Local ecological problems, and issues which should be dealt with when profoundly and holistically resolving these challenges, are generally a microcosm of global challenges. Here in our Seguin, Texas area, a landfill proposed for development over the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer was one such challenge.

And very recently the local political activity resulting from the proposed permanent opening of impoundment structures and draining of local lakes because of liability issues and lack of electric generation utility has similarities to global climate change politics. …

• Scientists and engineers with the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority (GBRA), and administrators representing these experts, say that their data calls for a draining of the lakes and that they have the best interests of all the stakeholders in this ecological community, including biota other than humans … i.e., that they ARE considering the human economy and the well-being of the humans therein as an important component of and in concert with the much larger Nature’s Economy.

• However, the perception of many of the local populace is that such a move (draining of these local lakes) will hurt the local human economy and quality of life, at least as defined by a relatively high input/throughput system based on neoliberal capitalism and the status quo. They feel that they know better than the scientists and engineers, or that their scientists and engineers, or their facts, are better than those influencing GBRA. … Therefore, there has been a local populist uprising. … (Moreover, as always, especially in today’s fast-paced world, a battle of ethoses and of determinations for ethics and morals are taking place.)

• The populist uprising is composed by a broad spectrum of the local human population, but to a considerable extent by many who are relatively powerful. and who have derived that power through successful main street businesses, in real estate dealings, and other avenues for making a good living, … and of course some who manifest their power by living on the lakes. (The power in this populist movement comes from power of history and legacy; financial; political; leadership; effective influence on the media; and capacity to persist and persuade)

GBRA (or some other governmental/NGO/quasi-governmental entity) needs to quickly begin a process which thoroughly deals — for the short and long term — with ... quality life for all in the current Lake Dunlap to Lake Wood-Guadalupe River “ecosystem”.

Steps might be:

• If scientific monitoring and analysis indicates there truly is a significant risk of losing or harming human life as result of the deterioration of impoundment structures, drain the lakes where the risk exists and also immediately initiate the process discussed below. If the risk is low, begin this process without draining any or all of the lakes.

• Realize a quick blitz of information out to the public re ecological principles and processes and an ecological ethos as such applies to the Guadalupe-Blanco River watershed and the lake region below Canyon Lake.

• Conduct a rapid appraisal of this lake area below Canyon Lake [obtain input from previous research studies to present, lay people (powerful to powerless), specialists representing psychological, socio-political/economic (ecological) sectors of knowledge/wisdom/prudence, … .

• Establish a route to equity and quality life for all including other species (involving the considering of: an education/advocacy campaign encouraging living simply, slowly, sharingly, sustainably; regenerating mostly natural areas with native biota; wildscapes; conservation easements; sustainable agriculture strategies and tactics; etc.) …  and through critical-thinking based on ecological knowledge … deciding on whether to: maintain the lakes and impoundment structures, or transition to a river somewhat similar to what it was in 1700, or initiate some intermediate plan.

• Develop a mission statement, goals, a strategic plan/policies/actions/monitoring activities/analysis and assessment/and replanning using knowledge of ecological principles and processes under a holistic and profound ecological ethic of reciprocity/sharing.

Paul Bain Martin is a long-time Seguin resident, agricultural entomologist and ecologist ... and volunteer toward an Earth of sustainable social justice and ecological sanity.

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