Good Morning, God!
I just read a story about Freeing a River — opening Maine’s Penobscot River back up to Atlantic salmon and Atlantic sturgeon — giving them 100 miles of the main stem of the river and over a thousand miles of tributaries for spawning. I’m not even a fisherman — and I still rejoiced! Getting to this point hasn’t been easy. For years protests and pleas to restore the river by removing 2 dams fell on deaf power company ears. Then here is what happened as told in the Summer 2010 issue of Nature Conservancy
“Two local men who had run the dams for years suggested to their new managers at PPL that the company should try to talk to the local community about the river’s future, rather than continue the fight. Those men, Scott Hall and Richard Fennelly, thought it would help to negotiate around a conference table rather than argue in front of a judge’s bench.”
It may sound silly, God, but I sort of teared up when I read that. Imagine choosing to TALK TOGETHER! WOW! What an IDEA!
The story continues: “Scott approached the tribe and said, ‘We want to do business in a different way,’” says John Banks. The Penobscot nation saw in this gesture an opportunity that was bigger than the tribe. It asked the Atlantic Salmon Federation and the Natural Resources Council of Maine to join the negotiations with PPL. More conservation groups joined in the process, including American Rivers, Maine Audubon and Trout Unlimited. These groups and the tribe formalized their coalition as the Penobscot River Restoration Trust.”
Everyone came together to buy the two dams and they are still raising the money to take them down. It isn’t done. But I’m REJOICING, God! Partly because of all the creatures that are going to “return” and repopulate this river. And partly because this is an example of backing off from adversarial roles and working toward a Win / Win. The Power Company will even get to generate the same amount of electricity. Please, God! May we have MORE TALKING TOGETHER — MORE WORKING TOGETHER!