Let's talk about what Cornwall Creek Flooding is, and is not. It is not the world class trout fishery it was intended to be...I believe that it is more than that, some may argue that it is less. I will spare everyone the history lesson, a quick cursory search on Google will reveal the sordid history of this place with respect to human effort to realize its grand vision of what the flooding could be. Long story short, fish need oxygen to survive, and there was no oxygen. Almost all of the efforts to supplant this man made body of water with "desirable" fish were futile. Cornwall didn't end up being what we thought it would be...and that's okay. In time, this man made body of water found its own way and we as its "creators" were pleasantly surprised by what it came to be when we stopped trying to make it what we wanted.
On face value, yes, Cornwall Creek Flooding is man made and I won't argue that it is not...we wanted to turn a creek into a lake, so we did. We are just now approaching the point that we question the correctness of what we do to the natural world and how it impacts more than just ourselves as a species. The natural world is more than just our sandbox, and it should be treated as such. First and foremost, yes, we "created" Cornwall Creek Flooding, it is because of this explicit choice that I believe we must now choose to save it.
Enter the silent stakeholder. Spend but one hour at Cornwall Creek Flooding and I promise you'll see any, or all of the following:
Last but not least...all of the thirsty horses crowding the boat launch!
These creatures, they have no voice. They are not what was explicitly intended with the creation of Cornwall Creek Flooding, but the reality is that they are now what should very much be the most important aspect of this conversation. To them, this place is home. I have spent many afternoons watching elk wade these waters in the heat of the August sun to cool themselves, have witnessed bear forage the shoreline for dragonfly nymphs in the spring and have watched ducks land in droves to rest during their long migration south.
I am an avid outdoorsmen: I fish, I hunt, I camp and hike... I live and breathe nature. The preservation of our natural world is of paramount importance to me. Given my proclivity and love for the natural world and outdoors, I have a tendency to lean toward the belief that we have a responsibility, man made or otherwise, to the preservation of places like Cornwall Creek Flooding. I understand that places such as these are fundamentally man made, and I think that makes it easier to permit its annihilation...I'd however encourage everyone reading this to consider the preservation of this place not from a human view, but from the perspective of the life that calls this place home.
Be the voice of life which has no voice of its own. Thank you for reading, and thank you for joining the Cornwall Conversation.