining anywhere in New York State. But then, not everything of that sort was included in the public school curriculum in the 1930s, there just was not enough time to cover it all. We were taught about the great “Mesabi Range” of iron ore on the South of Lake Superior though.
According to the story, the iron was obtained by crushing granite from 1900 to 1978 and the residue was sand left in the area. In normal fashion, the plants of Earth spread into the area and have taken hold. A masters’ thesis by Grete Bader included that the orchid seeds are as fine as dust and came from surrounding areas. So much for the premise spread by the “Earth destruction by mankind groups” that all mine tailings are to be forever barren and devoid of all life. Unfortunately for most of us, the employees and managers in government employment seem unable to accept the time idea of recovery and are intent on spending tax money on, usually failed, massive programs of restoration.
Another example of this ignorance, stupidity or power madness on the part of the regulatory body bureaucrats was brought to my attention some decades ago by an acquaintance with on-the-site observations of the vast surface coal mining operations in Wyoming. His words to me were that the mining company had a practice of restoring the mined out areas by backfilling with the overburden removed from there and ongoing operations.
They had been planted with native grasses, shrubs and trees and were thriving, actually appearing much better than the undisturbed lands adjoining. A federal inspector was making his first visit to the site and was livid about the surrounding land appearance and told the company representative, informing me, that they would have to restore that land to the appearance of that which had already been done.
He further would not accept that the better area was what was already restored and the untouched land was in its native state. This reminded me later, during the Reagan Administration, when there were proposals to terminate the Department of Energy. By the way, this massive agency has never, and probably never will produce one drop of oil or unit of gas.
During one TV interview on the subject the host asked his guest, “What will you do with all the displaced employees?” The reply was, “They can go into private enterprise.” With that the host maintained, “But they are unemployable.” My thought at the time was, “Then why are they employed by the government at higher than private enterprise salaries?”
Thus it is quite clear, at least to me and many others, that there are several such departments that must be terminated and the saved money used to reduce the debt increase. That is why this election, at all levels, is so critical for the future health and stability of the USA.
We need legislative members with the integrity and patriotism to stand up to wayward bureaus.