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Clanton Creek channel on the Humphrey-Clanton watershed project in Ballard

County, Ky. Channel completed in 1965. Picture taken in December 1970. Shows severe erosion and bank slumping near County Road No. 310 bridge. Channel silting in because of a lack of maintenance by the watershed district and the highly erodable loess soil type.


Clanton Creek channel on the Humphrey-Clanton watershed project in Ballard

County, Ky. Channel dug in 1965. Picture taken in December 1970. On the farm of Armon Lowery. Shows channel banks slumping causing fence to fall in for the third time. Channel gradually getting wider despite the heavy fescue grass sod. This loess soil type is highly erodable.



Baton Rouge, La., May 12, 1971. Hon. HENRY S. Reuss, Congress of the United States, Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

DEAR SIR: The Louisiana Department of Conservation regulates only the mineral resources of the State and has no jursidiction over streams and rivers.

This office has forwarded your request for information on the effects of modification and channelization of streams and rivers to Mr. Robert LaFleur, Stream Control, Geology Building, Louisiana State University, which is a division within the Louisiana Wild Life and Fisheries Commission. Yours very truly,

J. M. MENEFEE, Commissioner, Department of Conservation. By CARLTON V. HUDSON,

Petroleum Engineer.


Baton Rouge, La., May 26, 1971. Hon. HENRY S. REUSS, Chairman, Conservation and Natural Resources Subcommittee, Congress of the United States, Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

DEAR Sır: Your letter dated April 26, 1971, addressed to Mr. J. M. Menefee, commissioner of the Louisiana Department of Conservation, has been forwarded to this office for comment.

The Louisiana Stream Control Commission is in concurrence with the views that will be expressed to your subcommittee by the Louisiana Wild Life and Fisheries Commission. Very truly yours,

Robert A. LAFLEUR,

Executive Secretary,


Baton Rouge, La., June 16, 1971. CONGRESSMAN HENRY S. Reuss, Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

DEAR CONGRESSMAN Reuss: I am the elected Secretary of State of the State of Louisiana, having been elected and re-elected to that important position for many years. Both in my official capacity and as a private citizen, I am completely familiar with the topography of the land here in my native State. I am equally familiar with the importance of the Nation's wildlife and the ecology of our country and my State.

With these preliminaries, I want to make a brief statement concerning published articles I have read in connection with your sponsorship of an act in Congress designed to stop appropriations for "channelization” through the United States Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service, Public Law 566.

I am sure that, in your position as a Member of Congress from the great State of Wisconsin, you are sincere and are undoubtedly acting in good faith in what you believe to be the interest of one section of the Nation's geographical area and population. As one likewise interested in the future of an area and its population, I am writing to inform you that here in Louisiana the moratorium on the appropriation of funds as you apparently contemplate would spell complete disaster to the State of Louisiana and its people.

I feel that this situation would be equally true in numerous other States which are situated as we are in Louisiana. As I am sure you are aware, the Mississippi River, which flows through Louisiana, and many of its rivers and streams which form tributaries of this great river, carry waters from most of the States west of the Rocky Mountains, directly or indirectly.

As levees were perfected in many of the northern States, we in Lousiana were forced to make auxiliary artificial drainage systems to combine with the remaining natural outlets to the Gulf of Mexico in order to adequately avoid flooding our towns, cities, and rural areas.

Virtually all our farmers must depend on maintaining drainage channels so that sedimentation and underbrush do not impede the flow of water causing flooding, As conditions change and more land is cleared, it is necessary also to widen and deepen many of these streams.

While I am certain that your efforts to stop the maintenance and enlarging of drainage facilities are in good faith, I respectfully plead with you that it is entirely possible that you do not realize the full consequences of the action you are supporting. Even a 1-year moratorium would be complete disaster in this State, not only to our farmland and many rural areas, but this action would be totally inconsistent with your desire to preserve wildlife. The flooding which would result from your suggested procedure would destroy the very wildlife you are trying to save.

I congratulate you on your sincerity and on the fact that you are taking an interest in this matter and at the same time I ask that you inform yourself as fully as possible on the catastrophy that such legislation must inevitably produce.

I am sending copy of this communication to the entire Louisiana delegation and to the organizations that are known to be supporting your program. With best regards, I am Sincerely,


Secretary of State.


Baton Rouge, La., June 21, 1971.
Congressman HENRY S. Reuss,
Chairman, Conservation and Natural Resources Subcommittee, Rayburn House

Office Building, Washington, D.C. DEAR CONGRESSMAN REUss: Thank you for your letter of May 20 requesting our views on how various Federal agencies are handling their responsibilities and operations on channelization of streams and rivers.

Over 60 percent of the entire State of Louisiana is relatively flatlands and the only means of removing the 50 to 60 inches of rainfall each year is through channels. Since most of the highly developed areas in Louisiana are located in these flatland areas, possibly 75 or 80 percent of the entire population of the State is vitally interested and concerned with an adequate system of channels to remove excess water. The Bureau of Reclamation and Tennessee Valley Authority do not operate in Louisiana.

