Friday, January 7, 2011
My name is Bessie Muckraker. I spend most of my time on waterfront property - the Joe Leary Slough, a stream in Skagit County, Washington. This stream begins near the Burlington Auto Mall, winds through agricultural fields and cattle pastures just like mine, and then ends up in Padilla Bay, south of Samish Island.
Although I’m especially pretty, I poop, just like all other cows. In fact, each one of my sisters and brothers generates around 100 pounds of manure and urine each day. But luckily, we’re right next to this stream, so when it rains, everything gets washed away. In my opinion, it's just a ditch, anyway.
To tell you the truth, I prefer keeping my hooves dry, and I want to be a law abiding cow. I know what my Skagit County Critical Area Ordinance says… it says I’m not supposed to poop and pee in the stream. It says this: livestock and dairy operations shall be conducted so as not to contribute any wastes or sediments into a natural or modified natural watercourse in violations of adopted State water quality standards.
I might look like an ordinary cow – but I went to college, and sometimes I read water quality reports. I know that this stream has some of the most polluted water in the county, as it has for at least 20 years. I wish I could move out of here, but I can’t. Can you help me?