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March 3, 2006

This evening, I saw a small animal in the middle of La Jolla. It was a baby Bobcat!!! When the Bobcat saw the car it scampered into the woods to safety. Soon those woods will be converted to houses and the poor Bobcats will have to move onto our Preserves and Sanctuaries in order to survive the onslaught of "civilization".

George H. Russell

TRUCE

May 10, 2005

I hope issues can be resolved because I really don't like to see the toilet, etc. on Waterwood Parkway either. However the most important thing is to preserve native vegetation that is present on each Waterwood lot, so whatever it takes.....

People in Waterwood don't "get it" that preserving as many trees as possible (especially big ones) adds to the value of new homes and everyone's home. In the area where our daughter lives in Dallas, small homes on big lots are being torn down because the lots have beautiful old trees that enlightened people appreciate because they know that those trees can never be replaced. People in Dallas who buy "tear down" homes want to build new, million-dollar-plus homes on the same lot because they love those large old wonderful trees on it. When we will learn at Waterwood?

Sue Russell

TRUCE

May 10, 2005

I visited with Mike Burney this morning as well as Joe Moore and Kevin Cook about my desire to solve the problem of the wholesale destruction of native vegetation in violation of Waterwood's Protective Covenants this morning and how I very much wanted to remove the ugly junk because I found it offensive but necessary to graphically illustrate my contention that temporary ugliness can be repaired in a matter of minutes but that the wholesale destruction of God's beautiful Creation causes irreparable harm. "All the King's horses and all the King's men can never put a clearcut native ecosystem together again."

Mike suggested that if I removed the ugly junk from the Parkway, that he would suggest that a new dialogue be opened to work out a solution to the problem.

I said that I would need a firm commitment that something positive would actually happen after my seven years of dialogue and even the new addition to the original protective covenants had produced nothing but even more egregious violations to include the "insult to injury" virtual clearcutting of the Hanson lot.

I then visited with Joe Moore suggesting a truce, but he said that until Col. Z was finished with his case load, he doubted anything would be done to give me assurance that the problem might finally be solved.

I told him that if I removed the offending items from the Parkway, I would want to make sure that the ACB would not grant any more wholesale licenses to destroy the beauty of Waterwood. He said that he couldn't promise but that he would try to encourage that the covenants be followed. There are several lots due for development at this time and they MUST be developed correctly according to the protective covenants.

My gut reaction was to escalate the "battle" since I couldn't get either a verbal or written firm promise from either the acting President of WIA or the Executive Director.

My personal concern for my friends, Kevin Cook and Phil Palmer, led me to visit with Kevin so that I could express my concern for him, his family and his business. Because of my desire that my "battle" with WIA not create any collateral damage to innocent parties, I told Kevin that I would remove the white truck this morning, and the tractor, as well as the used clothing and the used toilet if he would dump the old boards from the Lehtonen fence in the burn pile when his wife brought him their truck.

I am hopeful that my pro-active display of good faith will actually translate into a change in direction for both WIA and the ACB and that we will for once see a genuine commitment to preserve and protect the natural beauty of Waterwood.

If my good faith efforts at a truce only result in more destruction at the direction of the ACB then I solicit ideas about how to convince theWIA Board Members responsible to repent, reform, or resign.

ghr

UGLY PARKWAY

May 9, 2005

I hope that you are as disgusted with the "white trash" appearance of the Parkway as am I.

For seven years now, I have literally begged WIA to at least make some pro-active attempt to help us preserve those natural values that makes Waterwood a beautiful place to live.

WIA has literally thumbed its nose at our "Protective Covenants" by its actions and by its appointment of certain uncaring and unconcerned people to the ACB.

The bulldozing of hundreds of 100-200 year old trees and native shrubs cannot be repaired overnight, and such "illegal" loss to our community is permanent and the harm is irreparable.

Removing an ugly used toilet, some used shirts, an ugly while truck and some rotten boards can be accomplished in an hour or two.

It gave me no pleasure to have to resort to graphically illustrating what kind of community we will end up with if the ACB continues to allow uncaring property owners to virtually clearcut their lots and destroy the beautiful flowering Hawthorns, Hollies, Fringe Trees, Cherries, Dogwoods, and other beautiful parts of our natural heritage.

If you wish to see the ugly junk removed from the Parkway please call WIA and express to them the importance of appointing "concerned citizens" to the ACB who are willing to work with property owners in a positive fashion to insure the permanent protection of the beauties and property values in our community.

The minute that the offending ACB members have been removed and been replaced by me and one other concerned, educated, and concerned citizen, the offending junk will be removed from our beautiful Parkway.

Thanks for your help and concern.

George H. Russell
WWW.WHITETRASHVALUES.ORG

P.S. Please call your friends and neighbors and ask them to join us in our battle to preserve and protect the natural beauty of Waterwood as required by the Protective Covenants.

July 30, 2004

INTERESTING WEEK OF ANIMAL AND BIRD WATCHING

Notes from Waterwood. 07-30-04

This has been an interesting week with our little animal and bird friends..

On Monday mamma raccoon and her four babies came up on the porch at about five in the afternoon. It is very unusual to see them in the day time. They seemed to just be having fun. In fact so much fun they knocked the bird feeder off of the tree. I now have it hanging from a wire where it is causing a psychological problem for the animals since they cannot reach it.

On Tuesday the mamma woods rat and one baby had fun with the Cardinal that frequents our porch. With the bird feeder lost on the ground under the bushes I spread the seeds on the banister. The rat would run out and get a seed and run back thus scaring the red bird away. They played this game of tag for about 30 minutes.

Each evening we have been sitting in the swing in front of the house waiting for the raccoons. On Wednesday the mamma raccoon came by herself and ate her fill of dog and cat food. Then she went around the house and told her four babies that dinner was ready and they followed her up for the crumbs.

A little later something dark came up the walk from the bridge. It is the first time we have seen the otter this far from the water. This is only the third time we have seen this interesting little animal in our area. The first time I saw him/her it was when I was sitting at the boat house on the point.

Thursday night we went to the buffet and brought the table scraps back for our zoo friend’s dinner. Within a few minutes our little animals were busily feasting on the leftovers.

The raccoons are like my daughter Mary Lee who didn’t like green beans. One night I watched the possum gobble up the lettuce and green beans that the raccoons had left. It was interesting to watch him lick the bowl as clean as if it had come out of the dishwasher.

Tonight, Friday, we were sipping a little red wine on the porch and the mamma and her four babies came up very close to us begging for their dinner. Since we don’t feed them on the porch anymore because they opened the screen doors we now feed them at the front of the house where we have a swing.

We moved to the swing and put a mixture of dog and cat food on the pavement about six feet from us. This time the mamma could not eat by herself because they all came on the run around the house for their evening meal.

