May 26, 2014
We had a good, lively, informative meeting on Thursday, May 22, about Harris County’s plan to bulldoze 14.35 acres or almost 1.5 miles of riparian forest on both banks of Buffalo Bayou as it flows past Memorial Park, the River Oaks Country Club, and the Hogg Bird Sanctuary. Around 200 people attended, including Harris County Flood Control District Director Mike Talbott, who was accompanied by his communications manager, Kim Jackson. It was a diverse crowd in St. Stephen’s Pecore Hall and included worried residents who live along the north bank of the bayou between the bird sanctuary and the 1,500-acre public park. Also birdwatchers, tree huggers, lawyers, engineers, academics, mountain bikers and poets, landscape architects and urban planners, a uniformed employee of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and people from across the political spectrum. This is an issue that is drawing passionate support from conservatives and liberals and people who are neither or some of both
As one conservative activist has commented: “If there is anything that upsets me more than destroying the environment, it’s doing it with taxpayer money.”
Mr. Talbott was called to take the mic when a member of the audience asked the question that is perplexing many people: Why? What is the point of this hugely destructive project?