Wayne Nash recently has become involved in a project that illustrates why dependence on big government may not be such a good idea.

I recently have become involved in a project that illustrates why dependence on big government ain't such a good idea. Especially when it comes to government water systems.

You probably remember the story in the news concerning the situation in the Klamath Basin in Oregon. To sum up: Over many years, the government has been providing water to the farmers of the basin, a normally arid region. People were successful with their farms and the basin prospered. Enter the tree-huggers, a group of people who have huge lobbying power, too much time on their hands and are over-educated by half. With nothing better to do than interfere with the affairs of man, they "discovered" a precious little creature called the sucker fish, a bony, inedible critter with, to me, about the same value as the weeds in my yard. In other words, they don't bother me too much as long as my wife doesn't make me go deal with them. They just don't register on my radar. But I digress.

In their own cute way of looking at the world, the environmentalists decided that the sucker fish were much more important than the farmers, whose taxes probably paid for the study. Another fine example of our tax dollars at work!

So, the government shut off the water to the farmers to make the sucker fish more comfortable in its habitat. Naturally, the farmers, a fiercely independent bunch, took umbrage at this bit of rocket science. I recall watching on the news a group of farmers in an obviously staged media event, cutting the locks and turning on the water to their crops. I think we've all got a pretty good idea of what happened next. The water got shut off ... again.

Now comes my friend Duane, an alfalfa farmer in the area. Faced with the loss of his livelihood, and backed by a little research, Duane found out that there is an abundant supply of water right under his feet and that it is not connected to a government valve. Under the laws of Oregon, an individual can drill a well for himself on his own property without too much interference. He bought an older 24L Bucyrus and is in the process of rebuilding it.

That's how I became involved. We have had an ongoing conversation via e-mail concerning the rebuild - mounting, parts sources, tools needed, drilling techniques and a host of other subjects. I have never tried to pass on the intricacies of cable tool drilling via the internet, so this is a first.

I know, I know - this isn't going to be easy. It'll take much time and money, and it's doubtless that there will be a pile of problems along the way. But when Duane is pumping his own water on his own crops and is weaned off the government trough, (or in this case, canal) he will have the sense of accomplishment and pride that built America and keeps us strong. I hope his neighbors do the same. They've all got my vote and any help that I can provide. I can be reached at 912-265-1839, or rockbit@compuserve.com.