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HOME RANGE: Notes on Literature, Nature, Working Dogs, History, Martial Arts, Other Obsessions and Sundry Annoyances by Henry Chappell

We're not fixin' to quit

Shirley Shumake and her brother Max Shumake are sixth generation Sulphur River basin landowners. Since about 2003, they've fought alongside family and neighbors against Dallas-Fort Worth business interests and water developers planning to build a giant reservoir that would inundate their farms and timberland. In the previous post, I linked to an article in which I describe the fight and the stakes involved. In the video segment below, Shirley talks about how she and her neighbors discovered that powerful outsiders planned to push the reservoir project through the permitting process and condemn the land before locals could organize effective opposition. To the surprise and vexation of certain urban interests, the reservoir planners ran into a hornet nest. The video is part of Enduring Women, an oral history project recently exhibited at the Bullock Museum in Austin, Texas. Shirley is speaking extemporaneously to a student historian, so much of the context is missing. But the photos show some of what could be lost, and what reservoir boosters are up against. My money is on Shirley and Max and the people of the Sulphur River basin.

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