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Spent eight hours in the bobcat today

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1 Spent eight hours in the bobcat today on 10/10/2016, 6:41 pm

I have trouble getting in and out, but once I am in the seat I become tremendously productive.   I completed a bad area on the islands which always had sand deposits after floods and was never level.  We have used four fifty pound bags of grass seed and six dump truck loads of gravel to fix this area of the islands.   I will post a photo in the morning as it strikingly beautiful.  A lot of kayaks and canoes on the river as people had the day off.  The eagles are beefing up for the winter as they are fishing like crazy as I find fish scales everywhere after they catch a fish.  My wife has seeded all the areas I have cleared.  Each year it gets more perfect.  We had a local minister stop down to go fishing with a couple of his parishoners, and my wife said get ready for a slice of heaven.  

I need to cut down the river banks so that when I pass who ever is not that familiar with the banks will have a margin of about a foot.   A river bank gets weakened by groundhogs, and other animal boroughs, and with a moving river the edge can collapse with the mower flipping.   I feel pretty good having cut down about a mile of shoreline and reseeded.  Saw the strangest thing today.  The squirrels take the walnuts and are non stop husking the shells.   Well today I saw a groundhog doing the damn same thing.  I have never seen a groundhog work on a walnut.

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Glad you had a productive day.

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Seaoat, can you do all of that digging along "Waters of the State" without a permit? Down here the Army Corps of Engineers would be all over you.

Remember the Ocie Mills case?


http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/father-and-son-do-hard-time-filling-dry-ditch

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I have a 10 year dredging permit with the ACE which allows me to keep certain channels dredged for boats.  The dredging permit allows me to fill any area of the islands up to four inches.   So when I begin working to level and plant grass on the islands I am not increasing the average height of the island by more than four inches and I need no permit.   In addition I have created new channels over my land which improves the flows of the river.   There are rather complicated engineering formulas as to when you are allowed to fill in a river, but in our case there is no house or residence within a mile of the islands as we are in a very rural area.   So If I were to fill an area with a project permit, they look at the impact on the flow of the river at normal flow rates and at flood stage and how those improvements impact residences up river if we pose an impediment.  When I built a 100 foot causeway over the river channel under a permit, because there is nobody nearby and the project's impediment was so small there was not even a discussion of the same or any major changes in what we wanted to do.

The original owners were quite famous and got a grant from the United States for the islands and all submerged land under the river to construct a dam.   So my situation is quite different from most as the United States has an easement in the river over my land as I own the submerged land, and could in fact build a power dam, which the Army Corps probably could not stop, but EPA could because it would impact fish which would require incredibly expensive fish ladders.   It would take five years to get such a permit.   However, I stay in complete compliance with what are called nationwide permits which allow citizens to do shore stability projects, agricultural projects and other projects which are common and do not impede the river flow.

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I apologize, but I have reversed and rotated the photo four times and when I post it on the forum it flips. If you notice I am leveling and seeding. The gravel we add to roads never exceeds four inches and all we do is simply keep the islands level. When a flood happens, the river will deposit up to two inches of new material all over the island and it digs holes and deposits sand hills. When you do leveling to landscape and seed you bring those hills down and level the ground. Since we have owned the islands with our dredging and permitted projects we have actually improved the flow of water through and over the islands significantly.

Today my wife is getting gravel and we will be sprinkling gravel over the existing road. The islands 100 years ago had an active gravel operation taking gravel from the river, and was farmed for close to a hundred years. The farming involved the usual disc of the fields. One island is close to forty acres and we when first bought it we thought about farming it like the prior owner, but decided to plant trees and grass and to create a beautiful natural area. We have now gone three years without a major flood and are noticing the groundhog population and tick population have exploded. Our dogs never had ticks when it was common for them during the flood days to go years without a tick. She has gotten four of them in last year.

The causeways were permitted in the late fifties and early sixties, but before then they would take a team of horses over the river in the shallows and plow the fields, and for many years they built a barge which took sheep and equipment to and from the islands. The rule of thumb was that the river would never raise more than two feet in 24 hours because it is a large river, but in 2010 it rose four feet in 24 hours and that has us NEVER leaving any equipment out on the islands.

Our desire is to create this beautiful natural area which can be preserved and owned by the people in the state of Illinois with my grandchildren having a life estate until the last one of them passes. We will probably create the remainder interest for 100 years or upon the last grandchild passing. I will let my wife make that decision after I pass, but we have discussed it and are in agreement. I have worked on creating this beautiful oasis of nature, but the truth is if after I die and nobody can run heavy equipment, the river will take back the islands and turn them into a jungle of weeds, flood debris, within ten years. That is why the decision will ultimately be my wife and the kids because my ability to run heavy equipment is not shared by anybody in the family.

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ZVUGKTUBM wrote:Seaoat, can you do all of that digging along "Waters of the State" without a permit? Down here the Army Corps of Engineers would be all over you.

Remember the Ocie Mills case?


http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/father-and-son-do-hard-time-filling-dry-ditch

I remember.

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The weather has been incredibly good for working the soil and laying down gravel. We had a slight mist this morning which gets the seed wet, and then some great sunshine and warmth for and October day. I will be working non stop until the first week in November, and having to get up into the machine and the lawn mower is forcing me to move. I had to work my real job this evening and missed my youngest granddaughter's basketball game, but got a call from my wife that Abby wants to show me something she learned in basketball.....so after the doc appointment on Thursday I will be dribbling.........well now that I wrote that......I guess I might be double dribbling.

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Mr. Oats, I wholeheartedly applaud your progress to complete as much as humanly possible and with the assistance of your spouse. You are rightfully proud and I personally applaud (and admire) your determination to continue the evolution of your gift to others.

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knothead wrote:Mr. Oats, I wholeheartedly applaud your progress to complete as much as humanly possible and with the assistance of your spouse. You are rightfully proud and I personally applaud (and admire) your determination to continue the evolution of your gift to others.

Well stated.


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