The Nature Conservancy Supports the Big Darby Accord - Innovative agreement provides best opportunity for protecting Big Darby watershed


(Important Note from Judy Keeler: For those of you who have been in this land-use movement for several years, no doubt you remember the bucket brigade and the battle the citizens in Ohio mounted to maintain their private property rights and individual freedoms in the Darby. Julie Smithson still stays up with private property rights as a result. Now the Nature Conservancy is back, BIG TIME!! Working with 10 jurisdictions (typically federal and state wildlife and land management agencies) that are seeking to "protect" the Big Darby watershed from the people who live there.... Not only that, but "financial mechanisms" will be sought from these agencies -- funded by the taxpayers -- to pay TNC to 'protect' the water and animals, including aquatic species, from the radical environmental community's&nsp;perceived threats. Since TNC has all the "expertise" on watersheds, biodiversity, ecosystems, fire, endangered species, endangered species habitat, -- which our federal and state agencies do not have -- TNC will no doubt become our new land managers. A perfect example of their newly recognized management abilities is their recent cost-sharing agreements with the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service. According to these agreements, TNC will be inventorying Bureau of Land Management and forest lands and developing proposals on how to properly manage these lands. However, TNC is not limited to just these two federal agencies. TNC also works well with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service and National Biological Survey system. Is it any wonder landowners are being barraged by "endangered species," "critical habitat," fires and various other schemes to displace them? When will this end? When taxpayers fnally get tired of enriching TNC, along with their minions, and get rid of the politicians from both parties that support TNC's "science," activities and have otherwise been bought out by powerful, well-financed environmental organizations that share one goal: to turn the United States into the Wildlands Project. As a bonus for its excellent work, TNC will also get paid to "study" and "manage" the land for "biodiversity" and "ecosystems." What a great plan! Who wins? TNC. Who loses? Future generations that could have been born in one of the greatest, freest nations in the world! To see more articles on the Nature Conservancy and how it is working in your state, visit: Note from Julie: Talk about blackmail on a scale that would make the Mafia jealous: on last night's "news" ( and The Columbus Dispatch are both owned by he same Wolfe family that owns land bordering the old "refuge study area" boundaries), it was actually said, in celebratory tones, that "if the Accord is signed, the moratorium on development along the Big Darby will be lifted." How, exactly, is that "protecting" this stream? Easy answer: It is NOT! It is also NOT "protecting" recreation, "future generations," farmers, or "quality of life," no matter how cagey the perpetrators of this monster may word the sales pitch. The "butter wouldn't melt in its mouth" "Nature Conned Servancy" is right there, helping folks out of their property rights with fancily worded Language Deception, promising the moon but delivering only a theft of property rights. The neighborhood in which I live, where the Little Darby Creek flows, eventually joining the Big Darby just ten miles from me, with few exceptions,nbsp;is not fighting -- or even attending meetings. The opposition to this monster appears to be fragmented and of "ego-driven" origin. There's no talking with the opposition, most of who want to be able to develop land currently rented for crops. Almost everyone seems to see the mega dollar signs and be ready and willing to sell out. I have no problem with them having the right to do what they want with their lands, but these are, for the most part, folks that have inherited great farm ground, but have no "blood, sweat and tears equity" in it. See: for proof that the same "partners" that were ganged up against the people of this area and our two hundred years of land and water benefitting stewardship, are still ganged up against us. Notice that The "Environmental Protection" Agency is now the "lead agency" in this scheme, er, "plan" or "accord" ... but the end result is still the Control ofthe lands, waters and people of this area. Look what TNC and its government and private "partners" have done for each place it has lusted after, from the Klamath to Costa Rica. This is, in effect, the equivalent of domestic terrorism. For all its talk of "protection," the land and water, like the people, are the victims of such actions, which have a motive rooted firmly in Profit. Don't believe me? Just ask Robin Green, developer and former board member of The Nature Conservancy, who developed a high-dollar, gated "community" of housing for the moneyed, right on the Darby Creek. Ask The Nature Conservancy about its false premise land acquisition, which it turned over a part of -- for a hefty profit -- for the Roman Catholic Diocese to build on, with the parking lot, an "impervious" surface, right along the Darby Creek. Ask the other parties in this Trojan Horse, er, "Darby Accord," just what their plans are to Develop the Creek's borders -- for Profit.)




June 13, 2006



Dublin, Ohio - The public review draft of the Big Darby Accord represents the best opportunity yet to protect clean water and plant and animal diversity in the Big Darby watershed, The Nature Conservancy announced today. This most recent version of the plan will be considered at a public meeting Tuesday (June 13).

Were urging all participating governments to ratify this agreement by making the necessary changes in their development regulations, said Anthony Sasson, freshwater policy specialist for [The Nature] Conservancy in Ohio. If the community can make this happen, this agreement will not only be historic for Ohio, but also could serve as a model for community development and cooperative freshwater conservation efforts across America.

The Darby Accord, a development and conservation plan now under consideration by ten jurisdictions in western Franklin County, sets high standards in three critical areas: Open space conservation, particularly along stream corridors and other environmentally sensitive areas; stormwater management; and the restoration of natural water flows (both surface and ground water).

Equally important, the Accord establishes a financial mechanism to support the plans success.

Although we support this agreement, the Conservancy believes the Accord has shortcomings, and development should proceed slowly, and with adequate and conservative oversight. As we witness the impact of development on the watershed, we expect the Accord will need to be modified.

Read the Conservancy's supporting points here:

The Conservancy is opposed to any and all efforts to weaken the agreement. A diluted Accord will not adequately protect the Big and Little Darby Creeks and critical tributaries like Hellbranch Run.

These streams already have been damaged by urban and suburban development and face further destruction unless we act to protect them now, Sasson said. The Big Darby watershed has a history of community support for protection that dates back more than 35 years. It would be a shame to let any more time pass before we commit to permanently protect this resource.

The Darby Creeks are one of the most biologically rich stream systems in the Midwest, a popular recreation site and a critical source of clean water for the Scioto River, which provides drinking water to thousands of families living downstream.

The Nature Conservancy, an international non-profit conservation organization, has been working to protect the Big Darby Creek Watershed for more than 20 years, protecting more than 2,000 acres in the watershed. The organization has provided considerable scientific expertise to the consultants working to develop the Accord plan and other protection efforts, including extensive documentation about critical locations of fish, mussels and other aquatic species.

The Accord covers only 15 percent of the Darby watershed, but the biology of the stream and the population of the region argue in favor of strong conservation leadership by the communities of Franklin County.

As they run through Franklin County, the creeks are home to the most complete and diverse collection of plants and animals as anywhere else in the watershed. And, with at least two-thirds of the population in the watershed, Franklin County presents the greatest and most imminent threat of development.