Letter to Senator Yager

Article submitted to the News Sentinel:
November 20, 2019
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Letter to Senator Yager

Feb 21, 2020
Video: (Skip to the 46 minute mark to hear TN State Sen. Yager speak on the impact at Nickajack & Chickamauga)
To view the video click on the link.

https://wdef.com/2020/02/21/lawmaker-proposes-resolution-fighting-asian-carp-dams/ http://www.capitol.tn.gov/Bills/111/Bill/SJR0723.pdf

The following letter was sent to the Watts Bar Ecology and Fishery Council (WBEFC) and Senator Yager and other State politicians.

All, and Senator Yager:

Watch the DC video–the carp discussion is between minutes 44 – 52.
NOTHING was accomplished. Senator Yager’s bill did absolutely NOTHING to protect us. Of course, everyone there agreed that “Cooperation” is needed to “ADDRESS” this issue, who would vote against that? His worthless bill passed and I’m sure he will be very proud of it. What a joke. The Agencies are ALREADY cooperating and addressing the issue, his bill only asked for what is already fact, he did not ask for the only way to prevent our 4-lakes from devastation– close the lock. His bill is unequivocally a JOKE. In speaking he even used the words, “continue” to work together, thus he knew they were cooperating with each other, so what was the purpose of his bill asking them to work together?

Please note Senator Bill Powers testimony, he repeated what he said after my testimony in Nashville to the committee and I much appreciate what he said to CONFIRM devastation– Thanks Senator. Senator Southerland also spoke about the devastation and destroyed lakes– thank you Senator. However, the author of the bill, Senator Yager, did not even mention that the only way to stop them is to close Watts Bar lock. Please Note: When I first read Senator Yager’s bill, I immediately wrote to him and said that it did not address the issue and I pleaded with him to REWRITE it, or write another bill and include the absolute need to close the Watts Bar Lock immediately, and I reminded him that the fish are in Chickamauga. I explained that we need the barrier at Watts Bar, because they are in Chickamauga and told him that a bill to request agencies work together is simply a no-action bill and that it will not protect us. I made it clear that if the lock is not closed, we lose our lakes. Of course, he never replied, no did he didn’t listen to me. Worse, he stood up and talked about a barrier at Chickamauga and Nickajack, which I told him would do NO GOOD. He totally let us down when he had the perfect opportunity to get them to vote on CLOSING the lock as I ask him to do.

This is depressing for sure and goes to show you that he is a politician, a man of worthless words, and speaks like he really knows what the is saying, and is not willing to listen to his constituents or to science, or an expert, or use mere logic. Senator Yager was told by MANY others as well that the lock had to be closed if we are to save our lakes, and he was told by many that a barrier in Chickamauga or Nickjack was a waste of money because the fish are IN

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Chickamauga, yet he ignored all of us. NEVER once did he mention the need to close the lock. WHY? He did NOTHING to save our lakes. I have included Senator Yager in this email, for he needs to know that his bill was a total waste of effort and that he did not listen to his constituents and let us down, when he could have created a great legacy for himself by saving our lakes by asking for the lock to be closed. What Senator Yager thinks of me means nothing anymore, for certainly he doesn’t respect my expertise, education, or anything I have to say. When he introduced me in Nashville, he said, “I have the ‘honor’ of introducing Dr. Timothy Joseph to this committee…” Well, he certainly ignores what I tell him, ignores science, economics, my requests, and doesn’t listen to what I say or ask. During my testimony in Nashville, I explained in detail WHY the lock had to be closed, said it over and over to the committee, Senator Yager was there, and I told him the same thing in emails that his bill needed to ask for closure of the lock.

I hope a large number of folks will also let him know how he totally ignored the perfect opportunity to save our lakes and that there was NO reason whatsoever that he couldn’t have stood up for the ONLY way to save our lakes by asking for closure of the Watts Bar Lock, EVEN if he lost the vote. Had he ask for closer of the lock and lost the vote, he would have still been a hero, (you lost your chance Senator–your failed us, and you need to know that) but he didn’t have the intelligence, guts, or decency to do the right thing–do nothing is so much easier. He ignored logic, science, and his constituents and only spouted useless words asking for cooperation (which already exists)–I cringed when I heard him pretend he knew something about the silver carp devastation, and actually thought he wrote a great bill. Senators Southerland and Powers came through with wise and accurate statements, but our own Senator let us down.

Feel free to send this to anyone you want. It’s time we speak the truth, and I no longer care what anyone thinks of me, I’m over it. Politicians and agencies are wearing me out, and I have little hope that any of them will even acknowledge that closure of the lock is the only way to prevent the devastation of our lakes. If action isn’t taken soon to close the Watts Bar Lock, we will see one jump into a boat in Watts Bar. When that first fish is found, and TWRA has a press release showing a silver carp in Watts Bar Lake, my beautiful home will go on the market–in fact, if anyone is after a newer, gorgeous, timber-frame geothermal home on deep water in a great neighborhood on Watts Bar Lake, give me a call–seriously. For I’m now convinced our lakes are slated for devastation, for the people responsible to save us won’t take the only step to do that. I’ll keep fighting for a while longer, but if the lock is not closed, I’m out of here before my beautiful lake is taken over by silver carp, thanks to politicians and agencies that refuse to accept science, economics, logic, history (Kentucky and Barkley lakes), fact, and have no empathy whatsoever for the ecology or economic of our beautiful lakes.

My apology for being so upset and direct, but this needed to be said.


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