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IDENTITY: Hi. My real name is Charley Quinton, so yes my real initials are CQ. I've been on the Internet since Star Wars was new, and the Quinobi tag is stuck. It's my user name at META. See also Quinobi talk archive
Watershed and Commonwealth
The Mississippi River drains nearly 40% of the landmass of the continental United States and a substantial part of two Canadian provinces.
"The Mississippi River has the world's fourth largest drainage basin ("watershed" or "catchment"). The basin covers more than 1,245,000 sq mi (3,220,000 km2), including all or parts of 32 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces. The drainage basin empties into the Gulf of Mexico, part of the Atlantic Ocean. The total catchment of the Mississippi River covers nearly 40% of the landmass of the continental United States."
I think that the harsh economic and ecologic realities beginning with the hypoxic zone in the gulf continuing to the ongoing economic downturn need to be studied from a perspective that is neutral in terms of industrial and commercial interests - ecosystem thinking works better. Mid-America could and should capitalize on its topography and hydrology, but not in the ways of the 1940s and 50s through damming, levying, and otherwise meddling with the rivers themselves on massive scale. In the 21st Century, the work must be done on a small scale within the tributary systems closer to the headwaters - from the peaks and ridges downward. In the USA, nationwide programs are finally emerging that reflect systems thinking. What I want to promote through KeylineAmerica.org is a way for small farms, towns, communities and individuals to "plug-in" their local specialized efforts into a massively scaled national (even international) model that we can all work on together, and that accurately indicates both what we have and what we need for collective economic and ecologic health. The kind of thinking I'm referring to is well-known in certain circles as permaculture (urban, small-scale, broadacre) and Keyline design.
The Kentucky county I live in, indeed the very farm I live on is a prime location for the illustration and hopefully-eventually the demonstration of the revolutionary practices needed to permanently alleviate many problems at once. Ballard County, Kentucky is situated neatly at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. The topography is primarily gently rolling plains with low unpronounced ridges and shallow creeks. It offers an interesting case-study in keyline architecture because of the undramatic undulation of these farms, fields and creeks. The river bottom land is also full of Ecotourism attractors comprised of large protected wildlife and waterfowl management areas. There exist also several examples of the ill effects of industrial farming practices and uninformed civil engineering. The Clanton-Humphrey watershed system is where we will be doing most of our research work. See Mississippi River Watershed Conservation Programs
We (all of us) must begin to see ourselves as stewards (not masters) of our environment. It's great that the farms around here can produce massive amounts of genetically modified commodity corn, beans and wheat to bolster the profits of grain speculators, agrochemical companies and absentee land owners for the short term, but what about the rest of us and future generations?
Natural capital is real wealth that manifests itself in biodiversity, sustainability, economic justice, public health, aesthetic beauty and in many other wonderful ways, especially if we intentionally build toward developing it locally. We are seeing more movement toward and interest in local food and food security than ever before. The need for "jobs" appears to be a focal point for politicians and profiteers, but a way to pay for all the real work that needs to be done simply does not exist - yet. Much of the vital work will have to be done voluntarily.
Hi. This section is to show ya'll some favorites of mine. I don't know if you care or not, but here they are. I hope you care, at least a little: