20 January 2015

Spirit of the Sandhills

The spirit of the sand hills is crying. Mother Nature's tears abound as the corporate assault continues among the land of the dunes. Whether realized or known, there are multiple efforts degrading those values so essential to the character.

And it is being done primarily for corporations that want more profit, much of coming from no one in their office, but from the land and its people.

Start with the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad. How many tank cars full of hazardous oil are shipped through communities along the sandhills' route? The railroad has apparently not provided any community preparedness tools, yet the residents are the ones in danger. This includes delays residents at train stops. Noises enough to stop a conservation on a home's sidewalk. And the diesel fumes which waft though so many residences.

There could be ten hazardous material derailments and not one would stop Warren Buffet of Berkshire Hathaway, the owner of BNSF, from going down Omaha's Farnam Street in his Cadillac, off to his office to make more money.

Once there were immensely dark skies among the hills. Now little, pestering lights blink incessantly across the sky-scape. More are proposed, so a wireless company such as Verizon can increase its service and profits. If course, all of the towers were built on private property through easement agreements.

Go to any primary hilltop and look about and the extent of lights is insulting.

Powerline desecration is going to worsen. The r-project is actively underway and its western counterpart is already being planned, just because of some opinion by the Nebraska Public Power District. The plans are flawed and numerous ranchers wanting to protect their heritage are basically opposed to losing key values so important to their families and heritage.

The administrators of NPPD make multiple hundreds of thousands of dollars every year.

Ranchers work for thousands of hours to continue a heritage.

It is obvious which view to agree with, though there are some, as indicated in a recent, new issue of a local newspaper: "Have We Lost Our Minds?".

Integral with industrial transmission lines are plans for wind turbines to disgrace the sky. Companies wanting to promote their personal "green agenda" cannot do it without some public subsidy, which is the intention of the Nebraska legislature.

Rookie governor Pete Ricketts wants to export power from Nebraska to elsewhere. Maybe he should have a huge transmission line built to his central Omaha home, and then to the governor mansion. Then install some wind turbines to meet your mission.

There are certainly not any solar panels now on either residence. The same applies to Jeremy Nordquist, another politician from Omaha.

Seekers in Cherry county that own land are also in pursuit of more dough.

Public commentary has been about what someone else should do, and that the state taxpayers should provide a subsidy rather than the company paying its one way.

The disingenuous part of this is that a Canadian corporation wants to build a pipeline, yet Nebraskans have to deal with the reality of massive pipes buried beneath the land they have owned for so long. Heritage ranches are being forced to accept an industrial powerline, based upon corporate bureaucrats sitting on chairs also paid for by someone else.

Plans are already on record for a massive development north of Thedford, in southern Cherry county. It will mean a massive destruction of what is now a grand prairie. The vista from Highway 83, looking west is quite spectacular.

Most ranchers do not get an extra penny to conserve the grass of their hills, which is the resource upon which they make their living. What they do is more significant than anything done by some "fat-cat" powercrat sitting on a chair in some office chair looking for another profit opportunity.

It takes eons for grassland to be created, but it is obliterated in a few hours.

Reducing property taxes is certainly something that the rural land-owners in the sandhills would immediately appreciate.

And when will there be an ongoing initiative to conserve the grand land of the sandy hills of grass, as so appreciated and lately being taken advantage of? Prairie is being plowed to create cropland, watered by pivots sucking from the Ogallala aquifer.

Many people have appreciated memories of their special times within the sandhills. Many others have strived to conserve the special values of the place. Many "big-buck" bureaucrats have thrived on paychecks derived upon the backs of the people. There are essential ways needed to conserve the special values of the sand hills and ensure its long-term survival.

Glimmers are obvious and making an undeniable bit of a difference. There needs to be more because the corporate assault and unending desire for more money in a persons pocket will never end anywhere, including among the sandhills.