In about 15 minutes we could see another family crossing the bridge over the inlet. Soon we had nine busily eating and uttering some strange noises we had never heard before. One was a high pitch conversation between two and another a low pitch sound hard to describe but not the usual snarls that we usually hear as they sometime get in one another’s way as they eat.

Kenneth & Marjorie Russell
Waterwood, Texas

April 17, 2004

RED OAK APPRAISED AT $13,500.00

Using a formulae formally recognized by the IRS to determine casualty loss values of trees and for appraisals for the assessment of damages, the Red Oak tree that was finally pushed over after great effort by heavy equipment on Salishan Street today has been appraised at $13,546.50.

The loss of this tree not only means a loss in property value for the lot owner but will result in much higher utility bills as well. Over a period of years the tree's worth toward energy savings would be in the thousands of dollars in addition to its aesthetic and ornamental value.

The contractor hired to destroy the tree did not want to kill such a magnificent specimen and delayed limbing it in hopes that WIA and the ACB would call for it to be saved. He further said that the lot owners valued the tree and did not want to destroy it. He was told by the building
contractor that because the tree would be "in the middle of the house" there was no choice but to cut it down. This is in contradiction to the stakes
laying out the footprint of the house which indicated that the tree would not be "in the middle of the house".

A large, healthy Water Oak in the 20' driveway easement to the house was also unnecessarily destroyed. Even if the tree would have been in the paved area of the driveway which it did not appear to be, the adjacent home owner stated that he would have granted an easement over his driveway to allow for the protection of the tree. No precise measurements were taken on the Water Oak but it is estimated that its value was several thousand dollars.

It appears from reports by both the logging contractor and the adjacent homeowner, that the decision to kill the trees was personally made by ACB member Mike Burney who visited the site while the logger was holding up work in order to allow time for a decision to be made which would save the tree. Waterwood's resident pro-bono tree expert and architectural expert was not contacted although he lives only a couple of hundred yards from Salishan and had been promised by WIA Executive Director, Joe Moore that he would be called upon to express his expert opinion on matters concerning native vegetation on lots undergoing development.

One Waterwood resident said that she hopes that the lot owner will sue WIA for the value of the tree that was destroyed at the direction of the ACB. "Perhaps if WIA has to write a check to the lot owner for $13,500.00 they will not be so insensitive and flippant in their disregard for both the protective covenants and the beauty of Waterwood and its aesthetic and economic values", she said. "If WIA assessments have to be raised due to the ACB's lack of fiduciary responsibility to its members then perhaps the residents will demand that any monies recovered by the lot owner, come out of the personal pockets of the ACB member or members responsible, or out of the rather large salary paid to the Executive Director", she continued.

During much of today, another lot owner was busily killing protected native plants on a lot adjacent to his house on La Jolla, which is within only a
few hundred feet of ACB member Mike Burney's house. Although Burney was observed working in his "out of compliance" yard where he would have heard the lot owner's tractor working, it appears that no effort was made to insure that the person doing the clearing work was in compliance with Waterwood Protective Covenants.

Numerous native species were observed being taken to the dump including large Yaupon Hollies, Hawthorns, flowering Cross Vines, Yellow Jasemine, Rattan Vine, and other "protected species". The lot owner when questioned said that he believed that he was only killing Poison Oak.

April 11, 2004

WATERWOOD ACB ALLOWS WHOLESALE DESTRUCTION OF TREES

The sound of chainsaws and crashing trees concerned Waterwood resident Marjorie Russell on Saturday, April 10, 2004. She and her husband, Kenneth Russell took their golf cart on an investigative journey but could not find the site of the sawing.

The Russell’s alerted Waterwood Security Officer, Baldomar Garcia, who was also unable to discover the source of the tree felling. George Russell, Waterwood’s resident forest ecologist was told about the incident on Easter morning and found the lot on which the tree felling had taken place.

A lot off of Salishan was in the process of being cleared, apparently for new home construction in violation of the just released “Waterwood Policies For Residential Lots” document of March 15, 2004. No “permit to build” had been posted as required before any “logging” can take place.

Russell was shocked when he discovered that one of the largest and healthiest old-growth Red Oaks in Waterwood, had been butchered of its limbs as the first step in felling it. Numerous other trees were marked to be killed including a mature Water Oak that had already been butchered as well.

Joe Moore could not be located by Russell, so he called ACB member Mike Burney, who only the day before, had been extremely obsessive about the small signs that Russell had unobtrusively placed on some of his lots to indicate examples of proper lot maintenance with respect to the environmental and aesthetic protection and preservation of Waterwood and its wildlife communities.

Burney stated that the house was to be built right where the huge oak’s trunk is still standing and that there was no way to save the tree. When Russell told Burney that the stakes on the ground indicate that the tree is not in the “footprint of the house”, Burney then crawfished and said that the stakes were in the wrong place. Whatever argument Russell made for attempting to get a straight answer that would prove to Russell that it would have been impossible to save the trees, Burney would morph or spin into a new rationale for killing the trees, although he could not back up any of his claims with any genuine evidence. Russell said that he thought he must be interviewing a cousin of Condoleesa Rice.

For nearly six years, Russell’s repeated offer to give expert advice on native forest ecosystems and building in harmony with nature as is required by Waterwood’s Protective Covenants, has been rebuffed, oftentimes rudely and arrogantly by the ACB which continues to allow lot owners to violate the letter and spirit of Waterwood’s policies.

The Russell’s have invested nearly $10,000,000 in the protection of Waterwood, which has resulted in strong increases in property values for the residents. The ACB is continuing their unjustified and outrageous disregard for both the Russell’s substantial investments and ultimately the quality of life and investment values of all property owners.

Russell told Burney that he is the best ally that WIA and the ACB could hope to have but if they continued to obsess about insignificant items such as the color of a wood pile tarp or whether a small sign was on a stick instead of a tree, and then appear to aid and abet the continuance of irreparable harm to Waterwood’s natural beauty, then he would be forced to take decisive action to attempt to halt their arrogant defiance of their fiduciary duties.

January 2, 2004

Ethician Family Cemetery

We had our first burial today in The Ethician Family Cemetery. Two college boys dug the grave by hand yesterday. They raked the leaf litter into a pile so that it could be placed back on the grave when it was filled in. They were very careful to not damage even a blade of grass and we only encountered a few tiny roots.

The grave was seven feet long, 30 inches wide and four feet deep. The casket was made from a cardboard box strenghtened with pine boards. Of course the man was not embalmed, so both he and his carket are completely biodegradable. Although no family or friends attended the service, the funeral director said that his friends will come up at a later date and place either a natural stone at the head of the grave or will make a marker out of sackcrete.

He is buried at the edge of the cemetery on land that SHECO says they want to construct the 138kv power line. If SHECO does prevail and is able to condemn part of our cemetery, they would be forced to move the body which would be a very messy procedure that would probably make their illegal desecration of a cemetery cause them great public ridicule.