We believe the other agencies are doing an outstanding job in providing the State of Louisiana assistance in planning and developing a modern system of channel improvement work to benefit most of the people of the State and allow for reasonable economic development. We have found that all of the Federal agencies are giving all of the State organizations, agencies and local interests full and reasonable opportunities to participate in the planning and development of these projects.

We also feel that they give full and adequate consideration to all of the views and interests that are expressed by various groups. We recognize that there are sometimes conflicting interests and there are agencies, organizations or individuals who have single purpose interests and that it is impossible in every case to satisfy every demand. However, we are convinced that all of these Federal agencies are doing everything within their authority to fully cooperate and to the maximum extent possible satisfy all interests.

It is our feeling that the overall benefits of the channelization activities carried out by the various Federal agencies far outweigh any adverse effects that may occur. It seems to us that many groups and individuals are grossly exaggerating the adverse effects of fishing and hunting in Louisiana. We have been involved for many, many years in a continuous channelization program in Louisiana; yet, we have more and better fishing and more and better hunting than we have ever had before. If channelization was half as bad as some claim, Louisiana would not be a fit place to live at the present time; yet, we have nearly twice as many people as we had 30 years ago with half a million acres less cropland than we had 30 years ago. Sincerely,


Executive Director.


Augusta, Maine, May 4, 1971.
Chairman, Subcommittee on Conservation and Natural Resources,
Committee on Government Operations,
Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

DEAR CONGRESSMAN Reuss: In answer to your letter of April 26, 1971, on the effects of stream channelization projects in Maine, the following information is submitted:

1. The State Soil and Water Conservation Commission is the State agency designated to handle small watershed projects (Public Law 566) in Maine. We have only two such projects in Maine which include any stream channel work. One of these is in an urban area where urban encroachment into the stream channel has reduced its capacity to the point where it can no longer handle flood filows even with the proposed Hood control dams in operation upstream. In this instance it is a matter of repairing the works of man.

In the other project there is close to a mile of stream channel in a rural area which has filled in with brush and trees. This vegetative growth has caused an increase in sedimentation of the stream channel to the point where it can no longer carry normal high-water flows. It is proposed to remove selectively, those obstructions which are most damaging, leave those areas which contribute to wildlife habitat. At one time there was an agreement with the fish and wildlife people to

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jointly mark those obstructions which were to be removed. The fish and wildlife interests have reneged on their agreement recently.

2. Basically, this commission is opposed to stream channelization work as it has traditionally been practiced. We do not recommend this type of practice, if there are alternative solutions to the problem, and then only when fish and wildlife interests are in agreement. We have stood opposed to bringing new lands into agricultural production and agree to improvement of existing agricultural land only when it is otherwise suitable for such use.

3. The Corps of Engineers, Reclamation, TVA, and others have few, if any, resource development projects in Maine. Therefore, I will not attempt to comment on their activities.

4. Generally speaking, the problems arise when man attempts to go one better than nature can provide. I believe that it is justifiable and many times necessary for man to repair damages initially caused by man. But this is as far as he should go. If we can be of further assistance to your committee, please feel free to ask. Sincerely,


Executive Director.


Augusta, Maine, June 1, 1971. Hon. HENRY S. REUSS, Chairman, Conservation and Natural Resources Subcommittee, Congress of the United States, Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

Dear CONGRESSMAN REUSS: I appreciate the opportunity to comment on Federal projects as to their effects on fish and wildlife.

In Maine, soil conservation projects for flood control under Public Law 566 have created our major problems.

These projects affect fish life by major habitat changes in the stream environment. Channeling and snagging can have an adverse effect on fish habitat. Cooperation by Soil Conservation Service personnel here in Maine has been good with cooperation improving to excellent in the past 3 years. We comment on project plans and in some cases, we have been a cooperator on a specific project proposal.

Stream or free-flowing water habitat is important for trout fishing. In one instance a Public Law 566 impoundment created a ponded area at the expense of losing a free-flowing stream habitat for brook trout.

On some projects constructed on a stream the landowner retains the right to the impoundment and by so doing has a private fishing pond built at public expense.

Relative to the various Federal agencies projects covered in your letter of April 26, our game division feels that projects completed to date have had but minor influence on wildlife. They are concerned, however, that in many instances those projects may be in advanced planning stages before this agency has been consulted. They also question some of the cost benefit ratios as expressed in planning reports and similarly feel that oftentimes the benefits that accrue from a project are misrepresented on the favorable side during the planning stage. They appreciate the opportunity to comment and respond to your query. Very truly yours,




Annapolis, Md., June 3, 1971.
Chairman, Conservation and Natural Resources Subcommittee,
Congress of the United States,
Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

DEAR CONGRESSMAN Reuss: This is in answer to your letter of May 20, 1971, with regard to stream improvement projects in Maryland.

Stream improvement projects in Maryland have a long history going back to the early days when drainage channels were dug by slave labor. The viability of

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