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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly!!!
Dam Witt

The good is the rain. We have water in the main ditch at Cheyenne Bottoms from Headquarters to the hub. A couple of wet spots are visible in the pools – just at the edge of the cattails. Apparently, there was good rain out west. We got some flow in the Arkansas. It is what it is.

The next Good – our County Commissioners placed a 6-mile perimeter and a no energy development area at least until January. The Zoning/Planning Committee is beefing up its rules and regs. The Commissioners can extend the moratorium for as long as they choose, or they can ban the solar panels completely – or do as they choose. They have the hammer, and I am thrilled with that situation. Good people make wise decisions! Thank them for their service!

The Bad – it is still a dry marsh. Just enough water to make things difficult for Jason and the crew. Kim certainly can’t dig in the canal full of water. A few more dry days wouldn’t have hurt, and we may get them when they do hurt – Kansas weather is tedious at times.

The Ugly – are still the same characters. I cannot figure out why this Governor, Brad Loveless, KDWP, Fort Hays State, and the Wildlife Commissioners haven’t taken a stand against the solar panels. The Audubon Letter is clear and factual. The Ducks Unlimited article clearly defined the economic and environmental risks to our area and the Whooping Cranes. I have to include the Nature Conservancy – I can’t believe they don’t have an environmental impact study on solar panels at the Bottoms directly in the Central Flyway path of the Whooping Cranes. Is their funding involved in this decision?  I have the same question about Fort Hays State University – they should be sending Curtis Wolf out on speaking tours against this dangerous project.

You just can’t kill Whooping Cranes with a straight face. If your job is to protect them and your brochures define that job and then you muzzle every employee in your organization and refuse to answer any letters or questions about this thing, you will eventually have to answer some questions at a Commission Meeting (where are these people????) or in a public meeting which is bound to occur.

The general public is opposed to this project and you all know that fact. Five hundred people in a petition deserve some recognition. There has to be some money somewhere that I don’t understand that is driving people to abandon their principles and mandates. It must be a LOT of money for people to accept the death of a Whooping Crane without caring. I’m just stunned. I’m just stunned. Did I say I’m just stunned?

When tough game wardens tell me they can’t speak, with tears in their eyes, there is something very wrong with that department. Someone write a letter to the editor of the KDWP magazine and ask some pertinent questions. See what happens. Sometimes when you toss paint on a wall it comes out a picture.

The Topeka Capital-Journal newspaper will have the article by Andrew Bahl, their senior reporter who spent several hours with us last week. It will be in the Sunday edition, I think. He was careful, thoughtful, and diligent. I am eager to read his report. KAKE News was awesome in their interviews.

I am so grateful to the degreed and diligent folks (Karl Grover, Charlie Swank, Jerry Nye, John Morandi ...) who have provided substantial information and facts in opposition to this project in this location. Did I say you can’t kill Whooping Cranes and have any integrity?

I am surprised that Acciona hasn’t withdrawn its interest in this location. They readily admitted that they have no history of any projects involving a flyway, wetland or endangered species. I think they know that you can’t kill Whooping Cranes. I wish they would make a public comment about their intentions so we can define our project to oppose it. There is nothing wrong about opposing goals and ideas. Secrecy is not tolerable.

Enjoy the rain, your gardens, the start of Walleye season and golf. I walked 9 holes today – it was fabulous! Keep the faith and never miss a chance to do something good!


Doctor Dan Witt is a retired physician and nature enthusiast. He can be reached at