The person in Houston who is responsible for burying homeless veterans is interested in the lot that I have offered for free burials. I am hopeful that we will have several dead veterans in the way of SHECO's nefarious plans in the near future.

Just after the simple service, an eagle flew overhead, which has always been a good omen.

HERE IS THE SERVICE:

The station wagon carrying the body stopped in front of the CHAPEL OF THE NATIVITY and the departed was anointed posthumously as an ETHICIAN so that he would be eligible to be buried in our Church Cemetery. Then we drove to the cemetery and four of us carried the casket to the gravesite. After we lowered him into the grave that was dug so that he faced the sunset, I said the following:

"May his soul dwell with God, may his spirit remain as one with the eternal life forces of the Universe, and may his body nurture the Earth."

The grave diggers then replaced the soil and spread the leaf litter on top of the mound. I suspect that within thirty days or so, it will be next to impossible to find the grave unless it is marked or one knows its exact location. For the record, I will determine its coordinates with a GPS
device.

George

December 11, 2003

Eagle Sanctuary

8:30 AM



I was on the telephone talking to my mother while looking out toward the Eagle Sanctuary. An Eagle flew past my window, past the American flag in our yard and on to one of his favorite trees on the shore of the sanctuary. I dropped the phone, put on my clothes, ran downstairs and out to the car, grabbed my camera, and ran back upstairs just in time to get a couple of pretty poor, backlit photos with the Eagle posed on his tree with the American flag in the foreground. Later he flew back past the flag and along the shore, heading toward Pelican Point.

December 9, 2003

Pelican Point

1 PM



Our “Green Cemetery” which also serves as a bird sanctuary has been getting some good press lately. An Associated Press reporter and photographer had come to visit the cemetery. We were in the parking lot by the flag pole at Pelican Point, about to leave when an Eagle swooped toward us, coming within 30 feet of so at very low altitude. Behind him was one our mean-spirited Crows. The Eagle continued to swoop and swirl in circles just above and in front of us attempting to out maneuver the Crow. Failing that, he escaped by flying at high speed to the opposite shore. The photographer, even though he had his camera in his hand, was so dumbfounded by the amazing spectacle that he remained frozen in awe, thus missing a great photo op.



The day was dreary with frequent showers. When we returned to the parking lot after visiting the cemetery and some of our bird sanctuaries, the clouds suddenly disappeared. The sun shown with great, but cold intensity, directly down the long drive. Suddenly a strong gale, seeming to come directly from the sun blew toward us, enveloping us in a swirl of hundreds of thousands of autumn leaves. The blast lasted no more than 15 seconds and then calm prevailed. 

November 3, 2003

4:30 PM

The lake was alive with Terns and Gulls. As I was leaving by boat to work on the Cathedral grounds to prepare for the arrival of a State Archaeologist,  I noticed an Eagle chasing the Terns and Gulls in either a playful gesture or an effort to secure a meal. After a few minutes the Eagle, having no success in catching either a Tern or a Gull gave up. The Eagle then flew directly to the Eagle Sanctuary to perch in a tree by the shores of the lake.  It always makes me happy when the Eagle(s) make use of the Sanctuary that Sue and I dedicated to their use and benefit last year. It makes me nervous too when the Eagle(s) choose to hang-out on shore-line properties scheduled for development. At some point only the Sanctuary will be left and they will have no choice but to stay there or perish.

November 3, 2003

The new Ethician “Wilderness”  Family Cemetery at Waterwood was the subject of a 20 minute radio interview with George Russell today on KFQD radio in Anchorage, Alaska.

Russell invited Alaskans to come on down to Waterwood and visit the cemetery in order to learn more about “green burials.” It was sort of ironic that the interview took place on Halloween evening.

November 2, 2003

4:30 PM

The Huntsville Unitarians decided to attend special services at The Holy Trinity Wilderness Cathedral, Sunday evening. I decided to go to the Cathedral by boat from Pelican Point. Just opposite the Point two adult Eagles were cavorting over the water of the lake and then chasing one another around. When they tired of having fun and showing off their aerial skills, they flew to the bluff we call High Point or Indian Ridge and perched in an old pine adjacent to a lot we recently purchased in our efforts to protect the shoreline from development. Upon arrival at the pier a third Eagle, this time a juvenile, flew overhead toward the Cathedral Prairies and Catahoula Barrens.

October 31, 2003

AMERICA'S FIRST 'GREEN' FAMILY CEMETERY ESTABLISHED

An 81 acre wilderness of ancient oaks, hickories, and pines has been donated to The Universal Ethician Church to serve as a traditional family burial ground, where earthly remains are naturally returned to nurture the earth.

Although the Ethician Family Cemetery is the third natural burial park in the United States, it is the first that has been divided into family plots of up to 1/3 acre each. It is also the largest natural burial ground in the United States.

Modern urban cemeteries may have as many as 3,000 graves per acre in sterile, toxic environments where embalmed bodies are sequestered in bronze, steel, or copper caskets or concrete vaults where they are kept from returning to the earth as God and nature intended.

Modern American families spend many thousands of dollars for elaborate burials, wasting money that could have been used to send grandchildren to college, pay for health care for elderly family members, or for charitable causes.

The spiritual philosophy of the Ethician Church is to follow the Biblical concept of “dust to dust” which demands natural burial in God’s wilderness, and thus protects, preserves and enriches a part of Creation. A pickled body encased in steel, bronze, copper and concrete is not in accordance with Biblical and Ethician principles.

“And the Lord God formed mankind of the dust of the ground, and breathed into their nostrils the breath of life, and they became living beings.”

(Genesis 2:7)

“Till you return to the ground,
For out of it you were taken;
For dust you are,
And to dust you shall return.”

(Genesis 3:19)

Ethician Bishop and Prelate, George H. Russell had waited 35 years for his dream of creating a wilderness cemetery in America. In 1968, he and his wife Sue, were conducting field research in cultural ecology and linguistics in Toledo District, British Honduras (now Belize). As they had one of the few vehicles in that remote part of the world they were called upon to transport bodies into the lush rainforests for burial.

“I could feel the spiritual essence of the magnificent forest as created by God, welcome the mortal remains which would feed the forest, bringing forth orchids and other tropical flowers as well as fruits to feed God’s creatures both great and small,” expounded Russell. “I knew then that this time honored and ancient method of natural burial is what God intended. The American “death industry” consumes both money and the earth’s resources. Natural burials cost little and enrich the earth”

Embalming is not allowed as the chemicals are toxic to the environment, thus burial must take place within 24 hours of death or the bodies must be properly refrigerated in accordance with statute. Although simple pine coffins may be utilized, shrouds are preferred, which may be as simple as a favorite bio-degradable blanket or quilt. Cremated remains may be sprinkled or buried although the process of cremation wastes energy and creates air pollution and thus is discouraged. Graveside services may be conducted by family and friends or by a pastor, rabbi, imam, priest or other spiritual leader.

