Losing Love For The Land

Dumping trash in rural areas

There was once a time when our ancestors roamed the land and followed the migrating herds.  Our very survival depended on what the land produced.  Migrating herds ate the grass, and we ate the animals.  Plants grew roots and berries, and we are the roots and berries.

Somewhere around 10,000 years go something changed.  Hunter gatherers were slowly replaced by farmers.  No longer did our ancestors depend on migrating herds, as we raised our on herds.  No longer did we have to forage for roots and berries because we raised our own.

Then came cities, money… and eventually the industrial revolution.  Somewhere along that timeline we no longer looked at the land as something to be loved and cared for.  It was a resource to be exploited and harvested.

City builders cleared the land, poured cement over the soil, and built jungles of steel and concrete.  Rather than loving the land and caring for it, we look for ways to make money from it.  Homes are no longer places to raise a loving family, they are investments.

Some people may think rural dwellers love the land more than city folk, and that simple is not true.  Dumping trash in rural areas is a serious problem.

Rather than paying for garbage pick up, people will load their trash in a truck, then go dump it somewhere.  A favorite place to dump trash seems to be creeks and streams.  When a good rain comes along, the trash is washed down the stream.  I guess the people think their trash will magically disappear when it goes out of sight.

It is not just the people who live in rural areas, hunters who visit rural areas throw their trash on the side of the road.  Every hunting season there is an increase in the around of trash on the roads.  The brand names on the trash let me know the people are from out of town.  There are no fast food places with the name on the bag for 100 miles.

Are there places to dispose of trash in rural areas?  Sure there are.  However, people have to either pay for trash pick up, or load the trash on a truck or trailer and bring it to the dump.

I have been cleaning up the farm and have hauled several trailer loads of trash to the dump.  It just relocates the trash, but it also keeps it out of our streams, lakes and rivers.

The people who dump trash in local creeks and streams are creating a long term problem.  Eventually, that trash will end up in Lake Sam Rayburn.  From there it will go the Angelina River, down to the Neches River, Sabine Lake between Bridge City and Port Arthur and eventually the Gulf of Mexico.  This is not a new problem.  There are decades of trash dumped in our upland waterways.  It is not uncommon for me to go on a hiking trip and find a soft drink can or bottle made before the 1990s.

Then there is the issue of industrial dumping.  In the 1960s and 1970s, industrial chemicals were dumped in such massive amounts ground water is contaminated in certain areas.

What kind of example are we setting for our kids?  What kind of earth are we leaving to our descendants?