LETTER:Biologist responds

Biologist responds

In Pat Neal’s July 21 commentary, is he trying to be funny or serious?

A “new owner of the Hoh River appeared” and it was “a biologist.”

How could a biologist own a river?

I’m a retired biologist and I’ve worked with many others across the Olympic Peninsula and none of us have ever owned a river.

Suggesting large rocks used for bank protection were equivalent to those found naturally in our rivers and the assertion that biologists, “determined rocks in the river were bad for fish” was laughable.

I chuckled at the ridiculous statement, “biologists somehow theorized that building engineered log jams to protect the road would somehow restore the dwindling runs of salmon and steelhead in the Hoh River.”

The project functioned exactly as planned and protected the highway.

Nobody predicted the work would restore runs of fish.

The uninformed notion it was a failed attempt to change the course of the river is not accurate.

That was never a stated goal or intention.

How could I be so sure?

I was the state biologist who issued the required permit for the project.

Mr. Neal says, “Hoh River log jams are deadly.”

Lots of people drown unrelated to log jams.

Rocks contribute greatly to river fatalities.

Using Pat’s logic, putting rocks in rivers and having water in them endangers human lives.

This all makes me conclude that he’s a funny kind of guy that you just can’t take too seriously.

Tim Rymer

Port Angeles

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