Each family that acquires a plot will be encouraged to erect a historical marker outlining a brief history of the family along the forest pathways leading to the various plots. Individual graves may be marked with simple monuments and families are encouraged to use their plots for the burial of family pets as well. A bench may be placed on each plot to serve as a place for spiritual enlightenment, meditation or prayer.

Large pets such as horses, tigers or elephants must undergo a “sky burial” cleansing process at the vulture sanctuary on the grounds of the nearby Holy Trinity Wilderness Cathedral before their bones may be buried.

Memorial services may be conducted at the adjacent Chapel of the Nativity, or at the gravesite. Graves must be dug with hand tools and must be a minimum of 24” deep to comply with Texas State Law. It is recommended that family members and friends perform the task of digging the grave and covering the bodies as part of the ritual.

As the Universal Ethician Church is open to all faiths, it is possible to be consecrated as an Ethician, even after death, upon testimony by one or two witnesses that the deceased lived by the “golden rule”, loved and cared for Creation, and had a profound spiritual persona.

Family burial plots may be assigned upon application based upon factors such as formal membership in the Ethician Church, life works to protect and preserve God’s Creation, or other factors. Although there is no charge for the assignment of a family cemetery plot, a donation to the Church, based upon ability to pay and the anticipated savings of avoiding the tremendous costs of modern funerals, is expected.

Donations above the actual appraised value of the plot are tax-deductible. 100% of the proceeds will be utilized to protect and preserve God’s Creation as the Church has no paid clergy or staff.


The wilderness burial park was donated through the generosity of Methodist Ethicians, Kenneth L. and Marjorie H. Russell. Dr. and Mrs. Russell have in addition donated several conservation easements to Natural Area Preservation Association, a Texas Land Trust, protecting over 500 acres along the shores of Lake Livingston in San Jacinto County.

For information on how to be assigned a natural burial plot for your family send an e-mail to ghr@cyberclone.net.

October 27, 2003

CHAPEL OF THE NATIVITY


The Chapel of the Nativity was constructed to provide Waterwood residents of all denominations with a sanctuary available for individual or group prayer and/or meditation at any time of the day or night. The Chapel is also available for weddings, baptisms, funerals or other religious events without charge, although a donation to help with the maintenance and upkeep is always appreciated. Please call George Russell at 891-5245 to reserve the Chapel for special events.

The Chapel itself was reconstructed from a 19th Century pioneer log house from Moscow, Texas, which was donated by Stuart Cox of Huntsville. It is neither heated nor cooled except by nature as was the stable in Bethlehem. The Nativity Scene consists of hand-painted figures brought to Texas from Italy over a period of nearly ten years. The figures were produced by the same firm that produced the larger figures used in the movie, “Home Alone.”

Three antique bells grace the area in front of the Chapel. The largest bell was purchased by the First Baptist Church in Huntsville in 1891, for their then new Sanctuary. In 1954, a later building burned and the bell was sold to a small African American congregation. The bell was never erected or used and over a period of nearly 50 years became half buried in the lawn in front of the Church. Stuart Cox of Huntsville purchased the bell and donated it to the Chapel of the Nativity. Feel free to ring the bell by carefully pushing the clapper. The tone is especially beautiful as the bell is composed of a special alloy.

Behind the Chapel is an easy trail marked with red plastic tape that leads to one of the most beautiful areas in East Texas. Ancient trees, Catahoula rocky outcrops, and a rock waterfall greets the visitor. The trail has been traversed by Waterwood's oldest resident who is 92 years old. Please be careful though, even if you are only 22!!! The walk is circular and takes less than 10 minutes.


HOLY TRINITY WILDERNESS CATHEDRAL


Simple services are held for people of all denominations and all faiths on a small peninsula that juts into Lake Livingston on the 700 acre Holy Trinity Wilderness Cathedral. Services have been attended by Baptists, Methodists, Catholics, Jews, Hindus, Muslims and people of other religious affiliations. SUNSET SERVICES are held one hour before sunset each Sabbath (Saturday) evening, rain or shine. To reach the Cathedral, turn down FM 980 toward Riverside for about a mile and then turn right down FM 135 (Cathedral Drive). When the pavement ends, continue through the gate and down the gravel road about a half mile by keeping to the right. On your left you will see the Russell Pyramid in the Russell Family Cemetery. On your right you will see several chairs in the open air where services are held. Visit www.sunsetservices.org for a look at the liturgy. A map is located at www.eastersunrise.org.


DUST TO DUST CEMETERY


For those residents who wish be a part of our community in perpetuity, a 70 acre Wilderness Cemetery is available. Grave sites are around 1/3 acre in size and are graced by ancient oaks and pines. Plots are available as Family Green Burial grounds. For further information, call George Russell at 891-5245 or e-mail ghr@cyberclone.net. Phase 1 consists of only 12 lots, but ultimately over 250 will be available as needed.

WILDLIFE SANCTUARIES


The Russell family has dedicated several preserves and wildlife sanctuaries for the benefit of present and future generations. To date, six sanctuaries have been permanently dedicated and permanent conservation easements donated to Natural Area Preservation Association, a Texas Land Trust:

Kenneth and Marjorie Russell Alligator Preserve 111 acres

Kenneth and Marjorie Russell Research Natural Forest 200 acres

Russell-Fritz Westernmost Longleaf Pine Preserve 131 acres

George H. and Suzanne B. Russell Eagle Sanctuary 56 acres

Kenneth and Marjorie Russell Perpetual Forest 81 acres

Kenneth and Marjorie Russell Zwickey Creek Sanctuary 69 acres

These Sanctuaries provide not only a permanent home for beautiful trees, wildflowers, birds, and other species, but also protect Waterwood’s property values as well, by providing a buffer between Waterwood and ongoing fragmentation, clear-cuts, hog farms, trailer parks or other developments that would have a negative impact on the quality of life of Waterwood’s residents and their investments in their homes.

Many miles of trails are being developed, several of which will be made available to Waterwood residents who wish to explore and admire the beauties of nature. For further information, call Terry at 891-5081. Terry also sponsors horse riding events in the area.



WATERWOOD NEWS


Waterwood News is available at www.waterwoodnews.com. Residents wishing to post newsworthy items should send them via e-mail to ghr@cyberclone.net.

BIRD WATCHING


Eagles, Pelicans, Herons, Egrets and many other bird species abound. Notices of bird sightings may be found at www.birdnotes.org. Residents may submit their observations to ghr@cyberclone.net.

PHOTOS


To view photos of many of the natural beauties of the area, visit www.freephotogallery.org


August 19, 2003

Animal Tales

I have failed to report many of the bird and animal sightings at Waterwood and The Holy Trinity Wilderness Cathedral over the past few days and weeks since our return from Italy.

RIVER OTTERS

The day after we returned from Italy in July I watched the river otters cavort at the inlet by my parent’s house. These appeared to be the same otters that had convinced me to purchase the property the year before.

