Living on the wildlife and timber refuge makes a person very aware of the contrast in land management policies when off the preserve. However, some of the bordering land owners exploits can still affect the Meadowcreek area due to our downstream position. Many of the surrounding mountain tops bordering the Meadowcreek preserve are clear cut for cow pasture and to give business to the timber industries constant demand.
Another dramatic change to the steep cliff sides and creeks is the taking of rock for the hugely unregulated rock industry. Much of this rock is actually stolen by small groups and even families of laborers who think that if they don’t get caught they have an unlimited source of quick cash. Other rock is harvested with the property owners approval, but many owners live off site and the rocking can easily go over the stated boarders of the surveyed land. In some cases, the rock haulers bring in bulldozers and dig deep scars in the steep hills or completely remove portions of the cliffs. The management of this phenomenon is left up to only two inspectors for the entire state. This makes legal standards such as reclamation and proper washout prevention measures unpracticed .
Encircling the border of the conservation area, there is a wall of bluffs – steep and rugged. Many of these hollers or drainage’s are being destroyed by more logging and rock hauling, making the loss of the trees and rocks as well as other plant life a direct cause of high flooding on the creeks. The mountains are wearing away at a much faster pace that evolution intended.
Soil erosion is also caused by unplanned 4-wheeler trails that pop up overnight and widen before measures can be taken. One swimming area in particular – called the Rock Hole – is a victim of this problem. The beach has lost so much from up stream erosion and high floods and the added 4-wheeler invasions that the refuse people inevitably leave, such as baby diapers, roll right into the water. Meadowcreek invites people to use the area, but has no way to make people clean up after themselves or respect the land and the water and wildlife. There are a few volunteers who have tried their best to barricade the access for the illegal trail and signs posted in hopes of clarifying the management’s positions. Generally the signs last for about a week and then are taken down and the barricade are breached causing the whole cycle to start again. Still, most visitors to the swimming area are conscious of the situation and wish those few bad apples would stop the blatant disrespect in order to make it nicer for everyone.