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Mogensen Mitigation, Incorporated
 
   
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January 17, 2019
Ecological Restoration?

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So, Happy New Years to all my blog-o-mites. I think I am up to 3! We at MMI, participate in steering committees for relevant conferences such as the upcoming Mid-Atlantic Stream Restoration Conference (MASRC 2019) being held in Baltimore, MD in November 2019. It is a great show and I encourage you all to attend but that is not the subject of this post. Recently, I have seen numerous threats to the hard fought environmental protections our country has established to protect our great land and waters. In NC, the previous administration was proposing significant rollbacks on the nutrient and buffer protection programs that the NCDEQ-DWR administers. These programs have proven very effective in reducing pollutants in the various river basins. The election and subsequent administration stopped that process for now but it is just one example. The new federal WOTUS rules will no doubt reduce protection over wetlands not directly associated with flowing water. This will be particularly severe in the mid-western states that have prairie potholes and a substantial amount “isolated wetlands”. Think SWANCC. In some eastern states, the valuable Carolina bay wetlands (elliptical, depression basins along the east coast) will lose their jurisdictional status and no longer be protected under the Clean Water Act. During the most recent MASRC steering committee meeting several topics were discussed. These included the State of Maryland’s new proposed nutrient offset formulas. These calculate how much Nitrogen (N) and Phosphorous (P) reduction needs to be met for municipalities and developments to comply with the federal NPDES TMDL’s coming in 2020. I know that’s a lot of acronyms but what it means is that the Maryland Department of the Environment is changing the way new AND existing impervious surface N & P runoff is calculated in the Chesapeake Bay – and apparently in wrong direction. In other words, the new formulas will require much less “mitigation” and/or storm water management work. This seems counterproductive to the great improvements that have just begun in the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland and Virginia.  Is all this being done in the name of promoting a better economy? Why else would we want less protection of our precious environment?  Well, isn’t the economy doing just fine with the current rules and regulations in-place now? Hmmmm….. Just my two cents.

November 7, 2018
Vote For the Environment

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Well, its been awhale (get it a whale) since the MMI blog has spoken. The recent election has awakened the creative writing juices required for a “Blog Post”! Are Blogs still relevant? That’s another issue. Let’s discuss voting and the environment. Overall the trend recently has been to roll back regulations of all kinds including ones that protect our environment (also known as Earth or “our home”) in the name of jobs or that bigger amorphous entity called the “economy”. Like it’s some sought of living thing. I think both the environment and the economy can be friends and can live happily ever after despite what some may want you to believe. In fact, for many companies and industries good environmental regulations stimulate a healthy business. Clean air regulations have created new technologies such as solar developers, wind farm designers, specialized construction and maintenance jobs. Clean Water Act regulations created an entire ecological restoration industry stimulated by requiring compensatory mitigation for stream and wetland impacts. The Endangered Species Act has increased the interest in nature, species habitats and birding. Mindlessly rolling back hard fought state and federal environmental regulations is short-sighted at best and downright foolish. If you think this will “stimulate the economy” or “bring back our jobs” you probably work for an industry designed to extract, exploit or manipulate our natural environment. If you ask me, taking away good, sound, scientifically justifiable environmental regulations will put me out of business. Next time there is an election, please vote for the environment, you live here and it’s our only one. Please don’t poop in the house!

November 20, 2017
ATV, ORV, OMG!

 

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Well it finally happened, Superman alias Richard Kent Mogensen (get it Clark Kent) found his kryptonite in the form of a rugged, mindless creation that but most folks enjoy. Call it an All-Terrain Vehicle or an Off-Road Vehicle or 4-Wheeler or just a Gator these machines are dangerous if used in steep conditions. They are fine on farms and maintained public ATV trail systems such as the Hatfield and McCoy Trails in WV. But, in unimproved trails in steep conditions, often found in the Appalachian Mtns. and out west in the Rockies, these machines can be a hazard. I found out the hard way a few weeks ago when I was touring a large forested site in Nelson County, VA (Alcoholic Valley to the locals) and found myself stuck between a 4,000 lb. running ATV and a large beech tree. Yup I was pinned and my associate (who will remain nameless because I haven’t asked him if I could use his name) was instrumental in my survival. Thank you KW! Anyway on to the story, we were driving in the landowners ATV on a trail that I had been on several times before but was deteriorating due to steep slopes, wet conditions and above average rainfall this year. I was driving while KW was holding on for dear life. I thought I was doing OK but unfortunately the trail fell off abruptly and so did my 2 left tires. We stopped and got out to survey the situation. It didn’t look good to me, but being Superman as you recall, I said we can get this out by building a rock platform under those dang hanging tires! So that’s what we did. I got in and said “OK KW, get out of the way and I’ll pop this thing back up on the trail”. Famous last words. Before I knew it I was pinned to a tree by a large angry machine sputtering smoky fumes and glaring at me. Not good I thought. KW looked as dazed as me but said “What should I do?” I said “get in and put it in reverse and slowly back this thing off me” which he did with an expert touch and I rolled out of my Aaron Ralston-like predicament. You know the guy who got his arm stuck between two boulders in Utah, oh never mind! Anyway, back to the story, I looked down at my newly freed left leg and noted that I could see my femur. This, I knew, was not good. I grabbed my leg to hold it together while KW tried to use his sweater as a tourniquet. It didn’t seem to be bleeding very badly so I said you have to go get help. We were a mile into the wilderness mind you and KW stepped up like a trooper. He ran for help and I patiently waited while I held my leg together and tried not to hyperventilate or go into shock. About an hour later, which seemed like 4 hours, help arrived and I was taken out by ambulance to the University of VA Medical Center in Charlottesville. The fine medical staff worked diligently to patch me up and send me on my way. Well, it was a bit more than that but I was on my way that evening. Still groggy as the adrenaline wore off, I made it to a little hotel and crashed (figuratively!).

Epilog – Superman is healing at home but no more field work this year!

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