MISSISSIPPI KITES

A pair of Mississippi Kites took up residence at the junction of Waterwood Parkway and FM 980. They had one surviving offspring that joined them in their circling and calling to one another.

THE FOUR SPECIES LINE-UP

I was traveling to an Indian ceremonial site on the Cathedral grounds by boat. To my left, in perfect alignment, was a Great Egret, Little Blue Heron, Snowy Egret, and Great Blue Heron. Had I had my camera, I could have captured all four in a single frame. When I returned to the house at dusk, a Black Crowned Night Heron greeted me.

THE ANOLE AND HUMMINGBIRD

A huge Anole lizard was slurping from one of our hummingbird feeders. Soon he was joined by a Hummingbird. I had never before seen these two species enjoying themselves together.

THE BARRED OWL AND THE “GOLDEN SHOWER”

Mars and the full moon were outside my window at midnight. Nature called and I walked out on the balcony to “water” the azalea bush below me. As soon as the first stream hit the bush our resident Barred Owl, thinking she heard a rodent rustling in the leaves flew beneath the “waterfall”. I expected her to immediately fly away in disgust. Instead she seemed happy to have a rather strange “bath” during a period of drought.

After I had finished relieving myself the owl flew off only to return to a branch on the elm just outside my window where she lit and stared at me for at least a minute.

THE GOLDEN EAGLE

This evening, son Andrew and I were traveling by boat past a favorite perching place of Bald Eagles. We startled the first Eagle of the season but instead of having a white head and white tail, the entire bird was very dark. I watched him fly at least a mile across the lake to the other shore. He was definitely like no adult or juvenile Bald Eagle I have ever watched. As I have not seen a Golden Eagle, I can only speculate that since this bird fit the classic description, it must have been one.

HORNEY AND FRIENDS

Last year a young buck concluded that my mother’s yard was his domain and would even stand in front of the door, blocking it, as he watched over his harem of one doe.

My mother named him “Horney” because of his pretty rack of horns. This year he has been joined by several other bucks in the neighborhood and the other afternoon he and three of his buddies stood dead center in the road.

I had to stop the car and allow them to slowly ramble to the side of the road where they stood watching me. It has been reported that as many as four of “Horny’s” friends have joined him for a little “male bonding” before reverting to confirmed heterosexuality.

CASPIAN TERN?

Yesterday, as I was leaving the boathouse, a huge gull-sized tern flew past. His bill was a bright red-orange and he had a black forehead. I immediately thought, “wow, Caspian Tern!!!” (Could it have possibly been a Royal Tern?)

ONE-EYED GATOR

Day before yesterday I saw a huge dead fish floating on the water. The dead fish began to move. I raised my binoculars to get a better look and then I could see that a small one-eyed alligator had a part of the dead fish in his mouth and was swimming proudly along with it. The poor gator lives just across from Emerald Point where it has been reported to me that alligator killers live. One of them must have shot the creature in the eye, thus blinding him on one side. The gator had to keep turning in the water so that he could follow my movements with his one good eye.

POTPOURI OR MELANGE OF SPECIES

The above represents only a small part of the daily encounters and visitations by species both great and small.

May 28, 2003

Nero Fiddles While Rome Burns: The Sequel

Like the Emperor Nero fiddling while Rome was burning, WIA and the ACB seem to take delight in watching the incremental destruction of the natural beauty Waterwood. With each falling ancient oak or pine they grow more and more complacent and supportive of the killing of the ecosystems that they are tasked to protect by enforcing Waterwood’s very explicit deed restrictions.

They show neither alarm nor concern as lot after lot is denuded of Dogwoods, American Hollies, Yaupon Hollies, Cherries, Hawthorns, Fringe Trees and other rare and valuable species.

On the other hand WIA and the ACB throw childish fits if a tarp covering a woodpile is not of a color to their liking or a $100,000 motor home is temporarily parked beside a $650,000 home. They go into apoplexy if a beautiful speed boat is parked in a driveway or if a contractor who is working on a bulkhead needs to leave a stack of lumber in a yard during inclement weather.

Destroying 100 year-old pines and 200 year-old oaks is fine and dandy with the “good ole boys”, but pity the poor person who happens to be building a beautiful rock garden and one of the rocks does not suit the eagle eye of an ACB member.

May 28, 2003

WIA and ACB Aiding Violation of Protective Covenants

The Waterwood Improvement Association in league with the Architectural Control Board appear to be aiding and abetting the destruction of protected native vegetation throughout Waterwood. Even virtual clear-cutting has been allowed, turning parts of Waterwood into the kind of areas found in sub-standard unrestricted developments that become “instant slums”. (www.whitetrashvalues.org)

For five years, George Russell has offered his expertise in the field of forest ecology to WIA and the ACB in order to assist them in advising lot owners about the aesthetic, ecological, and financial benefits of preserving rare and valuable native species on their lots.

For five years, WIA and the ACB have either ignored Russell’s advice or acted in a rude or hateful way toward him and native biodiversity as well.

At the May 19, 2003, WIA Board Meeting Russell pleaded with the Board to begin to at least pay attention to Waterwood’s Protective Covenants that are very specific about the protection of trees and other native vegetation.

The next day, a lot owner destroyed every ancient pine tree on his lot in direct defiance and in direct violation of the Protective Covenants. He had already destroyed all of the American Hollies, Dogwoods, Yaupon Hollies, Hawthorns and other beautiful flowering trees and shrubs, all of which are supposed to be protected by WIA and the ACB.

Several conflicting stories have emerged from this desecration and no one on either Board is willing to either take responsibility or do anything to protect the declining aesthetic values of Waterwood that will eventually translate into declining property values.

Russell has made five attempts to alert the citizens or Waterwood about the disgraceful actions and inactions of WIA and the ACB by placing posters at the front of his Parkway property that intersects with FM 980. Each time, trespassers and vandals have stolen his signs including a NO TRESPASSING sign.

On Sunday, May 25th and on the following Memorial Day, the beautiful native vegetation on two lots on Bay Hill was destroyed. The contractor said that he did not have a permit, nor did he believe that the lot owners had permits.

On his way to Church at The Holy Trinity Wilderness Cathedral, Russell paused in front of the home of some neighbors who were standing in their front yard to invite them to Church services. They began to scream and yell and threaten him by saying that their taxes have gone up because the Russell family pays no taxes in San Jacinto County, which is totally untrue. They told him to get off of the street in front of their house, screamed that he had not cut down his rare wildflowers, and one of the people at that point shoved a box of poison to within an inch of Russell’s face and then began to spread the poison on his yard to that it would wash down toward the Russell nature preserve. It was noted that these people had trespassed onto the nature preserve, destroying the protected native vegetation and replacing it with St. Augustine grass. The next day Russell placed a string and tape along the property boundary to alert the trespassers and enviro-vandals as to where their property stopped. It was observed that they had even placed rocks and then herbicides on a portion of the nature preserve.

