Fib Watch

Exposing lies and half-truths for the benefit of all.
All fibs have been uttered by at least one government employee.
All facts are just that.

Fib: Wetlands provide flood protection because they act like sponges to absorb floodwaters. Agricultural drainage eliminates this benefit and further aggravates the problem by quickly adding excess runoff to the flood.

Fact: If a wetland is a sponge, a drained wetland is a dry sponge. Most agricultural drainage systems remove water at a relatively slow rate. Floods occur when heavy rains or rapid snowmelt provides more water than the landscape can absorb or contain. A drained swamp can absorb and contain more potential flood water than a wet one and is therefore the better flood control tool.

The only time the "wetland as flood protection" fib has any validity is when discussing the actual filling of a wetland with soil. This is rarely done by farmers or other rural denizens. It is commonly done to develop the urban environment.

Fib: Minnesota River silt problems started when farmers first broke the soil and began allowing it to erode off the fields.

Fact: Enormous quantities of soil have flowed into and out of the Minnesota River for the entire 10,000 years it has existed. River Warren saw to that. Farming has done almost nothing to change this. When tributary streams have to fall 200 feet in less than 20 miles, they carry tons of stream bank with them. This is where the silt comes from, not the farmers fields.

Fib: Experts are carefully examining the Minnesota River to determine what the problems are and how to fix them.

Fact: Bureaucrats have designed specific measurement and analysis projects that will support existing conclusions, while disregarding facts that don't wholly support their conclusions, such as thousands of miles of erodable bluffs.