Watch Out for the Wild Lands!

Horses on furlough from the race track live in the field up from our house, they look like live wood carvings. Sort of startling against the moth-eaten scrubby hills that we get hard into the dry season. We keep an eye on them, the comings and goings. We wander out and say hello to strangers, so they’ll know that someone is paying attention.

The nice guys in trucks told us they were subletting the land above, and they would be making some improvements to the gates. Desperately needed. I am done with getting all hung up on rusty wire as me and the dogs squeeze through. Comings and goings. A bull dozer. But they seemed like such nice guys, they were going to be putting in some winter shelter for their horses.

WAIT A MINUTE! They bull dozed the vernal pool that has thousands of frogs every spring. Stacks of building materials suggest a permanent structure. Our neighborhood fought for years to enforce the environmental process for any building on our beautiful hills.

I considered letting it go. “You just can’t fight progress.” “Someone else will do something about it.” “I’m just a little person and I don’t want to get beaten up.” But I felt too angry, after walking the dogs through the mess.

So here’s the plan – call up the county sheriff (done). Find out who, exactly to call in the city – Building Code Enforcement office. (done). Follow up daily until we get news (doing). Let our neighbors know what’s going on (done) and get others to help with the general ‘bugging’ of officials (doing). Post notice on gate to let the guys know that they’ll need a permit to continue building – scary in case they got seriously angry – but done 10seconds before they arrived. Close call.

In the end, I’m betting that the amount of hassle this will cause, will get the new horse owners to reconsider where they locate their stables. And I feel a whole lot better having done something effective. I recommend it!


About Sue Boudreau

Sue Boudreau, 7 and 8th grade science teacher and still loving it after 33 years. My mission is to empower young people to use science-centered project based learning to make a difference in the world.
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