Russell has offered a $100.00 reward for information leading to the ARREST of the sign thieves and is requesting that those citizens of Waterwood who care about its natural beauty demand that WIA and the ACB “repent and reform or resign”. Russell further suggests that all local realtors be required to inform prospective lot owners of the strict Protective Covenants that do not allow the destruction of native vegetation. In that way, people who hate trees and natural beauty can go elsewhere to purchase and destroy property or remain in the cities from which they have emerged.

May 28, 2003

Airboats Harass People and Wildlife

At around 1 a.m. on Sunday, May 25, 2003, a resident of Waterwood was rudely awakened from his sleep due to five powerful searchlights shining directly into his bedroom window. The intense light was accompanied by the loud noise of a generator as well as that of an airboat motor.

After shining the light into his window continuously for several minutes the airboat proceeded across the cove to the shores of the Eagle Sanctuary where it began to shine its glaring spotlights into the trees as well as the water as it slowly turned in 360 degree circles.

The awakened resident, George Russell, who also happened to be the Chairman of the Eagle Sanctuary Stewardship Committee, called the local game warden and asked that the offenders be caught and ticketed or arrested for disturbing the peace as well as disturbing federally protected birds that were being disturbed by the intense light and noise during nesting season.

Russell drove his jeep to Princess Point and awaited the arrival of both the game warden and the airboat. When the boat passed just a few feet offshore while continuing to spotlight wildlife, Russell was able to observe the registration number, which he gave to the game warden, who arrived just a few minutes later. He further informed the game warden about the birds that were attempting to flee in front of the airboat’s path.

The next Tuesday the game warden informed Russell that he had tracked down the airboat around 3 a. m. but since the boat’s registration papers were in order and it had the proper equipment there was nothing he could do.

The warden made it clear that it is not against the law or other statute to invade the privacy of people’s homes with bright spotlights and loud noise.

It is furthermore not against the law to spotlight wildlife and roosting birds from just a few feet offshore, even at the shoreline of dedicated wildlife sanctuaries and officially designated Aesthetic Management Zones.

Airboats may also invade the nearby Alligator Sanctuary or any other sensitive area or ecologically fragile area at will in the middle of the night and destroy the native vegetation that protects the shoreline so long as the hunters do not have a protected species in their possession and their airboat is licensed.

For five years Russell has attempted to convince Texas Parks and Wildlife and The Trinity River Authority to outlaw airboats on Lake Livingston. To date there is still no interest in protecting our wildlife from harassment from airboats.

Russell was not able to determine if the operator and passenger on this airboat was drunk but the last airboat invasion of the waters of The Holy Trinity Wilderness Cathedral was accompanied by passengers and a driver who had obviously consumed and were continuing to consume large quantities of alcohol. Therefore it is assumed that TPWD and TRA also have no authority over drunk airboat drivers as well.

It is obvious that only an act of the Texas Legislature will stop the poaching, harassing or wildlife and citizens, noise, and other negatives associated with airboats.

May 18, 2003

Lizard Lust and Other Wildlife Activities

Two large Anole Lizards were lusting after the same female this morning on a balcony at the end of La Jolla. Each lustful male was observed trying to convince the other male that he was the grandest lizard of all. Like miniature dinosaurs in combat gear each lizard would exhibit a bright red flap of skin beneath his throat as well as an erect ridge on the tope of his head. After a few minutes of threatening posturing the lizard with the smallest head ridge retreated to a gutter and the victorious lizard proudly strutted his next trick by turning from green to brown. By this time the female was nowhere to be seen. Such is the luck of lizard lust.

Andrew Russell reported seeing an adult Bald Eagle at the power line at the Wilderness Cathedral yesterday. The Purple Martins and Barn Swallows are consuming great quantities of insects on Bay Hill. The Vultures have so far failed to consume the dead deer at the edge of the water on St. Andrew’s. Hummingbirds are fighting over dinner at a feeder on La Jolla. Large flocks of Great Egrets have been feeding all around the lake shores. A small flock of Pelicans was seen traveling north this morning at an altitude of several thousand feet. Several crows were seen harassing a pair of Red-tailed Hawks over the Great Spirit Wilderness. Most of the Terns have left for points elsewhere but a few were observed feeding over the lake. Baby Great Blue Herons were begging for food yesterday evening on the island at the mouth of Palmetto Creek. A young Red Fox was observed scampering about on La Jolla but his cousins, the Coyotes have not sung for some time. Pregnant does are in abundance but no fawns have been observed to date.

A tiny inch-worm was saved from harm and placed on a Water Oak to inch about. Nearby a camouflaged moth emerged from the trunk and flew away. Several beautiful snakes have been observed at the Russell boathouse on Bay Hill, much to the delight of snake lovers. Three silly Red-eared Turtles have been found wandering about on Bay Hill and were taken back to the water and told to stay off the road. Alligators are in short supply as the poachers have never been caught. Butterflies, which were in abundance last Spring are very scarce this year. Bumble Bees have been enjoying the beautiful yellow flowers on the native Prickly Pear Cactuses. Warning: Don’t pick the flowers as the tiny thorns will enter your fingers and drive you crazy!!! Sue Russell reports that a Red-tailed Hawk led her down the road behind the Maintenance Barn and that the Purple Martins have been attacking crows that have gotten too near their home.

May 18, 2003

Waterwood Animal Haters Persecute Wildlife

Waterwood is blessed with many residents who love our native birds, alligators, deer, frogs, and other species of wildlife that have made Waterwood their home for tens of thousands of years. For the most part, these are the residents who came to Waterwood because of the stringent deed restrictions that were designed to protect wildlife habitat.

Tragically, Waterwood has been cursed by certain residents who despise raccoons, hate all reptiles, can't stand possums, curse the deer, and abhor armadillos. These are the people who shoot wildlife in their yards and even shoot toward other residents property.

These are the folks who have fled the cities and declare their love of the country and then proceed to destroy nature and create sterile urban landscapes where once flourished an abundance of natural beauty.

The nature lovers acknowledge that it is humans who have invaded the homes of the resident wild creatures and who attempt to live in harmony with nature. They are the ones who have left intact thickets of native vegetation to serve as homes and refuges for wildlife.

The despoilers of nature and haters of wildlife, on the other hand, tend to be those who kill the native plants and replace them with lawns that look like putting greens in violation of the WIA deed restrictions. These toxic monoculture lawns spell death to birds and other wild creatures due to being saturated with dangerous herbicides, fungicides, pesticides and other chemical agents.

This issue is not black and white as there are citizens with artificial and sterile yards who have created them out of habit or ignorance but love wildlife. They must be forgiven and educated because "they know not what they do". On the other hand there are some who have left their landscapes natural, apparently to attract birds and other wildlife for their children to shoot at for target practice.

