Tombstone, Arizona is located in a desert. As such, water supplies for the historic frontier town are pretty important. A lot of Tombstone’s water comes from water infrastructure located on federally-managed park land, as has been the case for roughly a century. Recently, though, forest fires and inclement weather has destroyed or damaged a lot of that infrastructure and local officials want the federal government to let them go in and repair it.
But the federal government won’t let them do it…unless they use horses and hand tools:
The shortage developed because of the Monument Fire in 2011, which denuded the hillsides of vegetation. After the fire, record-breaking monsoon rains hit the region, triggering huge mudslides that left boulders the size of cars tumbling down hillsides.
The slides crushed Tombstone’s mountain spring waterlines and destroyed reservoirs for the town’s main water supply network.
“In some areas, Tombstone’s pipeline is under 12 feet of mud, rocks and other debris, while in other places, it is hanging in mid-air due to the ground being washed out from under it,” the institute reported.
However, instead of allowing repairs as has happened in the past, “federal bureaucrats are refusing to allow Tombstone to unearth its springs and restore its waterlines unless [city officials] jump through a lengthy permitting process that will require the city to use horses and hand tools to remove boulders the size of Volkswagens.”
I’ve often joked that the environmentalists would like us to go back to the horse-and-buggy days, because that would be better for the environment, but this is ridiculous.
Here’s the thing, though: Would horses and hand-tools really have less of an environmental impact on these park areas? It seems like that would make the project harder and sloppier.