We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Saturday, April 9. 2016
Stumbled into this map of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. A major east coast estuary. Man, it covers a lot of real estate and even crosses a mountain range. Major rivers: The Susquehanna, Potomac, Rappahannock, York and James rivers are the five major rivers that flow to the Chesapeake Bay.
These rivers make large parts of the Chesapeake brackish, which is fine with the turtles, waterfowl, Stripers, oysters, and crabs.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 05:04 | Comments (8) | Trackbacks (0)
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So this is the area the EPA is claiming jurisdiction over under their authority to maintain the water quality? Everybody in this area is liable to have to produce an EPA certificate to flush a toilet or water their lawn?
It's just the modern version of the Royal Forests and the dilution is dissolution of the idea of private property the Great Charter established. It was a nice 800 years; to bad about the return of the servile ideology, but then that's socialism.
John comes to power in 1199 and England is more or less bankrupt. In order to raise money for the crown he has to get creative. At the time, as a result of William the Conqueror a century earlier, there’s a concept called the Royal Forest. A Royal Forest doesn’t necessarily have trees. It’s just a parcel of land. It could be heath or swamp or hills or forest. You’re not allowed to cause any damage to the animals or greenery of the Royal Forest unless you pay for the privilege.
That’s a nice little moneymaker, so what do you do if you’re John? That’s right. You expand the Royal Forest. By the time of the Magna Carta the Royal Forest is up to something like 20% of the land in England. What this means, essentially, is that if you own land that has been afforested by the crown, you now have to pay for the privilege to use your own land. If you own a bit of fenland that’s no good for anything but pigs, you have to pay pannage even though there’s no other use for it. If you want to heat your hovel in the winter, you’re paying estover for firewood and turbary for turf. If you want to keep a cow and that cow is going to eat grass, that’s agistment. That’s on land you theoretically own, mind.
There are instances of entire villages being burned out in advance of afforestation amounting essentially to seizure of land. The law of the forest was enforced somewhat arbitrarily and without due process. You could be blinded or mutilated or killed for poaching a deer. You could be severely fined for just about anything.
The Magna Carta and the companion document the Charter of the Forest are a rare example of what happens when you push Monarchic rights too far. The Magna Carta disafforests all of the land taken by the crown during John’s reign and basically ensures that it can never happen again. The Charter of the Forest basically establishes personal property law.
This is why the original story of Robin Hood had very little to do with "steal from the rich to give to the poor" - that was the Socialists stealing the idea to work for their purposes.
The original story was about how the lords expanded the desmesne property, forced the serfs off land they had previously been tenants of (with the permission of the lord - a form of sharecropping), and eventually congregated under Robin Hood to fight back. Basically it was taking back from government that which had been taken by government.
They had been taxed into poverty, then 'taxed' off their land. This was a theme of British aristocracy for years. They did the same thing to the Irish many years later.
On another note, though - I cross the Susquehanna whenever I take both my sons to college. Even as far north as Binghamton, there are signs that it is part of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, but these signs are more prominent south near Harrisburg.
I live in a watershed area, too and just as anything else, the government seems to want to benefit from it at the expense of those who own land in it.
When I first moved here thirty years ago, we were required to build on lots of at least one acre. As the nearby town grew, they allowed much more dense developments near us as long as there was some sort of pond which was supposed to ameliorate the negative impacts of the development. Of course, the denser development (and forced annexing by the town) was designed to increase the money the town took in.
During this time, there were no or little restrictions on building on our lots, but now, we are prohibited from building a patio or addition lest it decrease the percentage of permeable land. I highly suspect that we are being over-regulated to make up for the over development near us.
Would it be a surprise that the Federal Government wouldn't want to increase it's power?
Having said all that and without implying causation, the Chesapeake Bay is home to a lot fewer crabs and oysters than in the past. People more familiar with the situation can speak much more authoritatively than I, but I understand there are basically two schools of thought on the cause - one favoring the government of course.
In his book, 'Civl Government in the United States', John Fiske contrasted the development of the direct democracy of the New England Township with that of the Southern colonies. In New England, the settlement by groups that then centered on the town was also promoted by the geography which promoted a central trading center concept.
In the Southern colonies, of which Virginia is a prime example, the estuary nature of the geography permitted the ships from Europe to travel all the way to the plantation dock and thus a powerful trading center town did not develop. The this area the county government predominated with its representational democracy nature.
At one point, I was asked to move to Virginia for work. My wife and I went down to look around. Lots of beautiful homes, all very expensive (it was the height of the first bubble due to the corridor out to AOL).
Eventually, we chose to stay in the NYC area (to the chagrin of my employer) because while many of the homes were great, we realized a few things.
First, they were almost all new construction. Not terrible, but not very reliable, either.
Second, there were limitations on job opportunities. If, as happened only 2 years later, the bubble burst and my job evaporated, I'd be stuck in an area without many opportunities for gainful employment (outside of government work).
Third, and directly to the point you made - there were NO TOWNS. We were shocked. We really didn't understand it at first. After a few visits, we began to understand the nature of the plantation culture and why towns were so scarce. But it was a very bizarre experience at first. The nearest thing to a 'town' was an aggregation of strip malls at a crossroads. Or you could say that a town was 'created' in Reston - though it was about as artificial a town as they come.
I got my PhD in Oceanography in Oregon and moved to Maryland in 1985 to work in a small marine lab on the Patuxent River, where I studied toxic trace elements and how they interact with biota. I have visited most areas of the Bay in the course of work, or my fishing addiction. I retired two years ago, continue the fishing problem.
We live a half mile from the Bay, and I keep a small boat in a nearby harbor to fish from.
In response to Jerryskids, I would say that it's a little more complicated, but close. The EPA leans on the states, and the states lean on us. We have a state "sewage" tax, which is assessed on water to pay for sewage upgrades, mostly for Baltimore, even though most of rural MD is on septic tanks. Until last year a "rain tax" was imposed on impervious areas in the more urban jurisdictions. Of course, government and bob-profits were exempt.
For JK Brown, that's very interesting. But 20% is nothing. The Feds hold more than 50% in most western states (85% in Oregon IIRC).
The town we live in now started as a small tobacco port on the Patuxent, and moved up St. Leonard Creek over the years, until it's now sits in the center ridge of the County.
To mudbug, crabs may be down a little, but weather is more an issue with crabs, and their annual variability is quite high. It wouldn't hurt to cut back crabbing, but the watermen lobbying makes it very difficult. There's a lot of cheating, too. Oysters are far worse off, about 1-2% of the amount after the Civil War, when they were essentially mined out. The disease epidemics, dermo and MSX, the latter introduced by accident from the West Coast, didn't help. Restrictions are increasing on Striped Bass (we call 'em rockfish) fishing after a few tough years.
Parts of the Bay are in pretty decent shape, but if you get up close to the big urban centers, Baltimore, Washington DC, and the Virginia Beach complex, things can get rather ugly. Some places, especially the eastern shore, are downright beautiful.
I blog at http://fritz-aviewfromthebeach.blogspot.com/ and the bay is a frequent subject, as I try to stay abreast of the news.