Just last week, as the Russell family was enjoying a meal on their parent's deck, the loud report of a gunshot coming from La Jolla jolted them from their tranquility. Waterwood Security was called to investigate.

It was reported the next day that a large rattlesnake had crawled up on someone's cement porch so they shot it. When I reported to Joe Moore, WIA Executive Director, that certain species of rattlesnakes are protected by Federal Law, the large rattlesnake suddenly became a small snake with a triangular head and no rattles. Yesterday the snake was described by a third party as a snake having a white mouth and thus must have been a Cottonmouth. The people who claim to have been invaded by the snake also have huge dogs that normally run wild and little if any snake habitat remains on their property so it remains a mystery as to why any intelligent snake would venture onto a cement porch with huge dogs around and why any intelligent person would endanger themselves and others by shooting a high powered weapon on a cement porch in a populated area.

May 18, 2003

WIA Destroys Dogwoods and Other Flowering Shrubs

The Spring of 2002 brought a glorious display of natural beauty along Waterwood Parkway. Thousands of Flowering Dogwoods, Yaupon Hollies, Hawthorns, Cherries, and Fringetrees and other flowering plants graced the Parkway on the outskirts of Waterwood.

During the Winter months, when the leaves had fallen from all of the Dogwoods and other deciduous trees, WIA sent crews up and down the Parkway to destroy these wonderful trees and shrubs as well as the evergreen American Hollies and Yaupon Hollies.

Resident George Russell, upon witnessing the carnage, demanded that the senseless and costly killing of the beauty of the Parkway be halted. Tragically, the extent of the damage was already so great for such a long distance that the Spring of 2003 was barren except for the trunks of the young pines that had been spared. Pine trunks have never been known to bloom in the Spring or in any other season and thus where once the desecrated section of the Parkway was an awe inspiring strip of flowers and beauty, only the plain brown bark of the pines remained.

Russell has repeatedly asked the WIA Executive Director to leave his office from time to time to see what is happening to the fading beauty of Waterwood. To date there is no evidence that the Director has heeded this request.

May 18, 2003

Treehaters Invade Waterwood

One of the things that makes Waterwood unique are its stringent deed restrictions that were established to protect the native forest ecosystem from destruction. Unfortunately the Waterwood Improvement Association has been very lax at enforcing the restrictions and thus thousands of beautiful Yaupon Hollies, American Hollies, Dogwoods, Hawthorns, Fringetrees, Palmettos, Grapevines, Cherries and many other species of wonderful native trees and shrubs have been chainsawed and bulldozed into oblivion.

Worse yet, Waterwood appears to have been invaded in recent years by tree haters who have destroyed hundreds of “protected” trees, some of which were growing when America declared independence from England. Last year, a beautiful wooded lot on St. Andrew’s was practically clearcut. Truckloads of huge sawlogs were hauled to the mills as if the lot was actually scheduled to become a Walmart parking lot.

Recently a homeowner purchased an adjacent lot and then, without WIA permission, destroyed eight massive century old pine trees. These desecrations have made others who hate our native forest plants and trees obsessed with killing. A beautiful lot on Doral that was graced by a huge dogwood tree as well as numerous other flowering trees and shrubs was denuded. The destruction of the Dogwood was described as “underbrushing” as if the Dogwood was actually a ragweed or a bullnettle! The lot owners are now insisting that they be allowed to kill all of the ancient pines on the property.

A few lots down the street, all of the graceful pines are marked for timber harvest, which would further desecrate the fading beauty of Doral. So far WIA has failed to enforce the deed restrictions. Until WIA stops calling flowering Dogwoods ugly “brush”, the rape of Waterwood will continue unabated until it becomes just another sub-standard development with lowered property values and the barren ugliness typical of areas inhabited by ignorant and insensitive people. WIA Architectural Control Board member, Carol Winters has expressed her concern for the future of Waterwood and its natural beauty and hopes to convince the WIA Board to halt the desecration.

May 18, 2003

Poisoning of Waterwood Continues

Owls, woodpeckers, and other beautiful birds are being exposed to highly toxic and dangerous chemicals along Waterwood’s roadways. Herbicides are being irresponsibly spread along the streets in defiance of common sense. The herbicides only make the street sides ugly and do almost nothing to permanently inhibit the growth of vegetation that might have a negative impact on the pavement. Only filling the cracks in the asphalt with a hot tar mix will save the streets. The herbicides, on the other hand, endanger the applicators, seep into our acquifers, poison the environment, create ugliness where there had been beauty, and waste money.

Worse yet, Waterwood Improvement Association (WIA) has allowed the continued use of the extremely dangerous and toxic chemical agent, DIAZINON, which according to the EPA “is highly toxic to birds, mammals, honey bees, and other beneficial insects. It is also highly toxic to freshwater fish…(and)..is one of the leading causes of acute insecticide poisoning for humans and wildlife.”

WIA is exposing itself to serious liability in the event one of the unprotected applicators becomes sick or dies from exposure to dangerous chemicals. Poisoning of federally protected birds could result in huge fines assessed against WIA.

Resident, George Russell, has been asking WIA for over a year to discontinue use of these dangerous and unnecessary chemicals without success.

April 28, 2003

A Walk Through The "Talking Eagle" Preserve

From my office window at the lake, I can view the shoreline of the "Talking Eagle" preserve. Ever since granting the conservation easement to NAPA I have scanned the horizon waiting for the eagle to enjoy his oasis in the midst of an evermore fragmented world. The eagle, not feeling compelled to visit, soared about in other parts, while the eagle's sanctuary was enjoyed by pelicans, cormorants, terns, gulls, great blue herons, great egrets, snowy egrets, kingfishers, sandpipers, black and turkey vultures, and myriad other species.

Finally, on April 21, 2003, just as I was leaving for Huntsville the eagle soared directly overhead toward his sanctuary. I only wish that the eagle had cooperated and made his appearance on April 11, when David Bezanson, NAPA's Executive Director, and I walked over much of the sanctuary.

We began our walk along the shoreline of the first little cove that forms the boundary of the sanctuary and headed east along the trail that I had built for my parents a couple of years before. At this point the ancient forest is dominated by a closed canopy of towering hardwoods that according to samples I have taken from fallen logs, include hundreds of trees in excess of 200 years of age thus indicating that these ancient oaks, ashes, hollies, walnuts, and numerous other species were over 100 years old when loggers selected out and felled the largest pines beginning around 1911, the year of my father's birth.

The entire 46 acres resembles the hoary old-growth forests one imagines when conjuring up images of wilderness: great fallen logs, dripping Spanish moss, the sounds of Pileated Woodpeckers calling to each other from amongst the numerous snags, an ancient walnut with animal burrows beneath a network of roots that doggedly cling to the side of an ephemeral stream. The plant communities change as the trail winds through the sanctuary. In places the dominant tree species are American Holly along with Sassafras and Black Walnut. In other parts of the sanctuary we found groves dominated by huge Post Oaks. At first we encountered no pines in the mix, but further along we found ourselves in groves where scattered old-growth pines towered above the hardwood canopy.

In many parts of the preserve, the closed canopy appears to have shaded out the tangle of understory shrubs, small trees, and vines, thus opening up park-like expanses where one might imagine Indians on horseback riding through the forest. Because of the open character of the forest, keeping to the trail would not be necessary except for limiting the area impacted by human foot traffic across the expanse of the forest floor.

The sounds of the wind caressing the leaves of the aged oaks as well as the murmering of the wavelets as they reach the shoreline of the lake, coupled with the chorus of numerous birds, frogs, and insects makes a walk through the sanctuary particularly peaceful.

George H. Russell

April 6, 2003

Indigo Bunting

George and Andrew Russell and Eric Keith were looking for Spider Lillies in our flat woods, that we call Frog Joy Woods, when we spotted an Indigo Bunting chasing a Cardinal with the same ferocity that a Crow chases and Eagle. The Bunting turned back toward his territory after making sure that the Cardinal was at least 100 feet away.

March 28, 2003

A Visit from the Architecture Control Board

The following is a satirical rendition of an actual event.

Thurs. evening I was at the Country Club eating a chicken fry and a guy comes over and says he's from the architecture control board. "Well ain't that nice", I say.

He says I need to move the lumber out of my yard. I says, "What the f***! Do you think Dave Thompson is using my lawn as a lumber storage yard on purpose? How stupid can you b? When he nails the last board up he gets $12K, so I guess you believes he's so rich that $12K means nothing to him. He has a pretty young wife, like Phil Palmer and Ron Holley, that needs a new diamond ring ever week or she cuts him off ; and furthermore I guess you
haven't noticed that it hasn't quit raining for around 3 months now; but I should have known that your little stupid board of pompous fools all had their heads up their assess to keep their bald spots from getting wet."

So this guy starts looking even more stupid and says, "They were going to send you a rude demand letter and I told them they better not. Don't worry about it, I will take care of them."

I says, "Good, cause I know their little silk panties would get caught way up the cracks of their withered asses if I stuck a broken down trailer house on the corner of Waterwood Parkway and 980 and then opened up "Granny's Geriatric Titti Bar and Whorehouse", with a big billboard with McDonald looking yellow arches that read, "Queers, Fags, Drag Queens, Crack Heads, Ex-Cons, Alcoholics, Psycopaths, Republicans, Jerks, Felons, Thieves, Murderers, Ass Holes, Drug Addicts, Architectural Control Boards, Bible Thumpers, Hypocrites, Sociopaths, Child Molesters and Sundry Pedophiles Welcome".

He turns white, knowing full well that I would do it if they f***ed with me and you and so he got real friendly and said that he would get them off our backs.

George H. Russell


October 19, 2002

Letter to WIA Board

19 October 2002

To: WIA BOARD

Subject: Destruction of Native Vegetation contrary to Deed Restrictions of Country Club Estates Unit I

When I discovered that one of Waterwood's most beautiful waterfront lots in Country Club Estates Unit I, had been literally butchered in direct and blatant violation of the restrictions that make Waterwood different from the average sub-standard village, I investigated and discovered that architectural control board member had authorized the destruction.

When I contacted board member, he was argumentative, unrepentent, arrogant, unconcerned, and exposed profound ignorance about beautiful native species such as dogwood, yaupon holly, American holly, fringe trees, hawthorns, native grape vines and other extremely valuable species.

Board member showed profound disrespect for any provision in the deed restrictions that pertain to the protection and preservation of native species, to wit:

3. “Such plans shall include plot plans showing the location on the lot of the building…landscaped areas (including any proposed rearrangement of the native vegetation)…”

5. “The Board shall have the right to disapprove any plans,,,(that are) not in harmony with…(the) natural environment.

8. “The native growth on any lot shall not be destroyed or removed from any lot, except such native growth as may be necessary for the construction and maintenance of …residences (etc), which native growth shall not be removed prior to commencement of construction…” In the event such growth is removed…the Board may require the replanting or replacement of same, the cost thereof to be borne by the log owner.” “However, nothing shall be done which will change the general character of those areas where native growth is required to be maintained.”

In fact he called the dozens of mature pines and other mature trees and shrubs that had been clearcut and ready to load onto logging trucks, "BRUSH"!!!!! “The term ‘brush’ is a disgusting expression much like the terms white people formerly used to describe members of various ethnic communities. God created thousands of species that ignorant and uneducated people lump together as ‘brush’. WIA should be ashamed of continuing to use an ugly word that is an affront to God. These under-story and mid-story plants are critical and essential to the survival of many species of birds.

I am thoroughly and completely disgusted by board member 's total lack of respect for the beauty of our community and his disregard for the negative impact on property values should every lot be clearcut and developed like the typical East Texas community with its typical values that expose us to ridicule by progressive and educated people. (see www.whitetrashvalues.org)

Why should my family have sacrificed our life savings and gone into debt to insulate and protect Waterwood from butchery from without when the residents are butchering it from within?

The 'good old boy' network that likes to run things their way, gets all bent out of shape about insignificant things such as when Mr. Ringler parked his very expensive and elegant RV in his own driveway or when one of my friends down the street was building an attractive rock wall. They went out of their way to stroke their good buddy by artfully denying my right to build a fence to protect my property from hunters and their dogs.

Then the 'good old boys' encourage PERMANENT DESTRUCTION OF WHAT MAKES WATERWOOD SPECIAL AND BEAUTIFUL!!!

My parents were in the process of granting a Conservation Easement to PERMANENTLY PROTECT the entire151 acre tract bordered by FM 980, WW Parkway, Marina Road, and Pool Creek. Because of the WIA Board's apparent lack of concern about the long term future of Waterwood and our home and other property values they have left 10 acres at the corner of the Parkway and 980 and 10 acres near the Marina out of the easement.

If the natural beauty of Waterwood continues to be destroyed then there will be no reason for them to sacrifice the money that could be made from opening a used car lot, convenience store and gas station, bait shop, flea market, or even a mobile home sales office. Why should they care when it is BLATANTLY OBVIOUS that WIA does not really care about respecting the provisions that make Waterwood unique and desirable to educated people.

I will be happy to give lessons in aesthetics, ethics, and ecology to those members of the WIA Board who have obviously never been exposed to anything other than golf, killing animals, card games, and mindless television programs.

In addition it grieves me deeply to see the profound disrespect for GOD THE CREATOR, as exhibited by those who are destroying His handiwork. I would like to call your attention to www.clearcuttersburninhell.org. I will further be happy to give lessons in "Creation Ethics". “Those who destroy the earth also shall be destroyed.” (Revelation 11:18)

George H. Russell



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This site last updated March 4, 2006